What to know about pain in the palm of the hand

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According to NHS, there are many causes of pain in the palm of your hand. You can often ease the pain yourself. But see a doctor if the pain does not improve.

How you can ease palm pain yourself

If you see a doctor about pain in your palm, they'll usually suggest you try these things:


1. rest your hand when you can

2. put an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) in a towel and place it on your palm for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours

3. take paracetamol to ease the pain

4. remove any jewellery if your hand is swollen

5. stop or cut down activities that are causing the pain. For example, writing, typing, DIY or housework

6. wrap a bandage around your hand to support it

7. wear a splint to support your palm and ease pain, especially at night, you can get these at most pharmacies and supermarkets

8. keep your hands and wrists moving with gentle exercises to help ease pain and stiffness.


1. do not use ibuprofen in the first 48 hours after an injury

2. do not use heat packs or have hot baths for the first 2 to 3 days after an injury

3. do not lift heavy objects or grip anything too tightly.

A pharmacist can help with hand pain

You can ask a pharmacist about:

1. the best painkiller to take

2. the best splint to support your hand and ease pain

3. if you need to see a doctor.

Non-urgent advice:

See a doctor if:

1. pain in the palm of your hand is stopping you doing normal activities

2. the pain is getting worse or keeps coming back

3. the pain has not improved after treating it at home for 2 weeks

4. you have any tingling or loss of sensation in your hand

5. you have diabetes, hand problems can be more serious if you have diabetes

6. you have a painful palm and also feel unwell with a high temperature

7. your palm is painful, warm, swollen and stiff.

Immediate action required:

Go to an urgent treatment centre or A&E if:

1. you have severe pain in your hand

2. you feel faint, dizzy or sick from the pain

3. you heard a snap, grinding or popping noise at the time of the injury

4. you're not able to move your thumb or hold things

5. your finger or thumb has changed shape or colour

6. you've lost the feeling of part or all of your hand.

These might be signs of a broken hand.

Common causes of pain in the palm of your hand

Pain in the palm of your hand is often caused by bruising or injuring your hand.

Your symptoms might also give you an idea of what's causing the pain in your palm.

Common causes of palm pain and related symptoms.

1. Aching pain that's worse at night, numbness or pins and needles, a weak thumb or difficulty gripping.

Possible cause

Carpal tunnel syndrome.

2. Pain or tenderness in your palm at the base of your fingers or thumb, stiffness, clicking when you move your finger or thumb.

Possible cause

Trigger finger

3. Pain, swelling and stiffness that lasts a long time, may be hard to move fingers, may have a lump.

Possible cause


4. Sharp or burning pain, tingling or numbness, palm feels more or less sensitive to touch or heat.

Possible cause

Peripheral neuropathy.

5. Heat, pain and redness in the palms.

Possible cause


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