Hands Articles

Best ways to cope with hand pain

Hand pain is common in older age. It may be caused by many conditions, such as osteoarthritis, a wearing away of the cartilage in the joints; carpal or cubital tunnel syndrome, two different conditions involving the compression of nerves in the arm; or trigger finger, a type of tendon irritation that interferes with the ability of the finger to bend. It’s important to seek treatment for persistent hand pain before it gets so advanced that it’s tough to use hands for even the simplest jobs. More »

Give grip strength a hand

Weak grip strength can interfere with many aspects of an active lifestyle. It also may be a signal for other health issues like lack of mobility and risk of heart attack and stroke. Performing a series of hand-specific exercises can keep a person’s grip strong and supple. (Locked) More »

Numb fingers? Icy toes? It may be Raynauds.

Raynaud’s phenomenon is an extreme reaction to cold in fingers, toes, and nose that can be painful but transient. If it develops later in life, it can signal a serious underlying condition and might require medical treatment to prevent complications. (Locked) More »

Help for your hands

Seven simple exercises are illustrated. Practicing them daily can preserve strength and flexibility in your hands and wrists and balance the effects of repetitive tasks like typing or gardening.  (Locked) More »

Numb hand: Should you worry?

Repetitive motions can squeeze nerves in the hand and cause temporary and short-lived numbness. It usually does not indicate a medical condition, but talk to a doctor if the numbness persists or interferes with daily activities. (Locked) More »

Where does it hurt?

The Harvard Health Decision Guides help you determine the appropriate next steps to alleviate your pain. More »

Trigger finger

Trigger finger is a painful condition in which a finger catches or becomes locked when you try to straighten or bend it. Although the name may conjure up visions of sharpshooters and hunters, it comes from the trigger-like snap that occurs when the finger suddenly releases. This condition, officially known as stenosing tenosynovitis, usually affects the thumb or ring finger, though it can affect any finger. More »

Raynaud's disease

Raynaud's disease is a condition in which fingers, toes, or other body parts turn blue or white in response to cold. For some people, reaching into a refrigerator or freezer without gloves is enough to provoke an attack. Air conditioning can do it for others. Some people develop Raynaud's symptoms in response to emotional stress. Named after the French physician who first described it in 1862, Raynaud's is caused by a problem in the body's arteries. In most people with Raynaud's, small arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to the fingers spasm and close down in response to cold or stress. This reduces or cuts off blood flow through these small arteries (known as capillaries). Without a steady supply of warm blood circulating through them, the tissue nourished by the affected capillaries becomes pale. Raynaud's can also affect the nose, lips, ears, nipples, and other body parts. After the affected tissue warms up, the capillaries open and blood flow resumes. More »

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist through which nerves and tendons pass. Because it is on the narrow side, a nerve called the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel can become irritated or compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. It can occur in one or both hands. Anything that narrows the carpal tunnel can compress the median nerve. Injury to the nerve also can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Common causes include: Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome occurs without a clear reason. More »