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What Are the Most Common Causes of Right Hand Pain?

A model of a human hand.
Typing on a keyboard can be hard on the wrists, possibly aggravating carpal tunnel problems.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of right hand pain.
Article Details
  • Written By: Rebecca Mecomber
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2014
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A veritable myriad of conditions can cause right hand pain, ranging from minor acute injuries such as overuse to chronic and more serious conditions such as arthritis. Common causes of pain in the right hand are maladies that afflict a large segment of the population — people who commonly experience temporary or constant soreness or pain. Most people are right-handed and use their right hands for common tasks, so this hand suffers more injury than the left hand. Most of the common causes of a painful hand are minor and result from sudden strain or repetitive injury. Other common but more serious causes of pain result from degenerative diseases such as arthritis.

Aside from an immediate injury such as a fall or wound, a sore right hand is usually indicative of overuse of the hand. Temporary right hand pain might result from overworking one of the many small muscles or joints in the hand. The right hand might be sprained; in such a case, pain results when the hand is moved. Tendinitis occurs when the tendons of the hand, the fibrous bands connecting muscles to bones, become inflamed or torn. With tendinitis, repetitive movements, such as typing, writing or grasping can cause right hand pain.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronically painful hand affliction accompanied by numbness, tingling and weakness in the thumb. The hand pain results when the median nerve at the base of the hand is pressed by swollen ligaments or tendons in the wrist and base of the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome commonly affects the right hand, because it is the dominant hand for most people. This condition is more a nuisance than a serious condition, but extreme pain or chronic numbness might indicate an underlying and more serious medical condition.

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic right hand pain, affecting millions of people around the world. Infectious arthritis is caused by a virus or bacteria that has entered the body and becomes lodged in one of the joints of the hand. Rheumatoid arthritis is an immunological disease; the body's immune system attacks the joints of the body, causing pain and stiffness. Hands and wrists are usually the first to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Along with pain and stiffness, the right hand might be swollen or red with small, hard bumps below the skin.

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Discuss this Article

SarahGen
Post 3

I have hand joint pain because of rheumatoid arthritis. I thought that my hand pain was due to overuse but my doctor said that arthritis is an autoimmune condition. So resting doesn't help at all and treatment options are limited. I'm taking anti-inflammatory medication which have helped. But I still have some pain, stiffness and swelling.

I almost wish that another part of my body was affected because hands are so important. When I can't use my hands, I need help to even drink a glass of water. It's very upsetting.

ZipLine
Post 2

@burcinc-- People who type on the computer a lot can have hand and wrist pain too. Any repetitive activity has the potential to strain muscles and cause pain.

burcinc
Post 1

I agree with the article. Overuse must be one of the most common causes of hand pain, if not the most common. I think this is mainly because most people are either right handed or left handed and we try to do almost everything with one hand.

I used to have constant right hand pain as a child because I was very studious. We didn't have computers back then, so everything was written in notebooks. I used to write all day while I studied and did homework. So I had hand and wrist pain daily. My fingers would also ache. I even developed a little permanent bump on my middle finger from holding a pencil so much.

I think kids these days are lucky because of computers and laptops. Both hands are used while typing and it's not a very strenuous activity.

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