Why finger joints hurt - connection with diseases and treatment

Joint pain in the fingers when bending

Joint pain in the hand not only interferes with normal life, reduces physical activity, leads to impaired performance, but also aggravates the emotional state due to constantly occurring painful discomfort.

That is why, when a person has pain in the joints of the fingers, the first thing that interests him are the causes of this phenomenon and possible treatment.

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

Causes of pain

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

rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive connective tissue disease that affects the (mainly peripheral) joints. Due to chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane, cartilage destruction occurs. The periarticular tissues are affected. Pathology develops as a result of immune auto-aggression.The clinical picture is characterized by:

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

The disease can be caused by infections, hypothermia, trauma, physical or nervous tension.There is a genetic predisposition to the disease.Women suffer from arthritis about 3 times more often.

The earliest and most important symptom is a feeling of morning stiffness throughout the body, especially felt in the joints of the hands, which disappears after physical activity. At the initial stage, there may be a temporary deterioration in general condition, when the joints of the fingers and toes periodically ache, appetite decreases, heart rate increases, sweating and low temperature appear.

Later, the pains - mainly in the small joints of the hands and feet - intensify, especially in the morning, after sleep and when moving.The period of morning stiffness is lengthened, which becomes painful.The mobility of the joints is increasingly limited. Pronounced inflammatory edema, hyperemia appear, skin temperature rises above the site of inflammation, fever begins.

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by alternating periods of exacerbations and remissions, sometimes long - for months or even years. With each exacerbation, the process covers new joints.


Osteochondrosis of the spine leads to lumbago in the back, neck, neurovascular disorders, the formation of herniated discs, impaired blood flow in the vertebral arteries, pinched nerve roots and signs of other neurological symptoms. Most often, the disease is accompanied by a feeling of numbness in the fingers, but the pain can be confused with pain in the joints.

Osteochondropathy. Kienböck's disease

Pain in the fingers 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 frequently.The development of pathology is provoked by injuries, functional overload, infections, rapid growth in children, features of the constitution, and sometimes vitamin imbalance.

One of these diseases is Kienböck's disease, which affects the wrist joint. This type of osteochondropathy is mostly characteristic of men aged 18-30 with chronic microtraumatization or overexertion of the hand (locksmiths, turners, carpenters, joiners). The symptom complex includes:

  • persistent pain covering fingers, wrist area;
  • persistent swelling;
  • increased pain when pressing on the wrist joint;
  • bone destruction, subluxation of the intercarpal joints in the final stage of the disease.

The process, as a rule, affects only 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 of the hands hurt, especially when bent. Reactive arthritis is likely the result of an immune response to microbial antigens located outside the joint, which causes the development of immunocomplex synovitis in the synovial membrane.

The symptomatology of the disease is expressed:

  • pain in the affected joints, tendons;
  • deterioration of the condition of the skin, changes in the nails;
  • diseases of the genitourinary, 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 the age of 40, but it is possible to develop gout in young people aged 20-30, in postmenopausal women.

Violation of purine metabolism can be caused by:

  • increased synthesis due to a genetically inherited characteristic;
  • renal failure;
  • certain blood diseases;
  • to take pills;
  • high consumption of foods rich in purines and fats (meat, fish), alcohol;
  • infections;
  • a combination of various factors affecting uric acid metabolism.

The disease is accompanied by the development of hyperuricemia - an excess of uric acid in the blood serum, leading to the deposition of urates 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 onset of persistent visible deformities, stiffness, osteoarthritis, and the formation of tophi(gouty nodes).

Symptomatic exacerbation of inflammation is manifested:

  • 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 can be a very possible explanation for knuckles pain.

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

Psoriatic arthritis

Patients with psoriasis often develop chronic inflammation - psoriatic arthritis, the classic form of which is considered 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 by the following signs:

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

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

Extra-articular rheumatism

Extra-articular rheumatism in the form of periarticular soft tissue diseases often leads to pain in the fingers. The main factors for development are injuries, prolonged stereotyping of movements, hypothermia, dampness, infections, and often there is a lack of nutrition and blood supply.Pain can occur due to:

  • tendonitis - a degenerative lesion of the tendons;
  • tendovaginitis (otherwise - tenosynovitis, ligamentitis) - inflammation of the middle part of the tendons, the inner wall of the vagina, extra-articular ligaments;
  • bursitis - an inflammatory process in the serous sac, usually due to tendovaginitis.

