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9 Possible Causes of Hand Pain That Won’t Go Away

man with hand pain.

Most days your hand and wrist hurt, and you have no idea why. Maybe you’ve gotten used to having the discomfort, and you keep popping anti-inflammatory meds. Since discovering the reason for the pain might reduce or eliminate it, here are 9 possible causes for that recurring pain!

Categorize Your Hand Pain

In general we can separate the causes of hand pain into three categories: 1) an injury, 2) a chronic medical condition, or 3) overuse.


If you recently had a car accident or other injury which included your hand or wrist, that would make it relatively easy to figure out the underlying cause.

Common injuries to the hand include a situation where you jammed your finger, used your hands to stop a fall, bent a finger or wrist back too far, or a more serious injury like a fracture or dislocation from a fall or playing sports. Most likely you sought  treatment for your injury.

The other two causes may not be as easy to decipher.

Medical Conditions

There are multiple medical conditions that can cause hand and wrist pain. You may have already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, but if you haven’t, pay attention to which one of these could be the underlying cause. Then see an orthopaedic hand specialist for a confirmed diagnosis and treatment.


This inflammatory condition is the leading cause of hand and wrist pain. Among the many types of arthritis is osteoarthritis, and this typically affects seniors. As cartilage in the hand degenerates, painful symptoms follow.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects many parts of the body and stiffness and pain begin in the hands and feet.

Gout is also a form of arthritis, and if it presents in your hand or wrist, the pain is excruciating with sudden burning, redness, and tenderness in the area.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Irritated tendons and inflammation leads to a narrowing or compression of the median nerve. You will feel tingling, numbness, and burning in your palm and fingers, whereas pain is noticed in the thumb, index and middle finger. This condition is often associated with repetitive motions.

DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

This condition affects tendons near the thumb. The inflammation and swelling puts pressure on the nearby nerves causing pain and numbness.

Other medical conditions which affect the hand and wrist include the following:

  • Peripheral neuropathy causes pain and numbness in the hands or feet accompanied by weakness.
  • Raynaud’s Disease causes fingers or toes to become cold and numb when you are stressed or cold.
  • Ganglion cysts are mostly benign fluid-filled sacs which develop on the front or back of the hand.
  • Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects the whole body especially causing pain and swelling in the hands, wrists, and feet.

Repetitive Motions

Overuse and repetitive motions of your hands and wrists can cause the muscles, nerves, and tendons to become sore and painful.

In addition, pain or tension from muscles in your arms and shoulders can radiate down to the hands.

Some of these repetitive motions include the following:

  • Typing or using a computer mouse or a laptop
  • Using tools
  • Training or playing sports
  • Lifting heavy objects

Contact Greater Rochester Orthopaedics for an evaluation if your hand pain is affecting your ability to do certain activities or perform your job without pain.