Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain

by Chris

Dealing With Punchng Walls

Dealing With Punchng Walls

Hi Joshua, A year ago I hurt my right hand during a incident where I punched a stone wall. I remember immediately feeling sharp pains in my knuckles and hands followed by swelling and red tenderness on my knuckles.

I never went to the doctors because I didn't believe any bones were broken and I assumed the hand and knuckle will heal by itself.

Now a year later, I started boxing and I've noticed that my right hand (the same hand that I injured a year before) has lost some flexibility and gets red and sore very easily. The fingers on my right hand can't bend nearly as much as my left, my wrist also feels some pain when I bend up and down (severity depends on how hard I work it).

When I try to do hand exercises my right hand gets very tight and my knuckles becomes very sensitive and sore.

I have taken x-rays for my hand and it showed no fractures of the bones, but the doctors believed that the tendons may have been damaged. I have also taken a cortisone shot and it helped tremendously for a couple of weeks.

However I won't be able to go back to the doctor for some time due to insurance issues so I would greatly appreciated if I can get your opinion on this.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Chris.

With all due respect, if your hand/knuckles are't broken or bleeding, there's not much a doctor can do for you, healing wise.

I suspect you have one of two scenario's happening.

I don't know that you have Tendonitis of the hand, but you definitely have 'jointitis'.

You punched a wall and jacked up the joints and joint surfaces in your hand. This caused irritation and inflammation in the joint.

Scenario #1: This also caused actual crushing and permanent injury to the joint. By permanent I mean, you crushed the joints and now there's build up and such on the joint linings which is an irritant. This keeps a low level Process of Inflammation in place, thus the pain and such.

This also causes forearm and hand muscles to tighten up and connective tissue to constrict as part of the Pain Causing Dynamic.

Scenario #2: You don't have any lasting change or damage, just a chronic process of inflammation.

Not much to do about scenario #1 except learn to live with it and/or keep the inflammation down.

Scenario #2 is the one you want to hope for, as you can deal with inflammation, and potentially kick it out and cause the body to think all is good so it won't keep the scenario in place.

Either way, you have to learn How To Reduce Inflammation. The Ice Dip is your friend, my friend.

Were I you, I would start making and eating Bone Broth as the best Tendon Supplements on a daily basis. Might as well do A LOT for a month and see what happens.

I would also Ice Dip as described. MIght as well experiment with as many dips as you can do for 7 days, and 30 days, then evaluate where you're at, take time off, and see if pain comes back.

Should you keep boxing? Depends on how much it hurts. I'd take a week or two off, bone broth and ice dip intensively, then start easing back into to.

You can do all the workouts without all the impact, that'll help avoid irritation to the joints while you do healing self care.

More questions, more answers.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Jan 16, 2010
PART 2 - additional questions - Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain
by: Chris

Thanks for the response Joshua, I will try to take bone broth and do the ice dip treatment that you suggested for a month and I'll let you know how that's working out.

In your reply you mentioned 2 scenarios, is there any way that I can confirm which scenario actually took place? I've taken x-rays for the hand and it showed no bone fractures, but I don't know if it shows anything about the joints...would that require a MRI?

If there were no fractures of bones is it safe to say more than likely scenario 2 took place (no long term damage, just chronic inflammation)?

Ooo boy I certainly hope I don't have perm. damage


Joshua Comments:

Hi Chris.

It's most likely the irritated/slightly damaged joint lining. Permanent? Don't know yet.

An MRI would show inflammation spots. Worth it? Up to you.

Ultimately, you need to ice it a lot, and massage a bunch through the day too, just a near constant rubbing for a while, to loosen things up, keep circulation moving, etc.

Do self care intensely (including a lot of bone broth) for a week or two, and let's see what happens.

Aug 18, 2010
DUDE. OWW. Scar tissue on right knuckle?
by: Matt

I punched a few things, as well. I'm 21, I should have perfectly fine knuckles, I'm pretty active, work out and such. I'm right handed, my left hand is fine. However, I think I've got like scar tissue or something on my right hand, middle finger knuckle. I just recently hurt it further, by hitting a punching bag. It even got a bruised color. It really hurts. I don't know what to do, I don't wanna let it get worse.


Joshua Comments:

Ahhh, -should-. That's one of my favorite words these days.

Sure you -should- have fine, health knuckles, but....


