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Pain in Palm of Hands

Have you been finding it difficult to get a precision grip around objects as a result of pain in palm of hands? This problem can make life pretty unbearable – you are unable to lift objects with ease, unable to assist your family with the domestic chores, and even finding it difficult to take personal care of yourself. Well, you are not the only one who suffers from this challenge, a lot of people do. But the good news is that your condition is treatable. You can still lead a normal life after undergoing treatment.

This post shall attempt to define what pain in palm of hands is, the signs and symptoms, causes, treatment, and pain relief. It is imperative that you pay proper attention and grab as much information you can from this post, because they are really going to assist you in handling your condition.

What Exactly is Pain in Palm of Hands?

Like the name rightly suggests, pain in palm of hands are pains that are in the palm resulting from injury to the joints, bones, nerves, tendons, skin, muscles, connective tissues or blood vessels.

Pain in Palm of Hands may occur due to a variety of reasons

The individual may suffer from variable or constant symptoms, which either get worse or improve with movements. The course and duration of the pain are highly determined by the cause and its severity. If the pain is caused by injury or trauma, the symptoms are sudden but if it is due to wear-and-tear, the symptoms develop slowly but may get worse as time goes by.

Pain in palm of hands is hardly serious but if it is accompanied by other symptoms it could be a pointer to the fact that something more serious could be happening. It could be a sign of stroke if the pain is sudden in onset, accompanied with numbness and weakness of the hand or arms and if only one side of the body is involved.

Signs and Symptoms

Pain in palm of hands comes with few to several signs and symptoms. Some of the commonest ones include:

  • Mild to severe pain in the palm
  • Unilateral (involving a palm) or bilateral (involving both palms) pain
  • Aching, throbbing, piercing or burning pain
  • Bruises in the palm or wrist
  • Discoloration such as blue, pale or red hands
  • Difficulty performing fine movement of the hand such as writing
  • Signs of injury, e.g. laceration, burns, etc
  • Hand deformity
  • Difficulty in moving the hands
  • Reduced grip strength or inability to form a grip
  • Signs of inflammation like hotness, redness and swelling
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Signs of muscle wasting
  • Systemic diseases like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infection signs
  • Localized swellings or lupus
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Flu-like symptoms, like sore throat and fever

What Causes Pain in Palm of Hands

Pain in palm of hands is caused by different factors, some of which we shall consider below:

Pain in palm of hands because of keyboard overuse

Trauma and strain

Some of the points to consider here include:

  • Injury: Injuries that affect the structures of the hand like the muscle, tendon, bone, ligament, skin, blood vessels or nerve can lead to pain in the palm.
  • Tendinitis: This is the inflammation of the tendon or the tendon sheath, which is accompanied by swelling and pain.
  • Overuse: Using the hand too frequently or repetitive movement of the hands like wringing repeatedly at the wrist, sewing, regular typing on a computer keyboard, or playing of basketball can result in medical conditions like tendinosis, writer’s cramp, or carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Surgery: During surgery, there could be unintentional damage to the structures of the hand which may result in pain post-operatively.

Problems of the joint

Pain in palm of the hands does not only come from injury which directly affects the palms, it could also come from the joints. Some of the problems of the joints that can cause such pains include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an inflammatory disease which causes systemic changes to various organs of the body, including the joints and palms.
  • Osteoarthritis: It is a degenerative disease of the joint capsule and the underlying bones. The disease may gradually affect the palms as well.
  • Septic arthritis: This is a form of arthritis caused by bacteria or other infective organisms. They are capable of leading to pain in palm of hands.


Another thing that is capable of causing such pain is infection. This could be:

  • Paronychia: Usually results from infection around the fingernail. It is characterized by severe pain, warmness of the affected finger, swelling, burning sensation, and the pain can even spread into the palm.
  • Cellulitis: This is a bacterial infection that usually starts as a small area of pain in the skin and then spreads gradually to the surrounding tissues including the palm. It is characterized by redness, pain and swelling.
  • Felon: Felons are caused by bacteria or by the herpes virus known as herpetic whitlow. It is an abscess that is formed on the palm surface of the finger, and it causes severe pains in the palm.

Nerve problems

Problems of the nerve can also be a cause of pain in palm of hands.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: When there is compression of the median nerve at the wrist, there could be severe pain in the palm. Conditions that easily give rise to carpal tunnel syndrome include obesity, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and hypothyroidism.
  • Cervical Spondylosis: This is arthritis of the neck otherwise known as cervical osteoarthritis, which causes pain along the arm, palm and fingers.

Other causes

These include the following:

  • Myocardial infarction: In heart attack, there could be pain in palm of hands. This may start as arm pain that eventually spreads to the palm.
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: This is a condition that occurs when the fascia or the tissue under the skin of the palm becomes abnormally thickened thereby resulting in pains.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon: Emotional stress or extreme cold can trigger the constriction of blood vessels of the toes and fingers, characterized by numbness, tingling, pallor and pain in the palm.


Various treatments are available and they include:

  • Hand splint: Applying splints to the hand would help to minimize unnecessary movement and provide rest for the affected palm thereby putting the pain under control. This is particularly helpful if the pain is worsened by movements.
  • Heat and cold: If the pain is due to stiffness, using heat or hot shower would take care of it. But if it is as a result of other activities like sports, applying cold in the form of flexible gel from the freezer would usually be of great help.
  • Exercises and stretches: An occupational therapist or a physical therapist can help you out by engaging you in exercises and stretches that help to strengthen the muscles.
  • Surgery: Surgery can also be used in solving the problem depending on the actual cause of the pain.

Pain Relief

Some drugs would usually provide relief that can last for several weeks or months.

  • Injections: Injecting corticosteroid into the joint can lessen inflammation and provide relief that can sustain you for up to a year. Unfortunately, the relief may not be as effective when subsequent injections are administered on some people.
  • NSAIDs: Pain-producing enzymes can be blocked with the administration of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). This reduces the swelling and pain associated with the problem. Application of topical NSAIDs like Voltaren (Diclofenac) can also bring great relief.


Pain in palm of hands is manageable. If you follow the tips we have highlighted in this post, it’s likely your pain would go away without having to see a doctor. However, if the pain persists after trying our tips, you need to see the doctor for better management.

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