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New onset of Hand pain

I have new hand pain, what should I do?

Do not panic. There are many reasons as to why your hand or wrist can become painful and mostly these events are nothing to worry about. The hand is made of many bones and joints (including the wrist), these are supported by lots of muscles and ligaments.

Pain can often be the result of irritation of the joints or the soft tissue structures (like ligaments or tendons) or can sometimes be following a slip/trip/fall (trauma). Pain may be at the wrist, or into the hand. You may also have swelling, stiffness, or a weaker grip.

This can be easily managed by following some simple steps. Most new hand pain will resolve in 6-12 weeks

new onset of hand pain infograph

What else can I do?

You could also try these simple exercises to help maintain good movement and support the muscles around the elbow. 

Exercises for New onset of Hand pain - EASY

Exercises for New onset of Hand pain - MODERATE

Exercises for New onset of Hand pain - ADVANCED

What if I have had a fall?

Please read the "symptoms to check" in the red box on the right of this screen first before using this page.

Symptoms to check

Click the plus sign to see a list of problems that could be a sign you may need to be checked urgently

Get advice from 111 now if:

  • the pain is severe and started after an injury or accident, like a fall
  • if you have cut yourself and can no longer move your fingers or wrist normally
  • you heard a snap, grinding or popping noise at the time of an injury
  • you are unable to move or hold things
  • your hand or wrist has changed shape or colour
  • you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around the hand, wrist or fingers – this can be a sign of infection
  • you have any severe tingling or loss of sensation in your hand and it wont go away

Immediate medical advice is available by contacting NHS 111

Referral Information

If you are struggling with managing your wrist & hand pain you can self-refer to a physiotherapist for further guidance.