In the hands, the tendons of the wrist and hand are most often affected, which is linked to their almost constant functional stress.Most often the reasons why the finger of the hand hurts over 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 - tendovaginitis of the finger flexors, often associated with Guyon's tunnel syndrome - compression of the palmar ligament of the ulnar nerve and ulnar artery;
  • wrist tendon ligamentitis;
  • Knott's disease ("snapping" finger), which affects the tendons of the superficial flexors of the fingers and their sheaths;
  • bursitis (tendobursitis).

Pains usually appear or increase with movement, bother at night.There may be swelling, stiffness and sensory disturbances.


Degenerative-dystrophic processes in the articular cartilage with the formation of osteophytes - osteoporosis - are 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 deterioration of the cartilage.

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

  • stiffness, contractures;
  • joint deformities;
  • sometimes hot swelling.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by a long-term course with a gradual increase in symptoms, usually without acute exacerbations. The main types of diseases affecting the hands are arthrosis of the interphalangeal joints and the metacarpal joint.

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

Systemic lupus erythematosus

It is a polysyndromic autoimmune disease with a chronic course, generalized vascular lesions and connective tissue changes. It mainly affects teenage girls and young women in their twenties and thirties.

The development of the disease can be both imperceptible and sharp, sudden. Gradual onset occurs against a background of weakness, weight loss, subfebrile temperature, signs of arthritis (synovitis), minor skin manifestations. Sharp - characterized by severe pain in the joints, fever and sharp rashes.Also, the disease may be accompanied by:

  • hair loss, nail changes;
  • sensitivity disorders;
  • stomatitis;
  • damage to the cardiovascular system, most often pericarditis;
  • sometimes muscle atrophy (mainly of the hands), deformity of the joints of the fingers, wrist, ankle;
  • pulmonary pathologies (pneumonia, candidiasis, tuberculosis, etc. );
  • kidney damage (lupus glomerulonephritis);
  • vegetative and emotional disorders;
  • decreased intelligence, hallucinations, convulsions.

Arthritis is the most common symptom of systemic lupus erythematosus.

That is why the appearance of skin erythema and discomfort caused by pain in the joints of the fingers (especially if the causes of pain lie in the force created when pressing the hand) isthe basis of a review of this disease.


Since pain in the joints of the hands can be caused by a very wide range of disorders, it is necessary to establish the exact reason why the fingers are stiff, swollen and / or injured.The diagnosis is made with the help of the following studies:

  • x-ray;
  • scintigraphy;
  • ultrasound examination;
  • magnetic resonance or computed tomography;
  • immunological tests;
  • laboratory analysis of blood, urine.

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

Treatment methods

It is impossible to independently determine what to do if painful swelling or sore finger joints hurt. Treatment is prescribed exclusively by a doctor after diagnosis and examination.

Medical treatment

In the event that the finger of the hand (during flexion, abduction movement, rest) hurts too much, a short-term intake of painkillers is allowed before examination by a specialist.

The joint should not be warmed up, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents should not be taken uncontrollably.

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

Further treatment depends on the disease and is usually complex.Treatment is directed to:

  • relieve exacerbation with drugs, relieve pain with painkillers, 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 that have developed against the background of the underlying pathology is carried out. Blood purification procedures are used: plasmapheresis, hemosorption. In severe cases, resort to surgical methods of treatment.

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


If the exact reason why the finger joints hurt is established, the main treatment is supplemented with various physiotherapeutic procedures and balneotherapy methods: electrophoresis, mud applications, amplipulse therapy and others.

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


The basic therapy necessarily includes the unloading of the joint, however, it is necessary to restore the range of motion. To correct motor disorders of the fingers on the hands, gymnastics is performed with the help of various compressions, pinches, abductions, stretching, which allows to restore mobility to the joints 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 lessons

Therapeutic massage improves tissue trophism, helps to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.However, with pain in the joints of the fingers, there are often contraindications to massage, so treatment should be carried out only with the permission of a doctor.

Finger joints can be massaged to relieve symptoms.

Folk remedies

Herbal medicine, compresses, rubs, prepared according to folk recipes, can be useful when there are no contraindications and there is no refusal to treat with drugs. They help relieve the condition if the fingers of the hand hurt too much and for a long time.