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Severe Pain When Stretching Fingers

by
author image Laura Parr
Laura Parr began her professional writing career in 2008 contributing to websites such as Travelbox, 1stop and Traveldojo. She now writes health and fitness-related articles. Parr earned a diploma of adult nursing from the University of Brighton, followed by a postgraduate certificate in public health from the University of Manchester.
Severe Pain When Stretching Fingers
Pain when stretching your fingers could be caused by a number of conditions. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

If you have been moving your fingers repetitively, it is normal to feel some pain when you stretch your hands, but if the pain is severe and happens frequently, consult a health care professional. There are a number of conditions that can cause such pain, and each condition has its own treatments and therapies, if not cures.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve, which runs from your forearm into your hand, is at risk of getting compressed when you engage in repetitive hand movements such as typing, sewing and various sports. This common complaint is known as carpal tunnel syndrome, and it leads to burning, itching, numbness and pain in your hand and wrist, sometimes worsening when you stretch your fingers. Your doctor may take an ultrasound of the median nerve to determine whether or not you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the fingers is on the rise, thanks to the fact that more people these days spend hours typing, texting and playing computer games. Osteoarthritis causes painful, bony deformities to appear on your finger joints, and although there is no cure, there are a number of medicines and therapies available to lessen the symptoms. When you see a doctor about suspected arthritis, take a list of medications you are taking, and detailed information about your symptoms and family history.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

If you experience pain in your fingers when very cold or when feeling emotional, you may be suffering from Raynaud 's phenomenon, in which blood vessel spasms block blood flow to your fingers. You will need a cold stimulation test and a vascular ultrasound for diagnosis. Smoking and caffeine consumption constrict your blood vessels, so these are best avoided if you have Raynaud's phenomenon. Always wear gloves or use a towel when handling frozen things, but seek medical advice, because the condition can lead to complications such as gangrene, ulceration and slow-growing nails, according to MedlinePlus.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is also caused by repeatedly moving your hands in the same ways. It causes pain, numbness and tingling in your hands or affected areas. The RSI website, RSIpain.com, suggests that by keeping moving and not sitting in the same posture for hours, you can help combat RSI. Take regular breaks, and shake out your hands every five minutes. Keep your elbows as close to your waist as much as possible, so you don't reach far to touch the keyboard. Rest your hands in your lap when not typing or using the mouse.

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