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Learn about your 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.

Sharp Hand Pain Checker

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Top 9 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.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    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.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Diagnosis is made by looking at your symptoms and confirmed with a test of the nerves. Treatment depends on severity. If no weakness, splinting and physical therapy. If weakness, surgery to decompress the nerve.

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

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

    Fibromyalgia is treated symptomatically. Medication, therapy, and stress reduction may reduce symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, trouble sleeping, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    hidden: arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Brachial Plexopathy

    The brachial plexus is a complex nerve network located in the upper chest deep to the collar bone, which supplies the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus is usually due to mechanical injury or trauma, and can interfere with normal nerve function causing numbness, pain, and/or weakness.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss these symptoms. It is likely the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, and in many cases refer you to a specialist, physical therapist, or both. A professional evaluation is very important, as surgical treatment might be required for a brachial plexus nerve injury.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one arm, shoulder pain that shoots to the arm, arm weakness, numbness in one arm, shoulder pain
    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.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    thumb pain from overuse, difficulty moving the thumb, pain in the thumb side of the hand, spontaneous thumb pain, thumb pain that affects sleep
    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.

    You do not need treatment. It looks like a simple, uncomplicated bruise, which should heal on it's own in the next few days.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one hand, hand pain from an injury, hand injury, 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.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with conservative measures, such as avoiding cold and use of protective measures and/or quitting smoking. If this is ineffective or you have other symptoms in addition to this, contact your primary care physician when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, cold toe, cold fingers, spontaneous toe pain, turning blue or purple from coldness
    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.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with 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.

    Your hand pain is normal and unlikely to be caused by a serious illness. Your elbow pain is normal and unlikely to be caused by a serious illness. You can try over the counter pain medication like Tylenol. If the pain becomes severe, see a physician.

    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.How long has your hand pain been going on?
  • Q.Is your hand pain constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Is the hand pain affecting:

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

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Sharp Hand Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

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

    • 5% Fatigue
    • 3% Wrist Pain
    • 3% Joint Pain
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 40% Over a Month
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 17% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced sharp hand pain were most often matched with:

    • 37% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • 18% Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow
    • 8% Fibromyalgia

Sharp Hand Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having sharp hand pain.

Take a quiz