Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Finger pain can be caused by disease or injury affecting any of the structures in the finger, including the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, blood vessels, or connective tissues. Joint pain is a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis) that may occur in the joints of the finger bones. This can sometimes be accompanied by redness, swelling, or warmth of the joints. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) commonly affect joints of the fingers. Trauma or injury to the finger, such as bruises, dislocations, and fractures of bone are all common causes of finger pain. Tumors of the structures in the finger are a very rare cause of finger pain. Certain conditions such as diabetes can cause damage to the nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, or tingling of the arms and legs. This phenomenon, known as peripheral neuropathy, can also sometimes cause finger pain. Infection of the skin or other tissues of the finger is a less common cause of finger pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome initially causes numbness and tingling in the hand, but as it progresses, it may cause cramping or burning in the fingers.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Finger Pain
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which irritation of the wrist's median nerve causes tingling and numbness of the thumb,...
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...
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Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the...
DeQuervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendon on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. DeQuervain's...
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
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Dog Bite (Treatment)
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Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also...
Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. Symptoms may include numbness,...
Peripheral Vascular Disease
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Pseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by a pale-blue-red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
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Septic arthritis, or infectious arthritis, is infection of one or more joints by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms and signs...
Sprains and Strains
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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where symptoms are produced from compression of nerves or blood vessels because the...
Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis)
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Other Causes of Finger Pain
- Bacterial Infection
- Bone Tumors
- Joint Dislocation
- Nerve Damage From Toxins
- Soft-Tissue Tumors (Sarcomas)
Examples of Medications for Finger Pain
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Over-the-Counter Products
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