The joints of the fingers hurt: causes and treatment of the pathology

The sensation of pain in the joints of the fingers is a phenomenon that has become common among people over forty, but even the youngest can encounter the symptom. If the joints in the fingers hurt, it is recommended that everyone know the causes and treatment, as no one is immune from the problem.

Basics of anatomy

Joints are the joints between the bones, consisting of the articular bag, synovium, hyaline cartilage, synovial fluid.

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The human hand is equipped with the most flexible joints that provide all fine motor skills. There are 29 joint joints in one hand. Three sections stand out in the hand:

  1. wrist;
  2. metacarpus;
  3. fingers.

The most mobile joints are found in the fingers, providing grip and other functions. Each finger, excluding the thumb, has three joints - in total, this is just under half of all joints in the hand.

A small area of the joint surface, a relatively thin connective membrane predisposes to frequent damage to these joints from pathologies.

Factors predisposing to the onset of pain in the joints of the fingers

Doctors identify predisposing factors that lead to diseases of the joints of the fingers. Predisposing factors do not necessarily lead to the development of the disease, increasing the risk of its onset.

Risk factors include:

  • changes in the hormonal system;
  • pathological processes in the immune system;
  • hereditary factors;
  • chronic and acute infectious processes;
  • pathological changes in normal metabolism;
  • the influence of environmental factors;
  • injuries and injuries whose treatment does not receive due attention.

It is impossible to completely eliminate the influence of risk factors.

Possible reasons

If pain in the joints of the fingers develops, it is recommended to determine the causes and treatment accurately and in a short time. Problems with the articular surfaces of the hand develop under the influence of a large number of reasons, of which the following are often diagnosed:

  1. arthritis;
  2. arthrosis;
  3. osteomyelitis;
  4. mechanical injuries;
  5. bursitis;
  6. gout;
  7. a sharp narrowing of the peripheral vessels.


Arthritis is an acute and chronic inflammatory injury of the joint. Additional symptoms, doctors include swelling in the affected area, redness of the skin. Isolated arthritis of the fingers is rare; other joints in the patient's body are more often affected.

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Doctors distinguish the types of arthritis:

  • infectious - bacteria enter the joint capsule during a systemic disease;
  • psoriatic - accompanies psoriasis, the signs of which are flaky spots on the body;
  • rheumatoid - develops under the complex influence of several factors: overwork, stress, weakening of immune mechanisms, transferred infectious diseases.


Osteoarthritis is a disease that leads to a change in the configuration of the joint surfaces. Finger pain due to osteoarthritis develops gradually, so doctors recommend starting treatment at an early stage.

The characteristic signs of arthrosis are the symmetry of the manifestation of pain and the alternating damage to all the fingers, starting with the thumb.


Osteomyelitis is purulent inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Osteomyelitis develops when pyogenic microorganisms enter the joint capsule.

The process is acute, it begins with a jump in temperature of up to 40 degrees and more. Symptoms of general intoxication of the body gradually join: weakness, nausea and vomiting, chills.

Finger pain gradually increases over the first few days. The skin over the affected joint turns purple, becomes shiny and tight due to pronounced edema. Mobility is limited. The disease in its advanced form is characterized by a gradual loss of mobility of the entire arm and not just the hand.

Mechanical injuries

Among mechanical injuries, doctors often face dislocations. Dislocation - displacement of the joint surfaces, accompanied by pain, changes in the shape of the joint, tissue edema.

Athletes suffer from dislocations. The thumb is affected more often, as it is located at some distance from the other fingers. Due to the anatomical position, the thumb is struck with each incorrect movement. The ligament apparatus is not always able to adequately compensate for the load, which leads to injury.


Bursitis is an inflammatory reaction that develops in the joint capsule and is accompanied by the accumulation of fluid in the cavity. Bursitis is easily distinguished from other diseases by the form of edema around the affected joint: the swelling has a rounded shape and a structure that is soft to the touch. You can notice the swelling visually.

Bursitis, as the cause of pain in the fingers, requires timely treatment, as it becomes chronic in a short time. With the transition to the chronic type, the accumulation of mineral salts in the joint capsule begins, which increases the sensation of pain.

If on the background of bursitis there was an addition of purulent microflora, then doctors speak of a purulent type of the disease.


Gout is diagnosed in the ankle area, but is sometimes found in the fingers. The cause of the development of the disease is a failure in the mechanism of using purines, which leads to their deposition in the area of the joints.

