Why do your finger joints hurt - connection with diseases and treatment

Joint pain when bending the fingers

Pain in the hand not only interferes with normal life, reduces physical activity, causes a decrease in work, but also worsens the emotional state due to constant painful discomfort.

That is why, when a person has pain in the finger joints, the first thing he is interested in is the causes of this phenomenon and possible treatment.

Pain in the joints of the hands and fingers is a sign of various diseases

Causes of pain

Hand pain can be caused by various diseases, many of which have quite similar symptoms.Most diseases are chronic and the prerequisites for their development are often overlooked.Let's find out why the finger joints of one or both hands hurt.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a constantly progressive connective tissue disease that affects joints (mainly peripheral). Due to chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane, the cartilage is destroyed. Periarticular tissues are damaged. Pathology develops as a result of immune autoaggression. The clinical picture is characterized by:

  • destruction of cartilage tissue;
  • osteoporosis;
  • pain, joint deformities (primarily hands), subluxations, contractures;
  • deterioration of blood vessels, damage to lymph nodes;
  • changes in the skin, nails, increased pigmentation;
  • formation of specific rheumatoid nodules;
  • heart disorders (rheumatoid carditis);
  • dystrophic changes in muscles;
  • various pathologies of kidneys (most often amyloidosis), liver;
  • functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • Neurological disorders, rheumatoid neuropathy.

The disease can be caused by infection, hypothermia, trauma, physical or nervous stress.There is a genetic predisposition to the disease. Women get arthritis about 3 times more often.

The earliest and most important symptom is morning stiffness in the whole body, especially in the joints of the hands, which disappears after physical exertion. At the initial stage, a temporary deterioration of the general condition may occur, when the joints of the hands and feet periodically hurt, appetite decreases, heart rate increases, sweating and low temperature.

Later, the pains - primarily in the small joints of the hands and feet - get worse, especially in the morning, after sleep and when moving.The period of morning stiffness becomes longer, which becomes painful.Joint mobility is increasingly limited. Pronounced inflammatory swelling, hyperemia, skin temperature rises at the site of inflammation, fever begins.

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by alternating periods of exacerbation and remission, sometimes lasting for months or even years. With each exacerbation, the process involves new joints.


Osteochondrosis of the spine causes lumbago in the back, neck, neurovascular disorders, disc herniation, decreased blood flow in the spinal arteries, stretching of nerve roots and other neurological symptoms. Most often, the disease is accompanied by a feeling of numbness in the fingers, but the pain can be mistaken for joint pain.

Osteochondropathy. Kienbock's disease

Finger pain can be caused by osteochondropathy - necrosis of bone tissue caused by increased mechanical stress, mainly in childhood and adolescence. In adults, the disease is diagnosed less often.The development of pathology is provoked by injuries, functional overload, infections, rapid growth in children, peculiarities of the constitution and sometimes vitamin imbalance.

One such disease is Kienbock's disease, which affects the wrist joint. This type of osteochondropathy is predominantly characteristic of men between the ages of 18 and 30 who have chronic microtraumatization or overuse of the hand (masters, turners, carpenters, carpenters).The symptom complex includes:

  • constant pain will cover the fingers, wrist area;
  • constant swelling;
  • increased pain when pressing on the wrist joint;
  • Bone destruction, subluxation of carpal joints in the last stage of the disease.

The process usually only affects one side.

reactive arthritis

A recent infectious disease (1-1. 5 months ago) and the development of inflammation of the joints after it can explain why the fingers on my hands hurt, especially when flexing. Reactive arthritis is likely the result of an immune response to microbial antigens outside the joint, leading to the development of an immune complex synovitis in the synovial membrane.

Symptoms of the disease are expressed:

  • pain in affected joints, tendons;
  • Deterioration of skin condition, changes in nails;
  • Diseases of urogenital, cardiovascular, lymphatic systems.

