What are the signs of hand problems?

Hand symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, or problems moving the affected hand. Symptoms can result from damage or injury to any of the structures in your hand, including bones, joints, tendons, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, connective tissue, skin, or fingernails. Your symptoms may be constant or they may vary, and they may improve or worsen with movement. You might describe your hand symptoms as pain that is sharp, dull, stabbing, burning or throbbing, and it may range in intensity from mild to severe. Sometimes, pain perceived in the hands is actually referred pain that originates from injury or disease elsewhere in the body.

Depending on the cause, hand symptoms may be present in both of your hands, one hand, or in the nail or fingertip. Arthritis is among the most common causes of hand symptoms, along with injuries and trauma. Deformities, either present at birth (congenital) or acquired later, can also cause hand symptoms. In other cases, hand symptoms may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. For example, bluish discoloration (cyanosis) and enlargement (clubbing) of the fingertips are characteristics seen in many chronic lung diseases in which the body does not receive adequate oxygen.

Diseases or conditions that affect your nerves and muscles, such as cerebral palsy, can be associated with symptoms that involve both your arm and hands. Disorders of the spine, such as infection, fracture, tumor, or disc disease, often produce symptoms in the arms and hands. Infections of the cuticle (paronychia), skin and underlying tissue (cellulitis), or bone (osteomyelitis) are further causes of hand symptoms.

The duration and course of hand symptoms vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury obviously occur suddenly. In other cases, hand symptoms resulting from wear-and-tear damage to your hand develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

The sudden onset of weakness or numbness in the arms or hands, especially if it occurs on only one side of your body, can be a sign of stroke. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have sudden weakness, paralysis or numbness in the hands; severe headache; change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness; garbled or slurred speech, or vision changes.

If your hand symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with hand symptoms?

Hand symptoms may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that affect the hand may also involve other systems of your body.

Traumatic symptoms that may occur along with hand symptoms

Hand symptoms may accompany other symptoms of trauma including:


What causes hand symptoms?

Disease or injury to any of the structures in your hand can result in hand symptoms. Symptoms may arise from neuromuscular conditions, inflammatory conditions, infections, or diseases that affect the blood flow to the hands.

In addition, hand symptoms can be caused by conditions that involve other areas of the body, such as the respiratory system, or the body as a whole. In certai... Read more about hand symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

What's Causing Your Symptoms?