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Common hand conditions and injuries

Overview of common hand conditions and injuries

Children and adults of all ages use their hands every day. If you experience a hand injury or have persistent hand pain from a chronic condition, you might not be able to perform your regular activities. Common injuries include a broken finger or hand, cysts, or trigger finger.

At Dignity Health, our team of orthopedic doctors provides quality care and personalized treatment for a wide range of hand injuries and chronic hand conditions. If you or a loved one have a painful hand condition or injury, Find a Doctor today.


Since there are so many different conditions of the hand, symptoms can vary.

Symptoms of a hand or finger fracture may include the following:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Deformity
  • Inability to move the fingers
  • Pain or tenderness

In general, you should talk to your doctor if you experience any acute pain or pain that begins suddenly, especially after a fall or a blow.

Gradual symptoms that show up over time could indicate a number of other hand conditions. If any of the following symptoms occur and disrupt your life, talk to your doctor to find out what may be causing them.

  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand
  • Electric shock sensation traveling up your wrist and arm
  • Weakness in your hand
  • Lumps along the tendons and joints in your wrists or hands
  • Lack of pain in the lump
  • Catching, popping, or locking feeling with finger movement
  • Pain with straightening the finger
  • Painful lump on the base of the finger (palm side of the hand)
  • Pain and stiffness in your joints
  • Tenderness
  • Grating feeling when you use the joint
  • Swelling


Hand injuries and conditions can come on suddenly, such as from a fall or a blow playing sports, or slowly, such as through repetitive motion or poor form. Some hand conditions, such as ganglion cysts, have no known cause.


There are many different types of hand conditions and injuries, including:

  • Broken/fractured hand
  • Broken finger
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Trigger finger/thumb
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis

These conditions all vary in symptoms and cause. If you are concerned about the health of your hand, contact your Dignity Health doctor.

Risk factors

Risk factors for hand conditions vary based on the reason for the pain. Playing sports is a considerable risk factor for acute injuries such as broken hands or fingers. Repetitive motion at work or during sports can leave you susceptible to tendinitis, trigger finger, carpal tunnel, and over time, osteoarthritis.

Sex and age are common risk factors for degenerative conditions. Underlying medical conditions, especially those affecting the nerves or those that are inflammatory, can put you at risk for a hand condition such as carpal tunnel.


There aren’t many actions that you can take to avoid acute injuries. Using proper protective gear while playing sports is your greatest defense against sustaining a broken bone. Properly warming up and using appropriate form can limit your chances of tendinitis or osteoarthritis flare-ups.

For conditions like carpal tunnel, improving posture, taking breaks, relaxing your grip, and stretching can all be extremely beneficial in keeping your hands and wrists pain-free.

Practicing healthy habits, including eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding smoking, promote bone health and help prevent breaks.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.