Middle finger joint pain is not always a simple thing as it can be a developing medical condition. Do you feel some hurt when you move your finger? Does the pain increase when you exert pressure on the finger?
In ordinary cases, middle finger joint pain when bending goes away after some days, but seek medical help if it persists. The resolution depends on the cause of the pain, so you must first identify the problem’s source.
Inflammation of the joints and trauma causes pain in the middle finger: psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid cause middle finger joint pain around the knuckle and swelling.
Symptoms of Middle Finger Joint Pain
One of the most pronounced symptoms is swelling. The middle finger swells because of an accumulation of fluid in the body tissue. It is easy to notice if the finger is unwell because it will appear bigger than the others. However, sometimes the finger seems normal, without any swelling. In such instances, look out for the following symptoms;
- Visible deformity
- Pus on the finger
- Stiffness of the finger
- Skin pitting
- Wrist pain
- The affected area looks red
- Limited mobility
- Shiny or stretched skin
- Decreased grip strength
- Fingernail problems like bruising
Symptoms for severe finger pain symptoms that require immediate medical assistance include:
- Total or partial amputation of the middle finger
- High fever
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Unbearable pain
- Immobile wrist or middle finger
- Visible deformity
- The finger feels numb
- Strain or sprain – Finger strains occur when the finger tendons or muscles stretch. A sprain is when the ligaments stretch or tear. Strains and sprains are common among athletes. The injury also happens when you fall and hurt your finger. The symptoms include instability of the joint, pain, slight immobility of the middle finger, swelling, and decoloration of the finger (if the injury is severe)
- Fractures – Each finger has three phalanges except the thumb. If any phalanges break, you experience numbness, limited mobility, bruising, swelling, and pain
- Heavy metal poisoning such as lead poisoning
- An infection around your nail (paronychia)
- Finger dislocation – The finger experiences sharp shooting pain. In the case of a dislocation, the finger bones move from their original position. The dislocation is sometimes visible on the skin of the finger. The finger feels number and appears pale
- Blunt force injury such as dog bite
- Metastases – It is common among cancer patients. The condition presents symptoms such as weakness in limbs and bone pain
- Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis affects the mobility and functionality of various body parts. The condition is autoimmune so, it can only be treated if it is diagnosed early. Some of the symptoms for pain in the middle finger joint include finger joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Bursitis – When the bursa sac is inflamed
- Neck injury (nerve-related injury)
- Underactive thyroid
- Boils – A boil is a bacterial infection that occurs around hair follicles. The infected follicle swells then pus develops in the area. If the infection is on the middle finger, it will swell, and there will be inflammation.
- Crush injury
- Raynaud’s disease
- Nerve compression or entrapment
- Ganglion cyst – A swelling or growth on top of a tendon or joint
- Deficiency in Vitamin B12
How to Diagnose Middle Finger Joint Pain
As discussed, the cause of pain in the middle finger determines the treatment. When you visit a doctor, they will examine the finger for any physical pain. If there is no visible symptom, they will recommend additional tests and ask further questions.
Provide precise answers to the questions that your doctor will ask you for an accurate diagnosis.
Questions to expect from your doctor:
- Show me where you feel the most pain on your finger
- Did you injure your finger?
- Which other symptoms are you experiencing besides swelling?
- Is the pain dull, sharp, burning, or tingling?
- Have you had recent exposure to frostbite or cold?
- Does this happen often? If yes, what medications do you take?
- Did you get a pedicure or manicure in the recent past?
- Does any other body part feel cold?
Doctors rely on X-ray and blood tests to diagnose middle finger Joint pain. If your doctor is not content with the X-ray results, he will request a nerve study(looks out for nerve dysfunction or damage) or additional imaging tests.
How to Treat Pain in the Middle Finger Pain
Home remedies are suitable for simple cases, but for severe pain or if the finger does not improve, you need to see a doctor. Here are the two main solutions for pain in the middle finger:
- Rheumatologic medications – The doctor may select one of the medicines for rheumatologic conditions to treat your finger.
- Antibiotics – If the cause of pain in the middle finger is due to bacterial infection, your doctor will recommend antibiotics.
Not all middle finger Joint pain is severe; home remedies work well for a minor problem. However, if you experience extreme pain, see a doctor.
For home remedies, consider the following tips;
- Provide support to your middle finger by tapping it with a healthy one
- Remove any rings on the middle finger
- Ice cubes relieve pain so, put ice in a glass and dip your finger therein after every 15 minutes
- Massage the middle finger with ointment or counter irritant cream containing capsaicin or menthol
- Take pain killers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Raise your finger and keep it still to prevent further swelling as a result of the accumulation of fluid
- Give your finger a break, do not engage the finger in strenuous activities
The source of pain in the middle finger determines if it is severe. However, if the finger does not respond well after home remedy treatment, see a doctor. Follow the treatment plan from your doctor to avoid complications due to pain in the middle finger. Some common complications include:
- Finger amputation
- Spread of infection to other areas
- Chronic disability
- Deformity of the finger
- Inability to perform daily tasks with your finger
Timely treatment can help alleviate complications. When the doctor examines your finger, provide the correct information, and take the medication as directed.
Severe pain in the middle finger is incapacitating, and it limits your ability to perform simple everyday tasks. If the pain is not attended to in good time, it can lead to severe complications. Seek care from a professional physiotherapist as soon as you realize that your finger has a problem.