1. How long has this been going on?

2. How much do you punch stuff.

3. What else do you do with your hands that may/may not have contributed to this?

4. What have you done so far to help it?

Dec 18, 2010
the largeness of knuckles after punching a wall
by: Anonymous

I punched my first wall when I was 16. Barn wall. That thing became an egg but eventually went back to normal. By normal, I mean it healed and it was no easier to irritate. The joint was slightly larger.

I punched a stall when I was seventeen. Less healing time, but a still larger joint. A little easier to irritate.

A few years later I punched my jeep several times. It xray'd ok, but I had never seen my hand so big. It healed, but the joint remained much larger than previously. It was also about 7-8 months before I started any conditioning of my knuckle. I had to very gradually build up the stress on my knuckle after that.

Punched a few more walls since. The trick is to get ICE on it asap. If you punch something, run for the freezer. Like a burn, the sooner you ice it the better. Keep it iced for days. Take 800mg IBU.

My knuckle had been doing great recently, I punched a wall and neglected the ice. This knuckle is a monster now. I'm guessing everything gets bigger. The cartilage and tendons make scar tissue and the bone probably gets thicker.

Ok. Good luck.


Joshua Comments:

Hi WallPuncher. Thanks for sharing!

I totally agree with your icing strategy. Like my Thumb Ligament Injury icing story, cold, and lots of it, is your friend in the battle against the Process of Inflammation that kicks in when you injure yourself.

Which is what happens when you punch hard objects.

Time to invest in a punching bag. The water filled ones are awesome.

Apr 03, 2011
Tendonitis or something in my hand
by: Anonymous

Just wondering if i have tendonitis or something in my hand, i seem to be prone to it as i've had Achilles and extensor tendonitis(foot made of glass), about a month ago i punched a wall and the following week or so if my index finger even so much as brushed off something it hurt, but now its fine except when i straighten my fingers fully?

I would be grateful for any advice, thanks.


Joshua Comments:

Punching walls obviously leads to bone and joint bruises and then arthritis. Don't do that any more.

And learn How To Reduce Inflammation.

As for having a predisposition to getting tendonitis, there is no such thing. Having said that, nutritional deficiency (from a variety of sources), leads to getting tendonitis symptoms.

Jul 13, 2011
Swollen knuckle (index finger)
by: Anonymous

I also punched the wall and now my left knuckle (on the index finger)hurts only when i apply pressure e.g. lightly hitting my knuckles together. Also my left knuckle seems like it is now softer. I would like to start boxing however i need to fix my knuckles.

Please give me your personal opinion and advices. Thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anon.

Probably the knuckle is softer, as you likely damaged the cartilage/joint structure. Best you can do is ice it effectively and intake enough good joint specific nutrition.

And you probably have a little bone bruise, thus the tenderness when pressing on it.

Boxing is no problem as long as you're wrapped and gloved. Might extend the tenderness for a while, but won't hurt anything.

Still, ice and eat right.

Sep 27, 2011
Middle Knuckle -- Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain
by: Anonymous

Hey,I hurt my knuckle 3/4 months ago doing mma and the following week got into a fight in which I hit someone in the jaw. My knuckle immediately inflamed. I have had it X-rayed and doctor says it wasn't broken(wasn't too helpful).

Now it has gone down a little but feels like my knuckle is deformed. When I make a fist it bulges out and when I squeeze it tight it hurts, also when I push my finger up it hurts.

I don't know if I've pushed my finger slightly in to my palm, whether the knuckle has just got bigger or if it is still just swollen.

I would really appreciate you're opinion.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

1. Stop getting into fights.

2. If not broken, could just be a bone bruise, which swells/inflames the area, tightens muscle and connective tissue, etc.

Bone and joint bruises take a long time to settle down, but you can speed it along with ice dipping, ice massage, etc.

Create circulation, old stuff out, new stuff in.

Long story short, that's all you have to do to speed up your 'healing'.

Dec 05, 2011
Ice dipping
by: Beau

Hey Joshua.
I punched a wall about a month ago and the top of my hand still hurts like the wrist area/top back of hand and I feel this annoying pain go up my arm sometimes when I breathe a certain way.

I think the top of my hand is the muscles still being sore but what do I know. It just feels like that. I got an xray and there's no broken bones.

