Severe Pain When Stretching Fingers

If you have been moving your fingers repetitively, it is normal to feel some pain when you stretch your hands, but if the pain is severe and happens frequently, consult a health care professional. There are a number of conditions that can cause such pain, and each condition has its own treatments and therapies, if not cures.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve, which runs from your forearm into your hand, is at risk of getting compressed when you engage in repetitive hand movements such as typing, sewing and various sports. Your doctor may take an ultrasound of the median nerve to determine whether or not you have carpal tunnel syndrome.


Osteoarthritis of the fingers is on the rise, thanks to the fact that more people these days spend hours typing, texting and playing computer games 1. Osteoarthritis causes painful, bony deformities to appear on your finger joints, and although there is no cure, there are a number of medicines and therapies available to lessen the symptoms 1. When you see a doctor about suspected arthritis, take a list of medications you are taking, and detailed information about your symptoms and family history.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

If you experience pain in your fingers when very cold or when feeling emotional, you may be suffering from Raynaud ’s phenomenon, in which blood vessel spasms block blood flow to your fingers 2. You will need a cold stimulation test and a vascular ultrasound for diagnosis. Smoking and caffeine consumption constrict your blood vessels, so these are best avoided if you have Raynaud’s phenomenon 2. Always wear gloves or use a towel when handling frozen things, but seek medical advice, because the condition can lead to complications such as:

  • gangrene
  • ulceration
  • slow-growing nails
  • according to MedlinePlus

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is also caused by repeatedly moving your hands in the same ways 3. It causes pain, numbness and tingling in your hands or affected areas. The RSI website,, suggests that by keeping moving and not sitting in the same posture for hours, you can help combat RSI. Take regular breaks, and shake out your hands every five minutes. Keep your elbows as close to your waist as much as possible, so you don’t reach far to touch the keyboard. Rest your hands in your lap when not typing or using the mouse.