The metacarpophalangeal joints are the medical term for the large joints at the base of each finger. These joints are vital for the simplest everyday tasks like gripping and pinching. Because the fingers are exposed to various activities, finger joint pain is very common. Finger joint pain can either be experienced on just one finger or in more fingers. Though a minor condition, the impact of finger joint pain to everyday life can be significant, making the mere holding of a cup too painful for the sufferer.
Many different facts cause finger joint pain. Some common causes are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and Raynaud’s syndrome. The following are the causes in detail.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of finger joint pain. Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs slowly with aging, involving the wear and tear of the joints.
Aside from the deterioration of the joints, cartilage, and ligaments, the aging process also favors the increase in body weight. Unfortunately, being overweight increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
The type of job can be a factor in the occurrence of finger joint pain. For example, people with jobs involving typing have high risks of suffering from finger joint pain. As a remedy, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be alleviated with regular exercise, careful stretching, and the proper supplementation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another cause of finger joint pain. An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis causes pain using the body’s immune system to break down the joints. Other health problems such as chest pain and muscle weakness may also be observed.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects mostly women with ages between 40 and 60. Medical studies have suggested that finger joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis could be inherited. Hence, women with family members experiencing joint pain from this autoimmune disorder should particularly be cautious. They should pay close attention and maybe consider optional early supplementation to prevent the problem as monitored by doctors.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another cause of finger joint pain, and affects mostly women. The general signs are pain and weakness. There are also cases when a tingling sensation in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger can be experienced. These symptoms normally occur during the night, waking you up during sleep. In severe cases of this syndrome, the muscles at the thumb’s base may even weaken. One can also lose the ability to distinguish the hot from the cold.
Another potential cause of finger joint pain is gout. Uric acid crystals form in the area surrounding the finger joints, causing inflammation with associated swelling and pain to the affected area. Aside from the finger joints, gout can also affect the ankle and the toe joints.
Raynaud’s syndrome is also one of the causes of finger joint pain. Characterized by the tingling sensation and numbness in the fingers, this cause is experienced more during cold seasons. During the attack of Raynaud’s syndrome, one may experience the tingling sensation called needles or pins, and this can be really painful. Stress can also be a trigger of this syndrome.
The skin can manifest symptoms that an attack is caused by this syndrome. The skin can become cold with white color progressing to blue and becoming numb. In addition, a trauma or injury to the finger may further cause pain in the finger joints.
With this knowledge of the main causes of finger joint pains, you have no reason to take your fingers and hands for granted. It is advisable to evaluate the ergonomics of your workstation and rest once every hour when using your fingers for typing or writing. When you begin to feel pain in your finger joints, and one of the symptoms of the suspected causes is evident, consult your physician for appropriate treatment as early as possible.