What to do about fingertip pain


There are many different things that can cause fingertip pain, so it’s important to consider all of the symptoms when trying to figure out what is wrong.  Probably the most common cause of pain in the tips of the fingers happens to guitar players.  Sometimes the fingertip pain can be caused by simply gripping the guitar strings too tightly, while other times it can be a symptom of a more serious injury like a pinched nerve.  Either way, the injury usually just needs some time to rest up, so the guitar player should take a break from playing for a while. 


Raynaud’s syndrome

There are also several causes of pain in the tips of the fingers that are not caused by playing the guitar.  One common problem is Raynaud’s syndrome, which is basically the narrowing of the blood vessels in the fingers.  Sometimes sores will also appear on the fingertips.  Raynaud’s is usually caused by stress or extreme cold weather, and it usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 40.  Men can also be affected by Raynaud’s syndrome, but usually later in life.  Cigarette smoking can make Raynaud’s syndrome even worse, so you should quit smoking if this is the cause of the pain in your fingertips.


Scleroderma

Another serious problem that often results in sores on the fingers and toes is scleroderma.  Scleroderma is a progressive disease that involves the hardening of the skin and connective tissues.  It’s caused by an overproduction of collagen in the body.  Doctors do not know what causes this problem, but they believe it does have something to do with a malfunctioning immune system.  Scleroderma can be either localized or systemic.  Localized scleroderma affects only the skin, but systemic scleroderma can also affect the heart, digestive system, kidneys, and lungs.  Women are four times more likely to have scleroderma than men, and some Native Americans and African Americans are much more likely than people of other races to develop scleroderma.  Also some environmental factors play a role, including dust from coal mines, paint thinners, and chemotherapy drugs.


Psoriatic arthritis

Another common cause of pain in the finger tips is psoriatic arthritis.  This is a form of arthritis that accompanies psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes inflammation of the skin.  Psoriatic arthritis can affect any part of the body, so often if the fingertips are involved, there will also be other parts of the body that ache also.  Psoriatic arthritis also involves swelling, joint pain, and stiffness, and it should be treated right away.  If treatment is not sought for this condition, it can be disabling.

Peripheral neuropathy

Another serious problem that can cause pain in the fingertips is peripheral neuropathy.  This problem often is a side effect of chemotherapy, and it starts in the fingers and toes.  Patients who have peripheral neuropathy experience a tingling sensation in their fingers and toes, and that tingling sensation often spreads to other parts of the body and the problem spreads. 


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