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Hand Pain Causes and Relief Options
CBD Topical
Chronic Pain


Hand Pain Causes and Relief Options

Experiencing hand discomfort can be incredibly challenging, impacting even the most basic activities. But, as we discuss the underlying causes and potential relief options, we arm ourselves with valuable insights to tackle this discomfort head-on.

We will provide an informative hand discomfort guide covering various topics, from common causes to potential treatment options. Our goal is to help empower you to reclaim comfort and functionality in your day-to-day life. Join us as we discuss hand discomfort, equipped with knowledge and determination to find relief.

What Is the Anatomy of the Hand?

Understanding the anatomy of the hand is important for identifying the source of discomfort and determining the appropriate course of action for relief. The hand is a particularly complex part of the body, an intricate design comprised of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles working seamlessly together.

At the center of this structure are the metacarpal bones, forming the palm of the hand, while the phalanges make up the fingers. Joints like the knuckles enable flexibility and movement, allowing us to grasp, manipulate, and interact with our environment. Ligaments provide stability, connecting bones to each other, while tendons connect muscles to bones, facilitating movement and strength.

Muscles in the hand and forearm work in harmony, controlled by nerves that transmit signals from the brain, allowing for precise coordination and dexterity. Understanding this network of tissues and structures can help pinpoint the root cause of hand discomfort, whether it stems from overuse, injury, arthritis, or other underlying conditions.

What Are Common Causes of Hand Discomfort?

Before we get into specific causes of hand discomfort, it's important to note that the causes can be diverse. What may cause hand pain in one person might not in another, emphasizing the need for personalized healthcare and treatment plans.


One common cause of hand discomfort is overuse. Our hands are involved in many everyday tasks, from typing on a keyboard to cooking dinner. This constant use can put a strain on our hands, leading to discomfort over time.

Overuse can affect various parts of the hand, including the ligaments, soft tissue, and joints. It can lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, both of which can cause significant hand pain. Recognizing the impact of overuse is the first step towards managing its effects and seeking appropriate treatment.

Tendon Issues

Tendon issues are another common cause of hand discomfort. Our tendons, which are the tough bands of tissue that connect our muscles to our bones, can become inflamed or irritated from overuse or injury. This can lead to conditions like trigger finger, where the tendons in the finger become inflamed, causing the finger to lock or catch in a bent position.

Another condition, De Quervain's disease, involves the inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. These tendon-related issues can cause significant discomfort and affect our ability to use our hands effectively.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that arises when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm, becomes compressed at the wrist. This compression can cause a range of symptoms, from mild occasional numbness in the hand to persistent pain. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome often experience discomfort at night and may find their hand strength diminishing, making it difficult to grasp small objects or perform other manual tasks.

Other Medical Conditions

There are other medical conditions that can result in hand discomfort. Osteoarthritis of the hand can cause joint pain at the base of the thumb or in other finger joints. Similarly, rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, can affect the lining of the joints, leading to painful swelling and potential joint deformity in the hands.

All these conditions involve different parts of the hand, including ligaments, connective tissue, the median nerve, and finger joints. Understanding these components' roles can help identify the sources of hand pain and seek appropriate treatment.

How Can Hand Discomfort Impact Your Quality of Life?

If you’re feeling frustrated by ongoing hand discomfort, you aren't alone. Hand pain can significantly impact one's quality of life. Our hands are instrumental in performing all sorts of everyday tasks, from opening a jar or typing out an email to lifting weights or playing board games with friends and family.

When discomfort strikes, these tasks can become challenging, if not impossible. The pain can extend beyond the physical, affecting mental well-being as chronic pain can lead to feelings of frustration and stress.

The importance of seeking medical advice for persistent hand pain cannot be overstated. A healthcare provider can diagnose the underlying cause, whether it's overuse, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a more complex medical condition. From there, they can suggest a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.

How Is Hand Discomfort Diagnosed?

If you're experiencing ongoing or severe hand discomfort, it's important to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can help identify the root cause of the discomfort and guide you toward the appropriate treatment. Diagnosis often starts with a detailed discussion about your symptoms, daily activities, and medical history.

A physical examination follows, where the healthcare provider checks your hand's strength, flexibility, and range of motion. They may also look for signs of inflammation, swelling, or deformities in the finger joints or at the base of the thumb.

Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, can provide a clearer picture of what's causing the discomfort. For instance, an X-ray can reveal signs of arthritis or tendon issues. In some cases, nerve conduction studies might be ordered to diagnose conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Once the specific causes of hand pain are understood, your doctor can help you create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This treatment plan can be instrumental in managing chronic pain.

It may involve a range of options, from over-the-counter pain relief, physical therapy, and hand exercises to steroid injections and potential surgical interventions. The goal is to alleviate discomfort, improve the range of motion, and ultimately enhance quality of life.

What Are Ways To Help Ease Hand Discomfort?

There are several ways to help ease hand discomfort, and it's important to remember that what works for one person might not work for another. It's about finding what works best for you.