I'm just wondering if this is ever gonna go away. I'm starting to get nervous bc all I do is play sports and I'm a righty so I need this frikken hand! Please tell me something I wanna hear. :)

Oh and what is ice dipping? I stopped putting ice on it bc I thought that's only what u do at the begining to make the swelling go down and there is no more swelling.

It just hurts when I bend my hand back, the top of my hand, my wrist and that weird feeling that goes up my arm.

Also my wrist cracks like my knuckles now when I take my other hand and squeeze my wrist a certain way. It's like a pop feeling. It feels better after I do that like it feels when I crack my knuckles. Should I stop doing that?

Thank u so much for your help.


Joshua Comments:

Hey Beau.

Sounds a bit like the impact of the wall punch drove your knuckle bones into their joints and give you a bone bruise (A joint bruise, really).

This means that you have a constantly unhappy Pain Causing Dynamic and pain chemical release from the Process of Inflammation that's in play.

THe popping and cracking is due to your forearm muscles being too tight and compressing your wrist. So range of motion isn't smooth and the bones have to pop over each other to move through the range.

Ice Dipping is described here: How To Reduce Inflammation

Also, see: Magnesium for Tendonitis

More questions, more answers.

Dec 06, 2011
Boxing Injury - pain in knuckle from bag work with and without gloves
by: TexasBoxer

Hi Joshua,

I box pretty regularly, but after a session with my 100 lb hanging bag my left middle knuckle was very sore.

I normally alternate between boxing gloves or nothing at all when boxing, but I've been unable to train for weeks due to the pain I get when hitting that spot. I figured it would go away since I've had sore knuckles before. This is not the case; It's been almost a month and the same place hurts when pressure is applied. I have full range of motion in my middle finger, and I only feel pain if that particular area is touched. I'm trying to avoid incurring a large medical bill, due to the fact that I'm a broke college student.

What kind of injury seems most likely for this situation?
What should my next course of action be?

Any help is appreciated.


Joshua Comments:

Hi TexasBoxer.

Bone Bruise.

Think about the layers: Skin, muscle, connective tissue wrapping bone, bone. All totally interwoven with connective tissue.

Your knuckle doesn't have muscle over it, but remember that everything is connected, sheets of connective tissue, etc.

So. For months and years you've punched a bag and whatever else. It's relatively safe to say that that knuckle takes much of the impact.

Sort of like hitting bone lightly with a hammer over and over and over.

Continued in next post

Dec 06, 2011
Joshua Responds to TexasBoxer re: knuckle pain from punching bag
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Bone can swell due to inflammation. The connective tissue that shrinkwraps the bone can swell up due to inflammation. Also, if bone swells, that connective tissue doesn't stretch so pressure builds up which equals pain.

Then there's all the pain enhancing chemical released by the Process of Inflammation you have going on from the repeated irritation to an already irritated structure.

Further up the arm (and the hand too), a Process of Inflammation continues to slowly develop.

And now, because it hurts, every time you punch something your brain goes "Ouch! We're in even more danger! Protect the body with more pain and tightness!" Not very smart, but that's what it does.

So, what to do?

Ice Dip. Lots and lots for a week or two. Refrain from hitting with that hand during that time (to stop all new irritation to the knuckle).

Gently massage the knuckle and surrounding area. A knuckle is tough tissue, obviously. Think of it as a dense sponge. You need to squeeze the sponge over and over to get old stuff out and new stuff in. Sort of like pushing water up a hose...forcing fluid to move.

Flesh bruises heal pretty fast. Bone bruises...not so much. You can make it go MUCH faster though with ice dips and self massage.

And once you get a handle on that, then you can get back to bag work with that hand, and now that you know how to get rid of the pain you won't be afraid of it as an injury. So you can judge how much you can box and how much self care you have to do.

Having said that, the more self care you do on the front end, the less you'll have to do ongoingly down the line.

Overall, it's no big deal (it's a bruise, not an injury), once you learn what it is and more importantly, how to make it go away, and then nip it in the bud if it comes back in the future.

Make sense?

Dec 30, 2011
Martial arts injury fist knuckle bruise from breaking wood
by: Deborah

I am so thankful to find your site. I haven't been punching walls but recently I tested for my black belt and was required to break 10 boards. It's been 10 weeks and while I can make fist, it still hurts and is bruised. The pain and swelling are in between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th knuckles, with some tenderness a few inches below the 3rd knuckle in my hand.

