Why do finger joint pains occur and how are they treated?

causes of pain in the joints of the fingers

Pain in the joints of the fingers can occur for various reasons. Any pathological condition requires competent treatment.

Articular diseases require an integrated approach. It includes the use of medication, diet, physical therapy, special gymnastics and alternative medicine.

Possible causes of pain in the joints of the fingers

Joint pain can occur at any age. There are many possible reasons for this phenomenon.


Pain in the joints of the fingers in 40% of cases are caused by this cause. This pathology is often also called polyarthrosis or knotty fingers. It belongs to dystrophic diseases and is characterized by slow progression, which is why patients often ignore the first stage of the disease.

The disease most often affects people over 50 and rarely occurs in people under 40.

The causes of polyosteoarthritis are often called heredity, but there are other factors provoking it:

  • climax;
  • violation of material exchange;
  • pathology of the thyroid and other endocrine glands;
  • diabetes mellitus.

The joints contain cartilage that begins to degrade. This means that natural lubrication is compromised, causing dryness and cracking.

Due to the lack of lubrication and drying, the articular cartilage rub against each other, which provokes an inflammatory process. Against this background, an abnormal inflammatory joint fluid is produced, expanding the joints from the inside. As a result, their deformation occurs, accompanied by painful sensations.

Polyosteoarthritis is accompanied by other symptoms. They are mainly represented by Bouchard and Heberden nodules:

  • Bouchard's nodulesare characterized by slow development without complications. They usually form on the lateral surfaces of the joints, giving them a fusiform shape.
  • Heberden's Nodulesaffect the distal interphalangeal joints on their dorsal and lateral parts. They are characterized by symmetrical development on both hands. The formation of nodules is often accompanied by swelling and redness of the skin around the joints. Painful sensations and burning sensations appear, although in 30% of cases the pathology is asymptomatic.

As polyosteoarthritis progresses, joint stiffness increases. The consequence of pathology is knotty fingers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Still's Disease

why there are pain in the joints of the fingers

This disease belongs to systemic pathologies of connective tissue and has a complex autoimmune pathogenesis. Pathology rarely manifests itself in patients under 30 years of age. In men, it occurs 5 times less often.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis depend on its stage:

  1. The initial stage of the disease is characterized by periarticular edema of the bursae. This leads to pain, swelling of the periarticular region, and a local increase in temperature.
  2. In the second stage, cells begin to divide rapidly, as a result of which the synovium becomes denser.
  3. In the third stage, inflamed cells produce an enzyme that affects both cartilage and bones, so the affected joints are usually deformed. This stage is accompanied by an increase in pain and loss of motor functions.

There are three groups of possible causes of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Heredity.
  • Infections. Pathological changes can be caused by some paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses, hepatoviruses, retroviruses.
  • Triggering factors. Pathological changes can be triggered by hypothermia, intoxication, stress, taking certain medications, hyperinsolation, endocrinopathy.

Still's disease is a form of rheumatoid arthritis. It is usually accompanied by fever, rash, and itching. This disease is more often diagnosed in children. In addition to the joints, Still's disease can affect the lymph nodes, provoke pleurisy, pericarditis.

Psoriatic Arthritis

This pathology is one of the forms of arthritis and can occur after 20 years. It develops against the background of psoriasis, but in some cases precedes it.

In addition to painful sensations, pathology is accompanied by the following signs:

  • swelling of the joints;
  • the acquisition of a bluish-purple skin in the periarticular region;
  • the appearance of bumps and depressions on the nails;
  • slight stiffness.

There is a destructive form of pathology characterized by rapid bone erosion. It is fraught with loss of joint mobility.

The inflammatory process can affect not only the joints, but also some organs. Skin plaques characteristic of psoriasis in this form of arthritis are often accompanied by the appearance of acne.

Possible causes of psoriatic arthritis are as follows:

  • alcohol abuse;
  • smoking;
  • stress;
  • skin damage;
  • side effects of some medications;
  • changes in hormonal levels;
  • excess of ultraviolet radiation.

Infectious arthritis

This type of arthritis is also called septic and is characterized by an inflammatory process caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites.

There are many possible symptoms of pathology - the clinical picture depends on the causative agent of the infection.

The main signs of the disease are:

  • soreness;
  • limitation of mobility;
  • hyperemia of the affected area;
  • swelling.

Since the cause of the pathology is infection, it can be accompanied by fever, chills, and intoxication syndrome.

Infectious arthritis can develop against the background of another disease - rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, obesity. The reason may be alcohol and drug addiction, sexually transmitted infection.


This pathology is also called gouty arthritis. It is a metabolic disease. In this case, uric acid or sodium monourate is deposited in the tissues of the body. Among women, gout is much less common.

