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5 Potential Causes of Stiff Hands

Hands are used to do almost every task. Hands that are stiff can hinder us from doing routine tasks like opening jars and picking up children cooking or painting, writing, and many more. For some, stiffness can become chronic and debilitating, and for others, it is only intense discomfort. If your hands feel stiff, consider these possible reasons:

Many issues can result in stiff hands that limit the function and use that we usually think of as normal. It can happen due to problems in and around the joints’ structures which includes muscles and ligaments. The causes of this may include:

1.   Arthritis

2.   Trigger Finger

3.   Carpal tunnel syndrome

4.   Ganglion cyst

5.   Complication in Tendon 

Arthritis: It is obvious that stiffness in your finger or hand isn’t necessarily due to arthritis, but it is a major cause of finger stiffness. Arthritis is the loss or destruction of the cartilage covering the end of the bones and allows for a smooth movement of the joints. It is caused by a variety of causes, including genetic wear and tear and even injuries, like fractures. In general, however, arthritis is associated with joint pain and swelling. Bone spurs may develop and expand joints, which can cause sagging fingers.

The treatment for arthritis is based on the site. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) like ibuprofen aspirin and naproxen can be beneficial in the beginning stages. As arthritis progresses, they are less effective.

Trigger Finger: Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis is a typical condition that can result in stiff fingers. On a normal finger, there’s a tunnel composed of a series of pulleys in the fingers, and the tendon slides through. If there is swelling due to any of a myriad of causes it is possible for the tendon to get caught at the entrance of the tunnel. This is like threads that can generally be drawn back and forth by the needle’s eye; however, if there are knots in this thread, the needle can get trapped in its eye by the needle. Similar to the trigger finger the moment this swelling or knot is sufficiently large it can cause the tendon to become trapped within the tunnel. There are also other, less well-known ailments that could be confused with a trigger finger that is locked, and it is important to keep these in mind when evaluating an assessment.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve gets compressed as it moves across the tunnel within the wrist, which is restricted space. Since the median nerve supplies motor and sensory tasks to your thumb, as well as three middle fingers, a variety of symptoms, can result. However, every individual will suffer from symptoms in a different way. Some symptoms include:

  • it is difficult to grip objects using the hand(s)
  • Numbness or pain in the hand(s)
  • “Pins and needles” feeling in the fingers
  • Fingers that feel swollen

Tingling or burning sensations in fingers, particularly the thumb, middle, and index fingers.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be similar to other ailments like bursitis, tendonitis, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Always consult your doctor to determine the cause.

Ganglion cysts: Fluid-filled cysts that are soft and soft may develop in the front or back of the hand without obvious reason. They are known as Ganglion cysts, which are the most frequent benign (noncancerous) soft-tissue hand tumors and wrist.

These are the most commonly reported symptoms of cysts in the ganglion. But, every person may have different symptoms. The symptoms could include:

  • The pain in the wrist is worsened by repetitive use or irritation
  • Localized swelling that is slow-growing that is accompanied by mild aching and a weakening of the wrist

A visible cyst that appears smooth or rounded. It may be firm, hard, or soft

The signs of ganglion cysts can be similar to different medical issues or issues. Take the doctor’s suggestion for a proper diagnosis.

In the beginning, when the cyst is tiny and painless the treatment is typically not required. When the cyst starts to expand and interferes with the hand’s functionality, treatment is often required. Treatment options could consist of:

  • Rest
  • Splinting
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Aspiration

Complications in Tendon

Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the lining of tendon sheaths that surround the tendon. It is the tendon’s sheath that’s generally the area that is inflamed, however, both the sheath as well as the tendon may be affected at the same time. Tenosynovitis’ cause is usually not known, however, typically, strain, overuse, injuries, or exercise too vigorously can be the culprits. Tendonitis could also be connected to diseases (such as diabetes or Rheumatoid arthritis).

Treatment for tendon issues in the majority of cases can consist of:

  • Modification of activity
  • Ice
  • Immobilization or splinting
  • Steroid injections
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Surgery

In the rehabilitation period, to regain your hand functionality you can practice hand therapy with a handgrip trainer, but make sure to consult with your orthopedic surgeon


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