I was shocked how painful it was! I didn't think it was broken because I could still make a fist but if anything touched it, a towel or I brushed up against something, the pain was excruciating. I now know why after reading the material on your site. The knuckles did look and feel squishy like there was fluid in them. I did apply ice immediately but for only a couple of weeks. I have not been training for about 8 weeks trying to let it heal. I'm due to start back next week but I still won't be able to punch or do knuckle push ups.

Interestingly, when I punch I strike with my first 2 knuckles. By the time I got to the last board my hand was already swelling and I was waiting my turn for the speed break with an ice pack already on my knuckles. So, after 2 failed tries hitting it dead on and I know I was accurate because I saw two dents in the board from my knuckles striking, I began to shuto or strike the board with the outside edge of my hand.

I did see a doctor which has always been so frustrating because they give you no practical advice except let it rest, take an NSAID and it may or may not heal. So,I started the ice dips yesterday and massage. I'm hoping this will not turn into a long term injury and I will be able to resume my training. I'm tired in taking NSAIDs and had quit several months ago after recovering from a broken foot(not injured in karate). I've had my share of injuries from pulled hamstrings, strained back to torn abductor muscles and several things in between. I always felt ice was the way to treat them. In the past when the injury was almost healed I would apply heat before class and ice when I came home. Is this the right thing to do?

I'm 5'3", 110 lbs, small framed and 58 years old. I guess some of my injuries and healing time are due to these facts. However, I have no intentions of quitting. Do you have any other suggestions regarding the recovery of my hand?

Dec 31, 2011
Joshua Responds to Black Belt Deborah - Martial Arts Injury fist knuckle bruise from breaking wood
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hi Deborah.

Rock on for going after the black belt! That takes a certain something big.

Heat before and ice after is great.

Do you have a long term injury? That depends.

In my book 'injury' means that something is ripped or torn (or some other variation of that, like ground up cartilage).

You're either injured (broke something up in your fist) or you just have a bone bruise.

Bone bruises (outside bone, inside of the joint, between joints, etc) HURT. And HURT for a long time.

Your best bet is to help it to get back to normal as fast as possible.

As a side note, if you're not injured, then there's little reason to stop training. Yes you should modify what you do, no knuckle pushups, no striking with that hand, etc, but if there's no actual injury then it's just a pain sensation, not a damage sensation.

Try not to irritate it of course since the brain does bad things with any pain signal, but you can stay active and do as much as you can do. I did jujitsu after two weeks not being able to walk due to a meniscus problem from running. It was HEAVILY modified as I couldn't do much with the leg, but you do what you gotta do to do what you love to do.

Find a way. And, help your body heal.

So. How did you ice?

What self care are you doing now, specifically?

Jan 01, 2012
Healing injured knuckles
by: Deborah

Hi Joshua,

First of all I would like to wish you a very happy New Year. Thanks for the quick response.

I've been doing the ice dipping. I fill a large bowl with water and a frozen 2 liter bottle then submerge my hand for 10 seconds about 10 times for the next 2 hours. I am also massaging my knuckles, but not with ice. At first I thought it was getting worse but it's only been a few days. And massaging might be causing it to hurt more for now. The swelling is going down but when I make a fist there are no indentations between the last 3 knuckles. There is pain in between the knuckles but not on the knuckle itself now.

I was wondering if using a topical cream like Tiger Balm would help. I'm hoping it's just a bruised bone.

The injury doesn't seem to effect my ability to grasp. I play violin and I'm able to hold the bow without pain. I'm also an artist and have no problem holding a paint brush for extended periods of time. However, my hand fills stiff and still hurts when make a tight fist. But so much better than it was in the beginning.

I have a hand held spring used to strengthen my grip. Should I be doing that now or wait a while longer?

I take a multiple vitamin, fish oil and increased calcium and vitamin D. I eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Should I be taking any other supplement?

Jan 01, 2012
Joshua Responds - Deborah - Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

1. Nutrients won't do much directly for the knuckle problem, but they will allow your body to work better, which will help your body 'heal' faster.

For instance, while symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include various symptoms of Tendonitis, that doesn't really apply to you here. The MAIN reason to get your Vit D level to between 50-80 ng/ml is because research shows that that reduces the incidence of breast cancer by 85% and the category 'all forms of cancer' by 33%. Plus immune system function, hormone regulation, muscle function, etc.