Give Your Hands a Break

Monitoring the frequency and duration of hand-intensive tasks, such as typing on your phone, playing video games, or working on the computer, is essential for reducing discomfort and minimizing the risk of conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive motions can strain the muscles, tendons, and nerves in the hands and wrists, leading to discomfort and potential injury over time.

Incorporating regular breaks to rest and shake out your hands can help alleviate tension and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Taking short breaks every hour to stretch, shake out your hands, and give them a brief rest can provide much-needed relief and prevent cumulative strain. Remember, listening to your body and giving your hands the necessary breaks is essential for maintaining their health and functionality in the long run.

Consider Your Workspace

If you work a desk job or spend lots of time at your computer, practice good ergonomics, such as maintaining proper posture and using tools like an ergonomic mouse and keyboard that supports wrist alignment.

These small adjustments can help reduce the strain on your hands and wrists during prolonged periods of use. By prioritizing hand care, you can minimize discomfort and ensure your hands remain strong and healthy for years to come.


Stretching and hand exercises can be effective in relieving hand discomfort. Simple exercises can increase your hand's flexibility and strength, helping to reduce discomfort. For activities involving the hands, like weight lifting or climbing, warming up beforehand and ensuring correct form can help prevent overuse and injury.

Use Medication as Needed

Over-the-counter options like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen can provide relief from minor hand discomfort. Topical creams can also be applied directly to the area of discomfort for targeted relief.

Prescription options, such as corticosteroids and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may be recommended for more severe or persistent discomfort. NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, work by reducing the body's production of substances that cause inflammation. While effective, it's important to be aware of potential side effects and to use these medications as directed by a healthcare provider.

Consider Therapy Options

Both physical and occupational therapy can be essential in managing hand discomfort. A physical therapist can guide you through specific exercises to improve flexibility and strength in your hand. On the other hand, an occupational therapist can help you modify activities or your environment to reduce strain on your hand. Both therapies aim to improve your hand's function, reduce discomfort, and improve your quality of life.

Use a Splint

Splints can play a substantial role in providing relief from hand discomfort. They work by immobilizing the affected joint, reducing strain and allowing it to rest. This can be particularly beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendon issues where rest can significantly aid recovery.

Splints can also help maintain proper alignment of the joints, promoting healing and reducing discomfort. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional for the appropriate type and usage of splints.

Consider Surgery

In some cases, orthopedic surgery or joint replacement may be necessary to address underlying issues causing hand discomfort. However, surgery is usually considered a last resort when other relief options are ineffective.

Self-Care Measures for Managing Hand Pain

Self-care measures can be effective in managing hand discomfort. This could be as simple as taking frequent breaks during activities that involve the hands to prevent overuse. Heat or cold therapy can also help. Applying a warm compress can help soothe stiff joints, while a cold pack can help reduce swelling and numb the area, providing relief.

Also, don’t underestimate the importance of tending to your mental and emotional well-being! This is imperative when dealing with chronic discomfort. Chronic hand pain can lead to frustration and stress, impacting your day-to-day life.

Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, seeking support from loved ones, and engaging in low-impact activities that bring you joy can all contribute to your overall well-being and help you better manage hand discomfort.

Can CBD Ease Feelings of Discomfort in Your Hands?

If your healthcare provider has ruled out serious causes of discomfort, like injury and illness, CBD may be able to help ease feelings of discomfort stemming from everyday causes.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in cannabis and hemp that can help support homeostasis throughout the body. As a plant-based cannabinoid, CBD can work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex messaging system that plays a role in maintaining balance in our bodies.

The ECS consists of CB receptors scattered throughout the brain and body, including muscles and joints. When CBD interacts with these receptors, it can help the ECS respond to imbalances and potentially ease feelings of discomfort.

Topicals, such as CBD balms, can provide fast, localized support. When massaged into the area of discomfort, like the hands, they can help soothe the area and make daily tasks more manageable.

While topicals can provide targeted, localized support, CBD gummies for muscle relaxation and cannabidiol drops can help ease feelings of stress associated with discomfort, creating a feeling of overall wellness.

At Muscle MX, we believe in harnessing the power of nature to support your overall wellness. That's why we only use clean natural ingredients and ensure all our products are third-party lab tested.

The Bottom Line

Hand discomfort can be a significant hurdle, but understanding its causes and exploring various relief options can make a world of difference. From overuse to medical conditions like hand arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, many factors can contribute to hand discomfort.

There are numerous ways to ease discomfort, ranging from stretching and CBD to using splints and practicing self-care measures. It's about finding what works best for you — sometimes, the small changes make the biggest difference.

Looking for a hand in easing feelings of discomfort? Our collection of all-natural CBD products at Muscle MX is here to offer support.


Anatomy of the Hand & Wrist: Bones, Muscles & Ligaments | Cleveland Clinic

Exercises for the fingers, hands and wrists | Versus Arthritis

Ergonomic Tips for Computer Users | Environmental Health and Safety | University of Pittsburgh

Treating Pain with Heat and Cold | Healthline

Enhancing Endocannabinoid Control of Stress with Cannabidiol | PMC

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