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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9 Potential Sharp Hand Pain Causes

  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.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
  3. 3.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is generally a lifelong condition

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Uterine Fibroids

    Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors in the uterus. They are common in women of childbearing age.

    Treatment ranges from medication to surgical removal of the fibroid.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), painful periods, irregular period
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Sharp Hand Pain Checker

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  5. 5.Thumb Arthritis

    Arthritis of the thumb is common with aging and occurs when cartilage wears away from the ends of bones that form the thumb joint. This can cause severe pain, swelling and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult to do simple tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars.

    This condition is considered irreversible, but symptoms can be effectively managed with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    difficulty moving the thumb, thumb pain that affects sleep, thumb pain from overuse, pain in the thumb side of the hand, spontaneous thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Bruised Hand

    A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin, which causes the purple color of the bruise.

    1-2 weeks

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand injury, hand pain from an injury, pain in one hand, swelling of one hand, palm bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with bruised hand:
    hand injury, hand pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Raynaud Phenomenon

    Primary Raynaud phenomenon is a disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes, which causes the blood vessels to narrow when feeling cold or stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue.

    This condition is considered irreversible, but it should not prevent you from living a healthy life.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, spontaneous finger pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    Most cases of hypothyroidism require lifelong hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Normal Hand Pain

    Hand pain not caused by injury or surgery that is a variation of normal.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand pain
    Symptoms that always occur with normal hand pain:
    hand pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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% Wrist Pain
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 32% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain were most often matched with:

    • 52% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • 32% Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow
    • 6% Fibromyalgia
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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