So I won't go much into nutrition for bone bruises, because bone bruising is a pretty specific situation that nutrition doesn't play much DIRECT role in.

2. You need to ice dip MORE. Read this Thumb Ligament Injury page for an idea of that.

3. Massaging might cause the sensation of pain, but you may have to push into that. I DO NOT believe in 'no pain no gain' but you've jacked up your hard tissue (bone, cartilege, connective tissue shrinkwrapping bone, interior joint surface, etc as opposed to skin/flesh/muscle/etc) and it's a -dense- sponge.

You need to force that tissue to sponge. Remember, just because it hurts doesn't mean there's damage. It definitely means nerve endings are firing etc.

Don't hurt yourself, obviously, but if you massage and it hurts but isn't damaging anything, then you just need to be careful not to irritate the existing pain dynamic.

If you make it more better with massage instead of worse even if you feel pain, they you're pushing towards benefit.

Make sense?

4. Tiger balm irritates skin and brings new blood to the area. That's good. But I prefer ice because you want old stuff OUT and then new stuff in.

5. You want to ice, ice massage, push fluid out of the knuckle/hand area and up the arm (like pushing water up a hose)

6. It's going to take some work. You punched something harder than your body multiple times. You did cause harm. Which is all part of the fun, yeah?

But now your body has been affected in a predictable set of factors. This won't go fast, but you can make it go faster.

7. Also, let's change your language. You're not injured. You're 'hurt'. There's a difference.

MAYBE you have actual rip and tear, but I bet you just have REALLY bad impaction bruise to bone/joint structures. Which is bad pain-wise, but it's not rip/tear bad.

Jan 01, 2012
Thank you
by: Deborah

I will ice it often and do the ice massages.

As far as the vitamin D, I was just letting you know what supplements I was taking. Actually my last bone scan showed I was close to osteopenia and my Dr. increased my calcium and D tremendously. On my part I have increased weight bearing exercises. You would think practicing a martial art would be enough.

Thank you for your help. Anything that will reduce the pain and speed up the healing process is amazing. I will recommend your site and this information to my fellow karate-kas.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Deborah. You're welcome!

Oh....the plot thickens. Weak(er) bones and system due to nutritional deficiency is a valuable clue.

Practicing a martial art -is- enough. Lack of nutrition is the problem in ostopenia and osteoporosis situations. Without the necessary building blocks, the body can't do what it needs to do. Lifting weights while still undernourished isn't going to prevent anything.

Yes, you told me what you were taking. But without letting me know what amount of what specifically, there's nothing for me to think/know about it.

'Tremendously' doesn't mean anything to me, numbers-wise. Some doctors think an extra 1,000i.u./day is tremendous.

How much, exactly? What kind is it? Is it prescription Vit D (which is Vit D2 which is essentially worthless) or is it D3? Magnesium too? (Can't convert the Vit D supplement into it's active form in the blood unless there's enough magnesium.

Specifics are important here.

How much Vit D are you taking, specifically?

What kind? D2 or D3?

What was your Vit D level?

When was the level taken?

How long have you been taking Vit D (meaning, how much have you taken over what period of time?

You don't have to answer, of course, but that's the kind of information I'd need.

Feel free to check out the Vit D pages at www.Easy-Immune-Health.com

Jan 02, 2012
Answers from Deborah - Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain
by: Deborah

Wow Joshua, we have now entered into the realm of total confusion! I say this because I try to inform myself on staying healthy especially as I age but I get conflicting information from Doctors and online research.

I take 2,000 mg of Calcium, 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3, 2,000 mg of fish oil (600 mg is from Omega-3 Fatty Acids, the rest is EPA and DHA), a multiple vitamin that pretty much contains the recommended daily value or less. According to the site you sent me to I should be taking more magnesium and I only get the 50 mg that's in my multi.

A side note to Vitamin D. I live near the beach on a small Island in north eastern Florida. Everyday I walk or bike with my border collie for 30-60 min. This does not include walks on the beach (barefoot to strengthen my feet and ankles) or working in the yard almost year round. I only wear sunscreen when I'm going to be out more than an hour; I don't burn easily.

The only blood tests I have were taken when I have my yearly exam and they showed no red flags. I was exposed to hepatitis 3 at some point in my life and have the antibodies in my blood but not the disease, so they check my liver.