The pathology is characterized by paroxysmal character. Exacerbation episodes can last from 3 days to one and a half weeks. Attacks are characterized by a sharp appearance and the same rapid cessation. The presence of seizures means an inflammatory process.

Exacerbation of the disease often begins at night and may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • pain worse with movement;
  • the skin over the inflamed joint turns red;
  • body temperature rises;
  • tophuses form around the inflamed joints - whitish growths under the skin;
  • lesions are usually unilateral.

In addition to the acute period, there are latent and chronic stages of pathology. In the first case, the course of the disease is asymptomatic, and its only sign is hyperuricemia (blood test indicator). The chronic stage is characterized by long periods of remission.


how to get rid of pain in the joints of the fingers

This pathology is a form of arthrosis when only the thumb is affected. In most cases, rhizarthrosis is a manifestation of polyosteoarthritis, but in every 4-5 patients it is an independent disease.

Trauma is the cause of this pathology in about every second person. It can be household or sports.

There are other causes of pathology:

  • incomplete rehabilitation for a fracture of the wrist bone;
  • permanent minor injuries to the joint capsule;
  • heredity;
  • articular dysplasia;
  • disorders in the endocrine system;
  • metabolic disorder;
  • the effects of certain medications that cause changes in cartilage tissue.

There are 3 stages of pathology:

  1. At first, the person experiences only discomfort.
  2. Then bone growths appear, and the painful sensations intensify due to the exposure of the nerve endings.
  3. In the last stage, the thumb is severely deformed, and its mobility can be completely lost.

Pain is the main symptom of illness. It increases with movement, atmospheric pressure drop, under cold or hot water. At first, the pain is aching, and at the last stage of pathology, it becomes simply intolerable.

De Quervain's disease (tenosynovitis)

In this case, only the ligaments of the thumb become inflamed. This pathology is provoked by constant and monotonous movements of the hands, which causes minor damage to the tendon that runs along the back of the wrist. Trauma can be another cause of the disease.

Disease is often a companion of people of certain professions:

  • musicians;
  • seamstresses;
  • painters;
  • athletes (tennis players, skiers);
  • bricklayers;
  • typists.

This pathology can develop at any age. Painful sensations with it can occur spontaneously, but more often they are provoked by the load on the thumb - by pressing, extending, trying to grip an object.

Stenosing ligamentitis

This pathology is also called Knott's or snap finger disease. The cause is inflammation of the tendon and the formation of nodes on it.

In this case, the affected finger bends and returns to its original position problematically.

Painful sensations occur when the finger is flexed and extended. In addition to pain, other symptoms are characteristic of the disease:

  • numbness;
  • increased sensitivity;
  • joint swelling;
  • lump (node) formation.

Stenosing ligamentitis can be triggered by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, high stress on the joints.

Risk Factors

In the case of each pathology, there are several possible reasons for its development. There are also a number of risk factors that make finger joints more likely to develop:

  • hereditary predisposition;
  • chronic infection;
  • diseases of the immune system;
  • pathology of material exchange;
  • changed hormonal background;
  • trauma and microtrauma;
  • long-term negative impact.


When painful sensations in the joints of the fingers first appear, they usually turn to a therapist who prescribes initial examinations and refers to a narrower specialist - a surgeon, neurologist, traumatologist, arthrologist, rheumatologist, orthopedist, reflexologist, osteopath, endocrinologist, nutritionist, phthisiatrician.

In any case, the diagnosis begins with a visual inspection. After it, the specialist prescribes standard laboratory blood and urine tests. They allow you to identify the inflammatory process in the body and evaluate some important indicators (albumin, globulin fractions, the amount of iron).

Joint puncture belongs to laboratory methods. A needle is inserted into its cavity to collect synovial fluid. This test is also called arthrocentesis.

diagnosis of diseases for pain in the joints of the fingers

Of the instrumental diagnostic methods, the following studies can be performed according to the circumstances:

  • X-ray.This method allows you to identify trauma, fracture, tumor and other damage to the bone tissue.
  • Ultrasound scanning.This technique is used to examine soft tissues. Additionally, using an ultrasound examination, you can check the condition of the vessels.
  • Tomography- computer, magnetic resonance imaging. CT is preferably used for examining bone structures - an examination is similar to an X-ray, but much more informative. MRI is more effective in studying soft tissues
  • Scintigraphy.This research is carried out using a radio indicator.
  • Electrocardiogram. Such a diagnosis allows you to check whether the pathology has affected the heart.

