Symptoms A-Z

Sharp Hand Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your sharp hand pain symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 6 Possible Sharp Hand Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

6 Possible Sharp Hand Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced sharp hand pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition of numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by compression of the mediannerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Causes include overuse of the wrist and hand, especially highly repetitive activities such as typing or working on an assembly line. Injuries can damage the carpal tunnel, as can arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.

Symptoms include(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/weakness-in-both-hands/) when trying to hold an object. Carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time and may lead to permanent damage if not addressed.

Treatment options include supportive devices, stretching exercises, medications, and surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, weakness in one hand, pain in both hands

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Repetitive strain injury of the hand

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

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

Ulnar nerve entrapment of elbow

Ulnar nerve entrapment of elbow is also called cubital tunnel syndrome. The ulnar nerve begins at the spinal cord in the neck and runs down the arm into the hand. This very long nerve can become compressed, or entrapped, by other structures at certain points along the way. Entrapment often happens in the cubital tunnel, which is the narrow passage at the inside of the elbow.

The exact cause for entrapment may not be known. Fluid buildup and swelling inside the elbow; previous elbow fracture or dislocation; or leaning on the elbow for long periods of time can put pressure on the ulnar nerve inside the cubital tunnel.

Symptoms include numbness and tingling of the hand and fingers, sometimes leading to weakness and even muscle wasting in the hand.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, x-ray, and nerve conduction studies.

Treatment begins with wearing a supportive brace and adjusting activities to avoid further irritating the nerve. Surgery is usually not needed unless the nerve compression is causing weakness and loss of use in the hand.

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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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • What is your body mass?
  • 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.)
  • 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.)
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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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 were most often matched with:

  • 42% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • 42% Ulnar Nerve Entrapment Of Elbow
  • 14% Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Hand

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

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Sharp Hand Pain Symptom Checker

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