My blood pressure is around 110/65 and cholesterol; can't remember the numbers but good was twice what it should be and bad was very low. My Dr. says it's genetic...I don't know. Once my blood pressure shot up to a dangerous level when my GYN put me on birth control pills to help with peri-menopausal symptoms. He actually personally called me at home to tell me to stop them immediately. I found a GYN who since has treated me with natural hormones. She is the one who increase my calcium, etc., but she never told me to take magnesium.

I eat healthy but I'm not a big eater and eat only when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I know that sounds funny but I rarely over eat. Most of my diet is a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish. I snack on sardines a couple times a week. But I don't mind an occasional hot fudge sundae or slice of pizza.

The only broken bone I had was last spring when I slipped off a step and fractured my foot. It healed very fast and I have no pain at all in it.

About 15 years ago I lost the hearing in my right ear and according to the hearing and balance specialist I see, have no inner ear on that side. It seems like the oval window ruptured. It's made rolling and spinning in karate problematic but I'm not falling as much and now I'm able to dive over a chair, roll and jump to my feet, leap and spin and hit my target with no vertigo!

This is probably too much information but you wanted specifics..lol. Of course there is a lot more I can say but my Dr. says I'm in good health.

I would like to stay in good health; maybe better. Thanks for sending me the the other site. I was concerned I was taking too much Vitamin D because it's more than my Dr. recommended. But the calcium and D are in the same supplement.

Jan 02, 2012
Joshua Responds to confusion - Deborah - Long term hand injury from punching a wall, hand tendonitis and knuckle pain
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Hi Deborah.

Yes, confusion is fun. Much of it comes from Doctors not keeping up to date with the research of their chosen field.

1. The US is the country that supplements with the most Calcium AND has the highest rate of osteoporosis. Why? Because doctors don't seem to notice that Vit D and Magnesium are required by the body in order to utilize calcium.

2. You may or may not be getting enough Vit D from the sun. YOu don't wear sunscreen, that's good. Do you get direct sun exposure? OR do you do the big wide brimmed hat and long sleeves thing?

Get your Vit D level tested. Other than that, we're just guessing about whether you need it or don't. Beach goers in Hawaii still test low on Vit D, due to sunscreen, and going home and taking a shower with soap (that washes the oily layer of the skin away where Vit D pre-production happens.

3. If you're super active, my unasked for advice is:
* More good fat. Fat is super important to a healthy, functioning body
* Eat even if you're NOT hungry. Part of the aging thing is you get less hungry, so eat less, so get less nutrition, so body doesn't work as well, so get less hungry, so eat less, so get less nutrition, etc etc downward spiral.

You're active and outdoors and overall eat healthy. GREAT! Now it's just a matter of fine tuning so you are MORE healthy and MORE able to do the activities you like to do without pain.

Punching hard objects is extra credit, and may require extra self care focus. :)

Jan 09, 2012
Bruised Hand and knuckles from punching a 2x4
by: Anonymous


I puched a 2X4 several times in a row with my knuckles. My knuckles swelled but the swelling has went down but my knuckles are know black and blue but they don't hurt at all even if I touch them.

The only area that I have pain is towards the back of my hand. The pain is more when i touch it, it feels bruised. My wrist all gets really sore when typing or doing anything for an extended period of time.

It has been a week and i haven't been seen at all. I am assuming it is just sore and this is what I for doing it but is there the possiblitly there is something I could have done to it. Do you think it should be checked out? Thanks~


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

When anybody that punches a hard object with a soft object asks 'could I have done something to it?', the answer is always 'YES'.

But hey, life is short. Can't stop living.

So, here's what you need to know.

1. PROBABLY you're just badly bruised on the knuckles.

2. Your back of the hand will hurt because of pain enhancing chemical from the Process of Inflammation caused by the impacts. Plus it got all shook up from the impacts.

3. Unless something is broken or torn, there's really nothing a doctor can do for you. Even then there's nothing they're really going to do.

You have badly bruised/traumatized tissue. Small cracks/tears in a small area of small structures..there's nothing a doctor will do for that other than Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, splint or cast, prescription for rest, etc. Which are the same things you'll be prescribed for really bad bruises.

I would never tell you to not get it checked out by a doctor, of course.

4. Ice Dip and Ice Massage and Self Massage like a mofo. It's going to take a long time to get back to normal. But you can make it go faster with ENOUGH self care.

