Read below about sharp hand pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your sharp hand pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Sharp Hand Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced sharp hand pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Recovery time varies depending on treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, weakness in one hand, pain in both hands
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Hand

    Repetitive strain injury of the hand is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, hand weakness, hand pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the hand:
    hand pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the hand:
    hand injury, severe hand pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow

    Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow is the compression of the ulnar nerve, causing numbness and/or weakness in the hands.

    Mild symptoms resolve on their own, severe disease resolves with surgery

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand, pain in one elbow, pain in one forearm
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  4. 4.Hand Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the hand is a bacterial or fungal infection of the hand bones, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, spontaneous hand pain, constant hand pain, warm and red hand swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with hand bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous hand pain, constant hand pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, you will feel pain upon turning your wrist, grasping anything, or making a fist.

    4-6 weeks with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, thumb pain, hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand
    Symptoms that always occur with de quervain's tenosynovitis:
    thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Broken Hand

    A fracture (break) in one or more of the hand bones. Some hand fractures require wearing a splint or a cast. Some need to be repaired with surgery.

    1-2 months with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand injury, hand pain from an injury
    Symptoms that always occur with broken hand:
    hand pain from an injury, hand injury
    Symptoms that never occur with broken hand:
    spontaneous hand pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sharp Hand Pain

  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Have someone feel for your pulse (at the wrist) on the side of your body that hurts. Now, turn your head to that side. Does the pulse go away? (This is known as the Adson's test.)
  • Q.Turn your head toward the side of your body that is hurting. Lift your head up as someone else pushes down on your head. Does this cause greater pain in your upper body? (This is known as Spurling's test.)
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our sharp hand pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Sharp Hand Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain have also experienced:

    • 6% Hand Tingling
    • 4% Hand Pain
    • 3% Hand Numbness
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 32% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Day
    • 24% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain were most often matched with:

    • 42% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • 42% Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow
    • 14% Repetitive Strain Injury of the Hand
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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