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Everyone has had a minor problem with a finger, hand, or wrist. Most of the
time our body movements do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that
symptoms occur from everyday wear and tear or from overuse. Finger, hand, or wrist
problems can also be caused by injuries or the natural process of aging.
Your fingers, hands, or wrists may burn, sting, or hurt, or feel tired, sore,
stiff, numb, tingly, hot, or cold. Maybe you can't move them as well as usual,
or they are swollen. Perhaps your hands have turned a different color, such as
red, pale, or blue. A lump or bump might have appeared on your wrist, palm, or
fingers. Home treatment is often all that is needed to relieve your
Finger, hand, or wrist problems may be caused by an
injury. If you think an injury caused your problem, see the topic
Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries. But there are many
other causes of finger, hand, or wrist problems.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when
you should see a doctor.
When an area turns blue, very pale, or cold, it can mean that there has been a sudden change in the blood
supply to the area. This can be serious.
There are other reasons
for color and temperature changes. Bruises often look blue. A limb may turn
blue or pale if you leave it in one position for too long, but its normal color
returns after you move it. What you are looking for is a change in how the area
looks (it turns blue or pale) and feels (it becomes cold to the touch), and
this change does not go away.
Symptoms of infection may
Pain in adults and older children
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and
illness. Some examples in adults are:
Pain in children 3 years and older
Pain in children under 3 years
It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.
Based on your answers, you need
or other emergency services now.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The
problem probably will not get better without medical care.
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:
Home treatment may be all that is
needed for a finger, hand, or wrist problem.
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
The following tips may prevent finger,
hand, and wrist problems.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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