The clinic of reactive arthritis is diverse and depends on the causative agent of infection: streptococcus, salmonella, meningococcus, shigella and many others.


Gout belongs to the group of metabolic arthritis - diseases of the musculoskeletal system caused by metabolic disorders, in this case - uric acid. The disease mainly affects men over 40 years old, but gout can develop in young people of 20-30 years old, in menopausal women.

Disruption of purine metabolism can be caused by:

  • increased synthesis due to a genetically inherited trait;
  • kidney failure;
  • some blood diseases;
  • taking medication;
  • significant consumption of food with purine and fat (meat, fish), alcohol;
  • infections;
  • A combination of different factors affecting uric acid metabolism.

The disease is accompanied by the development of hyperuricemia - an excess of uric acid in the blood serum, as a result of which urates are deposited in the tissues of the joints.

Gout is characterized by an attack-like course with the involvement of an increasing number of joints and tendons in the process, the gradual appearance of permanent visible deformities, stiffness, osteoarthritis and the formation of tophi (gout nodules).

Symptomatic exacerbation of inflammation occurs:

  • sharp pains, usually at night;
  • joint swelling, hyperemia;
  • weakness, fever, chills;
  • increased nervousness;
  • Stool disorders.

The localization of gouty arthritis in the small joints of the hands is atypical. However, gout could be a very possible explanation for why my knuckles hurt.

Gout is accompanied by sharp pain in the fingers and swelling of the joints.

Psoriatic arthritis

Patients with psoriasis often develop chronic inflammation - psoriatic arthritis, the classic form of which is considered to be damage to the joints of the hands and feet. The disease usually develops imperceptibly, with a gradual increase in symptoms, although an acute onset is sometimes possible.You can suspect the development of arthritis with the following signs:

  • the joints of fingers and feet hurt in the morning or throughout the day;
  • there is painful swelling;
  • The skin over the joint becomes cyanotic;
  • Trophic changes occur.

Defeat of the joints in the future becomes the cause of deformation of the fingers, contractures, leads to the development of chronic synovitis, arthrosis.

Articular rheumatism

Articular rheumatism in the form of diseases of soft periarticular tissues often causes pain in the fingers. The main factors of development are injuries, prolonged stereotypes of movements, hypothermia, wetness, infections, lack of nutrition and blood supply often occurs.Pain can occur due to:

  • tendonitis - degenerative damage to tendons;
  • Tendovaginitis (otherwise - tenosynovitis, ligamentitis) - inflammation of the middle part of the tendons, the inner lining of the vagina, articular ligaments;
  • Bursitis - an inflammatory process in the serous bursa, usually due to tendovaginitis.

In the hands, the tendons of the wrist and hand are most often damaged, which is connected with their almost constant functional stress.Most often, the reasons why the finger on the hand hurts on the entire surface or in the joint are syndromes caused by:

  • De Quervain's disease - tendovaginitis of the tendons of the muscles responsible for abduction and extension of the thumb;
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome - flexor tendovaginitis of the fingers, often combined with Guyon's canal syndrome - compression of the palmar ligament of the ulnar nerve and ulnar artery;
  • wrist tendon ligamentitis;
  • Knott's disease ("crushing" of the fingers), which affects the superficial flexor tendons of the fingers and their sheaths;
  • Bursitis (tendobursitis).

Pains usually arise or increase during movement, bothering at night.There may be swelling, stiffness and sensory disturbances.


Degenerative-dystrophic processes with the formation of osteophytes in the articular cartilage - osteoporosis - is the most common variant of joint pathology, the frequency of which increases with age. This happens for two reasons: increased mechanical impact on the joint and cartilage deterioration.

Damage to the joints of the hands leads to the fact that the finger or the entire palm hurts, first only when bending, during significant physical exertion, and then during rest, in the morning, sometimes at night.In addition, the disease is accompanied by:

  • hardness, contractures;
  • articular deformations;
  • Sometimes hot swelling.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by a long course with a gradual increase in symptoms, usually without a sharp exacerbation. The main types of disease that affect the hands are osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal joints and metacarpal joints.