Jan 17, 2012
19 year old female started boxing now has knuckle pain
by: Shannon

I am an 19 year old female. I have never hit a wall or anything to really damage my hands. I have recently bought a heavy bag wanting to get into boxing. Within no longer than 10 minutes my knuckles cramp up and feel like I need to crack them.

As soon as I straighten them out in my gloves the pain is unbearable. I do have carpel tunnel in three of my fingers but that only causes numbing every now and again.

Is it just normal where im just starting out?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Shannon.

No, that is not common.

I need more information:

1. What is your history of activity/athletics?

2. Overall size/structure? Big beefy frame, light light lithe slender frame, somewhere in between?

3. Are you very flexible or hyper-flexible? Can you touch your thumb to your forearm? When you staighten your arm, does your elbow go past 180 degrees (past a straight line)?

4. When you first started on the bag, did you go all out? Or did you start light, and build up the force of your impact over time?

Jan 18, 2012
Reply from Shannon
by: Shannon

1. I do a lot of cardio but I have never been into sports.
2. I'm 125 pounds, 5'4, only small.
3. I can't do either but i'm flexible.
4. I went a bit hard but I had to give up after a half hour because of my hands. My hands were still kinda sore days after.


Joshua Comments:

I suspect a couple things, right off the back.

1. You went too hard to fast and traumatized your system/body. This doesn't means that you damaged anything, necessarily, but a 'traumatized' body can be just as debilitating.

2. Potentially you have 'loose' hand/knuckle structures. Some people just aren't built for boxing. IF your ligaments are naturally loose, then every time you hit a big, your whole bony hand joint structure separates out and/or impacts together more than it's supposed to.

Do this: with one hand grabe the knuckles/fist of the other hand. Squeeze some. Squeeze some more. How stable is your knuckle structure(s)? Meaning, does it collapse in and around itself, or is it relatively solid/sound/unmoving?

Jan 23, 2012
6 months after wall punch knuckle misshapped and pinkie doesn't bend very far
by: Dave

Hi Joshua,

I'm 21. I wish I had found out about your site earlier, but 6 months ago I had punched a wall a few times. I felt a sharp pain after 2 or 3 punches, then noticed that my ring finger knuckle had started bleeding a little bit.

I immediately ran it through cold water and iced it for several days/weeks after. It had initially swelled up a lot. 6 months later- the swelling seems to have gone down but the knuckle now is bigger and not as sharp as the other 2. The pinky knuckle lost a bit of its prominence I'm guessing due to the increased size of the ring knuckle.

Also, when I extend my fingers back, my pinky seems to have a bit of an arch and can't extend as far back as the other 3 finger. When I apply a good bit of pressure to my ring knuckle, it still hurts a little bit. I haven't gone to the doctor and I've recently bought some bone supplement pills, strontium, calcium, etc.

Is there anything that could be done at this point or anything that could maybe help the reach of the pinky? Thanks a bunch.

Vitamin D, Magnesium, Calcium not so much (Vit D and Mag are required to utilize Calcium which we generally get enough of in our diets) ice dipping lots and lots, self massage of the entire area.

Diligence and patience.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Dave.

No more punching walls for you.

It wouldn't be unsurprising to me if you have effectively reshaped your knuckles. They're semi-hard tissue, not hard tissue like bone. And it sounds like you've mashed them, literally.

Is there anything to do about that? Not much, though time and nutrition and self care will tell.

I'm not particularly worried about that, my focus is more on the lack of range of motion of, for instance, the pinkie finger.

When you bend your finger back you get a bend in it. Is that because the knuckles isn't moving so the finger has to bend extra to try to get as far back as it used to?

Jan 25, 2012
Re: 6 months after wall punch knuckle misshapped and pinkie doesn't bend very far
by: Dave

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the quick reply. For the pinky knuckle, when I compare both hands with the fingers extended the full length back, the pinky of my right hand has a bit of an arch that juts it away from the hand a bit, making it pretty much impossible for me to straighten it as much as the other hand.

In the first few weeks after the incident, the pinky had been arched even further and was painful to bring back to straighten, but it got a bit better and has been in about this same position for a few months now. Would this arch and inability to straighten be because of the increased knuckle size?

Also, it still hurts when I apply heavy pressure to the ring knuckle, ie: when I lean it against wall, does that mean that it's still healing?