Treatment of pain in the fingers of the joints of the hands

Any disease requires certain measures. The basis of treatment in most cases is drug therapy in combination with physiotherapy and special gymnastics. Some diseases require a special diet. Folk recipes can also be effective in the treatment of joint pathologies.

Drug therapy

Various drugs are the mainstay of treatment for most diseases.

The following medications are used for joint damage:

  • Preparations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory group.Such funds are used for various inflammatory processes. They not only relieve inflammation, but also reduce pain and fever. Such drugs are produced in different dosage forms - for topical use, oral administration, injection.
  • Antibiotics.Such medicines are used in the inflammatory process, as well as the infectious origin of the pathology. For the appointment of antibiotic therapy, the causative agent of the disease is first identified in order to determine its sensitivity to the drug.
  • Glucocorticosteroids.These drugs are steroidal and anti-inflammatory. Their action speeds up the recovery process. They are also available in various dosage forms.
  • Chondroprotectors.These drugs are used as part of a comprehensive treatment. They speed up the recovery process, prevent the recurrence of pathology.
  • Analgesicscan be used for severe pain that cannot be tolerated. These can be either local remedies in the form of a cream or gel, or medicines for oral administration or injections.
  • Immunosuppressants.Such drugs are used when the pathology is of an autoimmune nature.

Medication should only be prescribed by a doctor. Each patient needs an individual approach, therefore, even with the same diseases in different people, the set of required drugs can be radically different.

Traditional medicine

Alternative medicine is used in the treatment of various diseases, including those affecting the joints.

The following folk recipes can be effective:

  • Melt propolis and mix it with vegetable oil - sunflower or corn oil is more suitable. The resulting composition should be used as an ointment, rubbing it into the affected areas.
  • Rubbing with honey and horseradish. The products must be mixed in equal proportions.
  • Dissolve a spoonful of mustard powder in half a glass of vodka and massage the affected areas with this composition.
  • Boil unpeeled potatoes, knead and apply warm compresses on the inflamed areas.
  • Grind the onion into a mushy state and apply a compress on the affected areas. You need to keep it for half an hour, repeating the procedure up to three times a day.
  • Tincture of lilac flowers helps a lot. You need to fill in 3 tbsp. l. raw with a glass of vodka and leave for a week in the dark. Rub the affected areas with a strained mixture daily for at least half a month.
  • Boil rolled oats so that it acquires the consistency of jelly, cool slightly, soak a bandage in it and apply to the affected areas, fixing it with polyethylene. Remove the compress after an hour.
  • In case of inflammation, dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in milk and drink.
  • If the inflammatory process is aggravated, then you can apply a fresh cabbage leaf smeared with honey to the affected area.
  • Legs with affected joints can be kept in a bath with the addition of birch broth.
  • Heat salt or buckwheat in a frying pan, place in a cloth bag and attach to the affected area, leaving for several hours.
  • It is useful to use bay leaf infusion inside. To do this, pour a glass of boiling water over a few leaves and insist.
  • Black radish juice with honey is useful. Three times a day you need to take one spoon of such a remedy.
  • Juice is useful for articular pathologies. A glass of cranberry or lingonberry juice, birch juice is enough per day.

Traditional medicine alone is appropriate at the initial stage of pathology development. In other cases, it should be used in combination with traditional methods. Self-medication may not bring any result, and the pathology will only worsen during this time.


Physiotherapy is one of the components of a comprehensive approach to joint pathologies. It is carried out only as directed by a doctor. There are many physiotherapy methods, so the appropriate option is selected on an individual basis.

methods of treating pain in the joints of the fingers

For various pathologies of the joints of the fingers, the following procedures are appropriate:

  • magnetotherapy - constant, impulse;
  • electrophoresis;
  • UHF;
  • laser therapy;
  • phonophoresis;
  • ozokerite therapy;
  • cryotherapy;
  • galvanized;
  • diadynamic therapy;
  • oxygen therapy;
  • balneotherapy;
  • shock wave therapy;
  • ozone therapy.

Various therapeutic methods are designed to restore joint mobility, restore blood circulation, muscle tone, enhance metabolic processes, and accelerate recovery.

Any method of physiotherapy has certain contraindications, therefore, it is worth resorting to them only as prescribed by a doctor.

Finger Gymnastics

Special finger exercises are part of a comprehensive treatment approach. Such gymnastics allows you to restore blood circulation and mobility, reduce pain, and has a general strengthening effect.

Before gymnastics, you can warm up your hands if there are no contraindications for this. It is enough to dip your hands in warm water for 5 minutes or apply a heating pad to them.

