Pain and Swelling in the Knuckle of Finger

Joints are the structures that link two or more bones in your body. They are discovered in the hips, the knees, the hands, and lots of other parts of the body.

Joints are surrounded and cushioned by soft tissues. Swelling occurs when fluid accumulates in these tissues. Joint pain, stiffness, or both might associated with the swelling. You may also see that the joint appears larger than regular, or that its shape is rather irregular.

While joint swelling can be a symptom of a chronic condition, it can likewise be a sign of an injury that requires medical interest.

Arthritis: A Common Reason for Pain and Swelling in the Knuckle of Your Fingers

Among the most regular causes of knuckle hurts and swelling is arthritis. Arthritis has many different kinds. The most common ones include:


According to the United States National Center for Biotechnology Info (NCBI), osteoarthritis is the most common condition of the joints. (NCBI, 2011).

Osteoarthritis is triggered by the natural damage of joint cartilage in time. It can result in joint swelling when the cartilage surrounding a joint wears away and the bones rub up against each other.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This inflammatory type of arthritis is also an autoimmune disease. With this kind of disease, the body mistakenly assaults healthy tissues. In RA, the body assaults the membranes that line the joints, causing fluid accumulation and swelling in the joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 1.3 million individuals in America have this condition, which can damage a joint’s tendons and ligaments, along with cartilage. (Arthritis Foundation).


This type of arthritis is associated with a buildup of uric acid in the joints, which leads to joint swelling and pain. It can be chronic or intense. Uric acid is a byproduct developed when the body breaks down certain substances in food. It normally dissolves in the blood and is eliminated from the body through urination.

knuckle joint pain swelling

Knuckle joint has pain and swelling

Psoriatic Arthritis

This happens together with the skin condition psoriasis. According to the UCLA Health System, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, more severe cases may require treatment with more powerful anti-rheumatic drugs. (UCLA Health System, 2009).

Septic Arthritis

If your joint swelling is an outcome of an infection brought on by a bacteria or a fungus, it is called septic arthritis. This condition might be chronic or intense.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the bacteria Staphylococcus and Streptococcus cause most intense cases of septic arthritis. Generally, chronic cases are a result of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Candida fungus albicans. Nevertheless, the chronic condition is rare. (NIH, 2011).

Other Causes of Pain and Swelling in the Knuckle of Finger

Arthritis is not the only possible explanation for joint swelling. Other causes include:

  • bone fracture.
  • torn ligament.
  • torn tendon.
  • ankylosing spondylitis (a long-lasting disease that results in joint inflammation).
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disorder that results in inflammation and joint pain).

When Should You Contact Your Doctor?

Pain and swelling in the knuckle must be checked out by a doctor if:

  • it happened after an injury.
  • your finger joints are swollen and you are unsure what could be causing the problem.
  • your body temperature level is elevated.

How is Knuckle of the Finger Swelling Diagnosed?

When you reach the doctor’s workplace, she or he might spend a long time asking you about your medical history. Your doctor will likewise want to examine the joint or joints that are swollen.

In addition to a physical assessment, your doctor might ask some concerns, such as:

  • where the swelling is occurring.
  • if there is anything that appears to get worse the swelling.
  • If there is anything that appears making the swelling much better.
  • when the swelling started.
  • if the swelling is severe.
  • if you have any other symptoms along with the joint swelling.

Your doctor may then purchase follow-up tests to identify the reason for your knuckle swelling. These might consist of blood tests or X-rays. He or she might likewise purchase a joint aspiration. In this test, a percentage of fluid will be drawn out of the impacted joint with a needle, so it can be analyzed in a laboratory.

Treating Finger’s Knuckle Pain and Swelling

If your joint swelling took place following an injury, some basic at-home treatments can assist ease your pain. You ought to apply ice to bring down the swelling, and elevate the joint, ideally to a point greater than your heart.

While home care can be reliable at alleviating pain, you should still see your doctor to have any joint swelling analyzed and to talk about the correct course of treatment.

Treatment methods for chronic arthritis or other conditions ought to be identified on a case-by-case basis. Your doctor can provide more info on at-home remedies to best to manage your joint swelling.

How to Prevent Knuckle Swelling?

All joint swelling can not be avoided. However, the condition can typically be eased or handled, depending on whether it was triggered by injury or by a chronic condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Make sure to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment alternatives and ways to manage your pain.

Last modified: August 10, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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