Gout develops slowly, which is why patients only turn to doctors when the joints completely lose mobility and it is no longer possible to reverse the process.

Strong constriction of peripheral vessels

A severe narrowing of the vessels that supply nourishment to peripheral tissues is called a peripheral angiopathic crisis. The crisis is characterized by coldness of the extremities, cyanosis, which turns into redness of the skin. The reason that leads to the development of an angiopathic peripheral crisis is hypothermia.

In addition to the common causes of joint pain, there are less common causes:

  • Raynaud's syndrome, in which the fingers ache paroxysmally and the skin turns pale
  • polycythemia, characterized by an excess of red blood cells (there are three types);
  • osteochondrosis, affecting the cervical spine, as a result of which the nerve roots are pinched;
  • de Kevren's disease, characterized by inflammatory processes in the ligament of the thumb;
  • tunnel syndrome, which develops in young people due to prolonged work at the computer;
  • vibration disease that forms while working with mechanisms that create vibrations, etc.

Determining the cause of finger joint pain will help treatment.

Treatment of pain in the joints of the fingers due to identified reasons

If the joints in the fingers hurt and the causes of pain are established, treatment can be started.

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Therapy is based on the elimination of the underlying disease and only subsequently on the effect on pain as a symptom of pathology.

In addition to eliminating the underlying disease and relieving pain, it is recommended to restore the function of the joint as much as possible.

You can focus on the following recommendations:

  1. with simple pain in the fingers, not accompanied by swelling or redness, you can independently apply an elastic bandage and create rest of the limb;
  2. in case of injury, cold is applied to the affected area, the duration of such a compress is about half an hour; on the second day after the injury, it is better to apply warm compresses that help blood circulation and active restoration of the joint.

Pharmacological treatment

Drug treatment should perform two main functions: to eliminate pain and stop the inflammation process. Basically, doctors use cyclooxygenase inhibitors or, as they are also called, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If the cause of the pain lies in an autoimmune disease, the patient is prescribed a course of glucocorticosteroids.

An acute infectious disease requires not only the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but also the appointment of antibiotics. Antibiotics must be selected individually during consultation with a doctor. It is important to establish which microflora contributed to the development of symptoms and to select antibacterial agents that will act specifically on this microflora.

To relieve symptoms, doctors prescribe menthol gels and ointments as topical agents.

If a dystrophic lesion of the articular surfaces is diagnosed, it is recommended to use drugs from the group of chondroprotectors. Chondroprotectors are substances that can replace cartilage tissue that has undergone a destructive process.

The effectiveness of chondroprotectors is explained by their composition, which is closest to the natural structure of cartilage tissue. The effect of drugs of this group is enhanced due to vitamins and plant extracts that act as auxiliary substances.

If the pain symptom is very pronounced, various groups of analgesics can be prescribed.

Depending on the severity of the symptom, the painkiller is selected individually.

Physiotherapy and gymnastics

Physiotherapy techniques are widely used in the fight against infectious pathogens, the reproduction of which led to the appearance of pain in the joint surfaces. Physiotherapy techniques are used:

  • the introduction of novocaine under the action of electrophoresis;
  • electrosleep;
  • resonance therapy.

If an infectious joint disease is in remission, massage sessions, healing mud packs, and manual therapy are recommended.

Pain in the fingers is not a reason to deprive the limbs of any load, letting them rest completely. Doctors recommend choosing a set of exercises that strengthen the ligament and muscular apparatus of the hand. It is recommended to start gymnastics as soon as the acute stage of the disease passes.

Diet therapy

An auxiliary method of treating pain in the joints of the fingers, when the causes are known, is diet therapy. The selection of a rational diet, for example, with gout, will help reduce the severity of the disease and will have a general strengthening effect on the joints.

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It is recommended to include in the diet:

  1. seafood and fish, contributing to the normalization of mineral metabolism;
  2. linseed oil and fish oil, which ensure the normalization of lipid metabolism thanks to the content of omega-3 fatty acids;
  3. fruits and vegetables;
  4. peanuts;
  5. ginger and low-fat natural cheeses.

If you correctly establish the reasons for the development of pain in the joints of the fingers, and also begin treatment in a timely manner, this unpleasant symptom can be eliminated.

Self-treatment and ignorance of symptoms often lead to chronic pathologies and worsening of the patient's condition.