The following exercises are effective for various articular pathologies:

  • Fists clench and unclench. You need to gently clench your hand in a fist so that your thumb is on top of the rest. In this position, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute, then unclench your fist, spreading your fingers as much as possible. You need to do at least 4 repetitions for each hand.
  • Finger warm-up. You need to put your palm on a hard surface and press it firmly. Alternately lift each finger up, doing 10 repetitions for each hand.
  • Contact. You need to turn the hand with the palm towards you and alternately connect the tips of each finger with the tip of the thumb, forming a circle. Each contact must be held for 0. 5-1 minute. Do 4 or more repetitions for each hand.
  • Thumb Exercise. The palm should be on a firm surface. You need to move your thumb along it, maximally moving it away from the rest. At the extreme point, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute, then return to the starting position. Do 10-15 reps for each hand. Do the exercise every 2-3 days.
  • There is another thumb exercise. You need to turn the hand with the palm towards you, move your thumb to the side as much as possible, and then bend it so that its tip touches the base of the little finger. At this point, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute. Do 4 or more reps per hand.
  • Brush stretch. You need to put your palm on the table and straighten the brush so that it becomes as flat as possible. In this position, you need to stay for 0. 5-1 minute. Do 4 reps for each hand.
  • Finger stretch. You need to turn your hand with the palm towards you and bend your fingers so that they touch the skin on their bases. In this position, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute, then smoothly straighten your fingers. Do 4 or more reps per hand.
  • Thumb stretch. You need to turn the hand with the palm towards you and bend your thumb so that its tip touches the base of the index finger. In this position, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute, do 4 repetitions.
  • There is another option for stretching the thumb. The starting position is the same. The thumb should be pulled to the base of the little finger, moving only the lower joint. At the extreme point, linger for 0. 5-1 minute, do 4 repetitions for each hand.
  • Strengthening exercise. It is necessary to take a soft ball and squeeze it as much as possible, lingering at the extreme point for a few seconds. Do 10-15 repetitions for each hand. The exercise itself should be done not every day, but every 2-3 days, giving your hands a rest.
  • Pinches. This exercise also requires a soft ball. It must be pinched so that there is a thumb on one side and all the others on the other. In this position, you need to linger for 0. 5-1 minute. You need to do 10-15 repetitions for each hand. Exercise every 2-3 days.

In addition to such exercises, it is also useful to work with clay or plasticine. The material can be simply rolled and kneaded or made into various crafts.

Finger gymnastics should not be done when the pain is too intense. In this case, exercise can only do harm.


One of the principles of treatment for various articular pathologies is proper nutrition.

The diet should be organized according to the following principles:

  • Weight normalization. This is necessary for deviations in any direction. In case of disorders of fat metabolism, lipids are deposited on the joints.
  • Salt restriction. If there is too much of it in the body, then the joints lose elasticity.
  • Avoiding alcohol.
  • For gout, the emphasis should be on plant foods to alkalize the body.
  • Reduce animal protein intake. The amino acids contained in it penetrate the synovium, provoking inflammation and pain.
  • It is better to refuse meat broths or use secondary broths.
  • It is better to use meat not in its pure form, but as cutlets, meatballs, meatballs.
  • With gout, you need to give up oily fish, caviar, cod liver, offal, eggs, butter with cream, fatty sour cream, nuts.
  • You should refuse sweets, confectionery products, cereals after pre-processing, instant products.
  • The diet needs to be saturated with vitamin C. For this, you need citruses, blueberries, apples, bell peppers, black currants, Brussels sprouts, broccoli.


Any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. As a prophylaxis for various articular lesions of the fingers, the following measures are appropriate:

  • Proper nutrition. The diet should be rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean protein foods and unsaturated fatty acids.
  • Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. If there are not enough of them in the diet, then you should resort to funds from the pharmacy.
  • Correct drinking regime. Lack of fluid slows down the metabolism, which impairs blood circulation and nutrition of the joints, and reduces the volume of synovial fluid in them. The drinking regime should be based on clean water without gas. On average, you need to drink 2 liters of liquid per day.
  • No bad habits.
  • Adequate physical activity. It is important for the normal rate of metabolic processes in the body, good blood circulation, strengthening the periarticular muscles and ligaments.
  • Special gymnastics for fingers. It is especially important when the fingers are subjected to constant stress. This is true for some athletes and professions.
  • Competent alternation of activity and rest. The night's sleep should be complete.
  • Minimal stress.
  • Regular medical check-ups. They can detect the initial stage of pathology or prerequisites for its development, which allows you to take the necessary measures in a timely manner.

Soreness in the joints of the fingers cannot be ignored. Even in the absence of accompanying symptoms, such a phenomenon may be the first sign of serious pathology. An integrated approach is used in the treatment of joint diseases. Therapeutic methods should be prescribed by a doctor, since each patient needs an individual approach.