The joint is normal (left) and affected by osteoarthritis (right)

Systemic lupus erythematosus

It is an autoimmune polysyndromic disease with a chronic course, with generalized vascular damage and connective tissue changes. It mainly affects teenage girls and young women in their 20s and 30s.

The development of the disease can be both imperceptible and acute, sudden. Gradual onset occurs against the background of weakness, weight loss, subfebrile temperature, signs of arthritis (synovitis), small skin manifestations. Acute - characterized by severe pain in the joints, fever and a bright rash on the skin.Also, the disease can be accompanied by:

  • Hair loss, changes in nails;
  • sensitivity disorders;
  • stomatitis;
  • damage to the cardiovascular system, most often pericarditis;
  • sometimes muscle atrophy (primarily hands), deformation of finger, wrist, ankle joints;
  • Lung pathologies (pneumonitis, candidiasis, tuberculosis, etc. );
  • kidney damage (lupus glomerulonephritis);
  • vegetative and emotional disorders;
  • Decreased intelligence, hallucinations, seizures.

Arthritis is the most common symptom of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Therefore, the appearance of skin erythema and discomfort caused by the fact that the joints of the fingers hurt (especially if the causes of the pain lie in the force generated when holding the hand) are the basis for investigating this disease.


Since pain in the joints of the hands can be caused by a very wide range of disorders, it is necessary to determine the exact reason why the fingers are stiff, swollen and/or painful.Diagnosis is made using the following studies:

  • radiography;
  • scintigraphy;
  • ultrasound examination;
  • magnetic resonance or computer tomography;
  • immunological tests;
  • Laboratory analysis of blood, urine.

If necessary, tissue biopsy and synovial fluid analysis are performed for accurate diagnosis of the causes of joint pain in the fingers.

Treatment methods

It is impossible to determine on your own what to do if you have painful swelling or joint pain on your fingers. Treatment is prescribed only after diagnosis and examination by a doctor.

medical treatment

If the finger on the hand hurts a lot (during bending, abduction movement, rest), short-term use of analgesics is allowed before examination by a specialist.

The joint should not be heated, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs should not be taken uncontrollably.

You can use an ointment that relieves acute pain in finger joints.

Further therapy depends on the disease and is usually complex.Treatment is aimed at:

  • drugs to relieve exacerbations, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory ointments, gels;
  • on the normalization of metabolic and immune processes;
  • To restore blood supply, improve joint nutrition, increase its functionality.

Therapy of syndromes developed against the background of the main pathology is carried out. Blood purification procedures are used: plasmapheresis, hemosorption. In severe cases, resort to surgical treatment methods.

Anti-inflammatory ointments are used to relieve pain in finger joints.


If the exact cause of the pain in the finger joints is determined, various physiotherapeutic procedures and balneotherapy methods are added to the main treatment: electrophoresis, mud application, amplipulse therapy and others.

Physiotherapy improves metabolic processes, normalizes blood circulation in the fingers.


The main therapy necessarily involves unloading the joint, although it is necessary to restore the range of motion. In order to correct motor disorders of the fingers on the hands, gymnastics is performed using various compressions, pinches, abductions, stretching, which allows you to return joint movement and sensitivity to the terminal phalanges. Joint pain that occurs in the fingers requires careful introduction of new exercises and a gradual increase in load.

Massage courses

Therapeutic massage improves tissue trophism, helps alleviate the symptoms of the disease.However, along with finger joint pain, there are often contraindications to massage, so the treatment should be performed only with the doctor's permission.

Finger joints can be massaged to relieve symptoms.

Folk remedies

Phytotherapy prepared according to folk recipes, compresses, rubbing can be useful when there are no contraindications and there is no refusal to treat with drugs. They help relieve the condition if your fingers hurt a lot and for a long time.