Why does my knuckle hurt?

Answer

Knuckles hurt for a variety of reasons ranging from trauma to a number of conditions that affect the structures of the knuckles, as well as skin, nerve, muscle, joint, tendon, bone, ligament, blood vessel and connective tissue issues, according to Better Medicine. Trauma and arthritis-related conditions are the most common causes. Arthritis-related conditions include osteoarthritis, or inflammation of the joints, and the autoimmune disease known as rheumatoid arthritis.

According to Better Medicine, diseases that cause knuckle pain can be acute (starting suddenly) or chronic (starting gradually). Many of these diseases are whole-body diseases where knuckle pain is not the only symptom. These include vascular disease, arthritis and diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy is a cause of knuckle pain due to nerve damage that results from high blood sugar.

WebMD cites symptoms of osteoarthritis as deep, aching pain, difficulty with dressing or combing hair, swelling of the joints, loss of motion and morning stiffness. All of these symptoms apply to knuckle pain, as the knuckles can grow stiff and lose range of motion. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are involved in a symmetrical pattern. In the case of knuckles inflamed by the disease, this results in the knuckles of both hands becoming inflamed at once.

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