Knuckle Pain

Knuckle Pain primarily comes from three directions:

  • From the tendonitis dynamic
  • From Arthritis (osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • From punching hard objects (walls, cars, etc) or other physical trauma


If you have pain in one or more knuckles, it is important to know that pain shows up for a particular set of reasons.  Pain doesn't just showup out of the blue.

There are causes of  knuckle pain, and if you want to make it go away, you have to effectively deal with each of the factors causing the pain.


Knuckle Pain From Tendonitis

Unless there is obvious traumatic injury (like punching a wall or crushed in an accident), doctors will almost always blame knuckle pain on arthritis, and if there is osteoarthritis that is accurate....but osteoarthritis is caused by the Tendonitis dynamic.


See:  What Is Tendonitis?


In short, the tendonitis dynamic causes knuckle pain with the following mechanism:  

  1. Over time, muscles get tight
  2. Connective tissue shrinkwraps, and muscles stay tight (while getting tighter
  3. Tight muscles pull on tendons...the tendons that cross knuckle joints and attach on the other side
  4. Tight muscles pull on tendons and that compresses the knuckle joint(s).
  5. Compressed knuckle joints then grind on themselves, 24/7 and more when you actively use them
  6. Inflammation kicks in....and inflammation releases Pain Enhancing Chemical.
  7. Pain Enhancing Chemical causes muscles to tighten up 
  8. Repeat 1-8


The tendonitis dynamic can cause pain in one or more knuckles.  If your doctor diagnoses you with osteoarthritis when you really just have knukle pain from constantly tight muscles, then your doctor is wrong and the treatment he prescribes has zero chance of fixing the problem.



Knuckle Pain From Arthritis

As described above, the chronic joint compression and inflammation caused by the tendonitis dynamic can cause arthritis.

But specifically it can ONLY cause Osteoarthritis, tendonitis can NOT cause Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Point being, there are two main categories of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)


Both OA and RA can cause knuckle pain in one or more knuckles on one or both hands.


Osteoarthritis is purely a function of the tendonitis dynamic:  too tight muscle and connective tissue, chronic inflammation, and nutritional insufficiency. 

Painful knuckles from osteoarthritis is due to constant compression of the joint and resulting grinding, joint lining damage, and inflammation.

See:  What Is Osteoarthritis?


Rheumatoid Arthritis is purely a function of a damaged gut ecology:  chronic inflammation, damaged lining of the intestines, resulting auto-immune response, nutritional insufficiency.

Knuckle pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis is due to the inflammatory mechanism from damaged gut ecology.

Rheumatoid arthritis knuckles can not only hurt, they can become deformed as the inflammatory forces cause the body to respond.

Red swollen finger joint knuckle can result, again from the chronic and active inflammation process.  Same with a painful swollen finger joint knuckle...that can be from rheumatoid arthritis or from an impact injury as described below.

See:  Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms



Knuckle Pain From Punching Walls and Other Hard Objects

People get in car accidents where they have impact injury to their hand(s) and knuckles.

People have sports and athletic injuries that cause impact injury to their hand(s) and knuckles.

Any impact to the hand/knuckles can cause painful knuckle both short term and long term.

The worse the impact, the worse the resulting pain and other potential symptoms like:

  • fluid in knuckles
  • arthritis in knuckles


Fluid In Knuckles

Question:  How do you get fluid in knuckles?

Answer:  Fluid in knuckles happens because of the inflammation process.

When the knuckles are injured whether from punching a wall or other impact injury, or the brain thinks they are injured, a Process of Inflammation kicks in.  Inflammation traps fluid in an area and releases chemicals then enhance your sensitivity to pain.

Having fluid in knuckles is not ideal, and if it lasts for more than a few days you better get to work on reversing the process and getting that fluid out of there.


Arthritis In Knuckles

It is very common for boxers, martial artists, or any other sport/job/hobby that involves frequent striking of hard objects, to develop arthritis in knuckles.

The repeated impacts to the knuckle joint structures can not only damage the knuckle joint lining, but over time it can also reshape the knuckle joint structure itself.

And of course the inflammation process has been chronically in place the whole time, causing problems even if you don't feel those problems.


Maybe you haven't trained boxing for 20 years, and your doctor diagnoses you with arthritis in knuckles.  Your doctor will just blame it on 'arthritis' (like somehow the problem is the cause of the problem).  But you now know that it's the boxing 20 years ago that caused the arthritis.

See:  Causes of Osteoarthritis

See:  Cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis

See:  What Is Arthritis?


Knuckle Pain Treatment

You want to avoid rheumatoid arthritis knuckles.

You want to avoid punching hard objects, and that will save you from fluid in knuckles and most impact-caused arthritis in knuckles.

But that's the magic of hindsight.  We humans only pay attention when there's pain...so we largely don't put effort into avoiding anything.

So we focus on treatment.

A successful knuckle treatment requires that you REVERSEthe factors that cause the pain in the knuckles.


Treating Knuckle Pain

If it's just pain, or even fluid in knuckles, that's no problem.  It might take a while, but it's simple.

See:  How To Reduce Inflammation


Treating Arthritis In Knuckles

If it's arthritis in knuckles, that may or may not be simple.  

Most osteoarthritis is just 'pain', and later it develops into actual damage and joint deformation.  

Obviously it's easier to effectively treat when it's just pain.  Harder to reverse joint lining damage.  And impossible to reverse bone deformation.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis is more complex, as that's a function of  a damaged gut ecology and resulting auto-immune response.

But, it's just a matter of healing your gut...once you successfully do that your body can recover, the inflammatory mechanism will dial down, and your knuckle pain should/will go away.


Treating Pain from Punching A Wall

The problem with punching a wall, is that the impact can damage the soft cartilage tissue that makes up most of the knuckle.

So when your knuckle hurts from punching a wall, you better hope that you just have some bone bruise (which takes a while to go away even when you're doing effective self care), because more than that and you have actual damage to the knuckle.

If you reshape the soft tissue of the knuckle by hitting something hard, or damage the structural integrity and shape of the knuckle joint, you may be out of luck.  Because you can mostly heal and get out of pain, but once a knuckle joint is deformed, it's not going to heal back to the shape it was in before.

See:  Long Term Hand Injury From Punching A Wall Hand Tendonitis And Knuckle Pain





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