The human hand is a miracle of evolution, giving us the ability to grip, grasp and form precise movements, e.g. writing, gripping a racquet during tennis. Hand function has great significance for occupational performance. The greater the difficulties with hand function, the greater the impairment in skills that allow for independence and participation in self care, work, social/leisure and sports activities.
The ability of a human hand to function seamlessly comes from the:
- Mobility and stability supplied by bones and joint ligaments of the thumb and fingers.
- Power of the thumb and finger muscles.
- Sensory feedback from the nerves of the hand.
Injuries to the bones, ligaments, muscles and/or nerves of the hand, thumb and fingers can affect movement and strength, impacting a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. These injuries can be traumatic in nature, such as falling on the hand, sustaining a knock or blow, jamming a finger, overextending the finger or bending it too far backward. However, pain in the thumb and fingers can also occur due to overuse of the hand or repetitive strain of the fingers.
Finger pain can happen to anyone — whether you’re very sedentary, very active or somewhere in between. But your risk may be increased by participating in contact sports, doing repetitive work and carrying heavy loads. Here are some common causes of finger pain that require prompt medical attention and care.