About Finger Pain: Causes and Treatment

Finger pain is pain in one or more fingers. Injuries and many medical conditions can cause finger pain.

Finger pain is a throbbing, cramplike, or achy pain that’s felt in any of your fingers, including your thumb. It often results from an accident or a medical condition.

In most cases, finger pain isn’t serious and will go away on its own. However, unexplained finger pain can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

Be sure to visit your doctor if you experience ongoing or unexplained pain in your fingers.

Considerations of finger pain

Nearly everyone has had finger pain at some time. You may have:
  1. Tingling
  2. Coldness
  3. Swelling
  4. Change in skin color
  5. Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Burning
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
Many conditions, such as arthritis, can cause finger pain. Numbness or tingling in the fingers may be a sign of a problem with nerves or blood flow. Redness and swelling can be a sign of infection or inflammation.

Other Causes of Finger Pain

  • Bacterial Infection
  • Bone Tumors
  • Dermatitis
  • Injury
  • Joint Dislocation
  • Nerve Damage From Toxins
  • Soft-Tissue Tumors (Sarcomas)
  • falling on the hand
  • knocks and blows
  • jamming a finger
  • overextending the fingers or bending them too far backward

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Treatment of finger pain

A person can usually treat a minor finger injury using RICE therapy:


Avoid using the finger as much as possible until it has had time to heal. It may also help to immobilize the finger using a splint or by buddy taping it to a neighboring finger.


Wrap the injured finger snuggly, but not too tight to cause constriction of the blood vessels, in a soft dressing or bandage.


Apply an ice pack to the injured finger for up to 20 minutes several times per day. Ice packs can help reduce pain and swelling.


Keeping the finger elevated above the level of the heart can help reduce swelling.

Finger pain caused by cuts, scrapes, or burns will often heal without treatment. You simply need to give the area time to heal.

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen, may also help reduce pain and swelling.

People who suspect a fracture or dislocation should avoid moving the finger and seek prompt medical attention.

A trained healthcare professional will reset the bone and immobilize the finger to allow it to heal properly, which reduces the risk of further complications.

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