With 54 bones in total, the hands and wrists are complex parts of the body that can be susceptible to injury and the impact of disease. There are many potential causes of hand pain. Whilst there is a chance it is completely harmless, it is still vital to see a skilled rheumatologist, like Dr Naveen Bhadauria, who can accurately diagnose your hand pain and rule out anything more sinister. Potential causes of hand pain include:
Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis. It is a condition whereby the cartilage between the joints breaks down over time from mechanical wear and tear. We find the majority of people with hand pain will have osteoarthritis. This condition is closely linked with ageing.
In some cases, hand pain can be caused by an inflammatory disease, like rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, hand pain is one of its most common symptoms, with stiffness and swelling in the morning, and being unable to fully bend the hand or forming a fist being common indicators of the condition. A highly damaging disease, rheumatoid arthritis needs to be diagnosed as early as possible to prevent it worsening and impacting other joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is immune mediated which means it’s caused by the immune system attacking the joints.
Other causes of hand pain
Hand pain could also be caused by an acute injury such as a break or fracture, gout (which may present as redness and a burning feeling), lupus (which may present as swelling in the hands), nerve compression such as carpal tunnel syndrome, low vitamin D levels, underactive thyroid, and even viral infections. It can also be a symptom of a chronic pain syndrome such as fibromyalgia.