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Alternative NamesPain - finger
Definition Return to top
Finger pain is defined as pain in one or more fingers.
Considerations Return to top
Nearly everyone has injured a finger at sometime during their life. After an injury, the finger can remain a bit crooked or stiff. However, your hand can still work quite well with minor deformities. Fingers do not need to open or close completely to be functional.
Numbness or tingling in the fingers may be a sign of a problem with nerves or blood flow.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Avoid activities that cause or aggravate pain.
After injury, rest the finger joints so that they can heal, but use mild stretching exercises to keep them limber and maintain motion. Stretch the joints gently, not forcefully, twice a day. Stretch just to the point of discomfort, but not enough to cause pain.
Use common sense in thinking of ways to perform activities that are less stressful to the joints. For example, a big handle can be gripped with less strain than a small handle.
Avoid strong pain medicines that tend to mask the pain and may lead to excessive activity or exercise.
Anti-inflammatory medication can help. Any prescribed medication for inflammation should be taken only as directed.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your doctor if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The doctor will perform a physical examination, which will include looking at hand and finger movement.
You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:
An x-ray of the hand may be recommended.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
References Return to top
Lyn E, Antosia RE. Hand. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. St Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:chap 47.
Swigrat CR, Wolfe SW. Hand and wrist pain. In: Harris ED, Budd RC, Genovese MC, Firestein GS, Sargent JS, Sledge CB, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2005:chap 42.Update Date: 8/11/2008 Updated by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.