How to Tell if Your Finger Pain is Serious

Finger pain can be a troublesome and annoying problem, especially because we use our fingers in everyday life. Problems with the fingers can result from a variety of conditions or accidents, but while many of these conditions are merely a painful inconvenience for most, others can lead to serious or long term finger problems. These may lead to loss of movement, distortion, and in some cases loss of the digit. So how can you tell if your finger pain is a serious or possibly long term condition and when should you visit with a doctor?

Finger Injuries

The first step to assessing your painful finger problem is to determine the cause of the problem. The most obvious cause of painful fingers is due to injury. While many injuries can be healed with time and immobilization techniques, other injuries may have nasty long term effects. It is necessary to evaluate the level of your pain due to injury. While injuring fingers can be painful, this pain should lessen as treatment progresses. It is probably a good idea to seek medical attention for an injured finger if the pain is extremely severe, it hurts during rests, it continues to hurt after two weeks of treatment, the finger has a tingling or numb sensation, if the finger is bent or damaged, if you are unable to fully straighten the finger, and with any form of crushing injuries.

Once a doctor has examined the injured finger, they will most likely ask about the history of the injury. In some cases, such as a sports injury, it is easy to determine how the injury occurred and how it has affected the fingers. Other injuries, such as overuse or strains may not be as easily recognized. The doctor will also want to know about the type of pain you are feeling. Report any burning, tingling and throbbing sensations, as well as where in the finger the pain occurs. Tell your doctor is the pain radiates or moves as well.

Non-Injury Causes of Finger Pain

Injuries are not the only cause of finger pain. Infections, conditions and diseases can also cause pain to develop. These types of pain are often harder to self-diagnose. So let’s say that you have been having some pain in one of your fingers for a few days now, but you have not experienced any form of injury. How do you know when the pain represents a serious problem that requires a trip to the doctor? First, anytime you suspect something may be wrong you can visit your doctor. Any doctor will tell you it is better to be safe than sorry. For those who want more evidence of a serious problem before visiting their doctor should be aware of these facts.

Numbness may be a sign of nerve or blood flow problems. These problems can cause problems with movement and loss of function if they are not properly treated. A common cause of finger pain is arthritis, or inflammation and wearing away of the joints. Arthritis may be severe or mild. Again, severe pain, loss of movement and numbness are all signs that point towards visiting a doctor. Arthritis can be treated, but lack of treatment can lead to total immobility.

Another possible cause of pain in the fingers is a condition known as Reynaud’s phenomenon. This condition can occur from a variety of causes, but leads to blood vessel spasms in the fingers. This can block the blood flow to the finger, which can lead to severe problems. So spasms in the fingers due to cold temperatures or emotions should warrant a trip to the doctor.

Knowing when to report your finger pain to a doctor is vital to maintaining the health and use of your fingers for the longest possible time.

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