I definitely won't be punching walls again, something like this happening really puts perspective on some things. Thanks for reading and responding, I really do appreciate it.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Dave.

Ahh, when youth starts to realize it's lack of invulnerability..... :)

1. Yes, the more a knuckle joint has been misshapped, the more that will affect the functional anatomy/kinesiology/mobility. Not necessarily bad, but obviously not idea.

2. It's entirely common for bone bruises to take months and years to fully go away.

That tissue doesn't have direct blood supply like muscles do, so you the more you can do to cause circulation (old stuff out, new stuff in), the faster that bruised feel will go away.

Plus, of course, nutrition.

Jan 25, 2012
by: Dave

Hi Joshua,

Heh.. very true about the invulnerability aspect, but hey.. you live and you learn. Thanks so much for all the quick replies, you've really helped me a great deal.

All the best,


Joshua Comments:

You're welcome Dave, no problem.

I generally consider 'pain' to be a VERY good teacher, if one is willing to learn the lessons.

Maybe because it's such a good motivator to pay attention...

Feb 02, 2012
Stiff and painful Joint in first 2 fingers
by: Nikol

Hi Joshua

I'm 35 and have developed swelling in my first 2 fingers in the morning which wears off as i move them. They are also stiff and painful. If i apply pressure to the pads of my fingers on my palm it feels tender and i've noticed sometimes whilst trying to bend my fingers it jolts a little (i've noticed this happening after typing on a keyboard).

This started about 4 months ago and i am placing it around about a time i went on a punchbag. I had my daughter 5 1/2 months prior to this so she is now 10 months old, i am wondering if this could be the beginnings of trigger finger? The jolting has only just started happening and just before christmas i thought my hand was getting better but then it came back.

I would be grateful if you could advise me, i've just had an xray today and it looked clear to me but then i'm not an expert! I will get results in a week.

Thanks for your time.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nikol.

1. What does 'jolting' mean, specifically?

2. Xray results? Negative for anything, I imagine.

Feb 19, 2012
another martial arts kunckle injury
by: Senhal

Hi Joshua,

Your generous comments on this page have been so helpful that I thought I'd add my own story and take my place among this group of hard-object-punchers. I'm a little over 30 and I received a black belt in October, for which I had to break a series of boards (and practice doing so) with the heel and side of my hand. Eventually my right hand exhibited minor swelling (not to mention an impressive purple bruise on the pinky side) and some slight pain in the lower base knuckles, but I attributed this to striking pine and plastic boards. I anticipated being done with that business soon, and indeed after several weeks the pain and swelling dissipated.

Fast forward to February, and now I'm practicing Wing Tsun. We wear gloves, but these are really just a thick sheet of foam that ties at the fingers and wrist and wraps tightly around your knuckles when you make a fist (it's not as "roomy" in the knuckle area as a boxing or mma glove). My fist doesn't make direct contact with anything when I'm wearing the pads; rather, when I punch my partner "catches" my fist at the heel/wrist with the palm of his hand. We repeat this exercise over and over.

I eventually began to experience some discomfort in the base knuckle of my right ring finger after a couple weeks of this exercise, developing a "hot spot" where the foam wrapped around that knuckle. I changed my hand position to accommodate it, but after my most recent session, the tissue has swelled slightly around that base third knuckle (e.g. when my fingers fully extend, that knuckle disappears in skin and soft tissue). I have full distal CMS in the third finger and I have no mobility issues, though that finger can get a bit tired now. As others have mentioned, there's tenderness and pain when I press against the knuckle: it seems to be bruised (like a banged shin). What concerns me most, however, is the "crunching" sensation I get when I lay two fingers alongside the knuckle and massage the inflamed skin and tissue back and forth. Within the gaps between the base knuckles something in the soft tissue is grinding a little (reminds me a bit of the sensation of walking on packed snow). I hope this doesn't greatly complicate the problem.

I'm starting on the ice dips today. I'd like to continue practicing martial arts (and eventually punching my weight bag at home), but obviously I'm not going to persist in an exercise that causes me injury. I'm going to avoid that exercise for at least a good month and maybe try different gloves when I return to it. Do you have any other suggestions or precautions? Thank you!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Senhal.

At this point I think your issue is more 'irritation' than 'injury'.

There -is- various kinds of tissue in there underneath the surface of the skin. I wouldn't worry about a little grinding, as you are literally grinding tissue against each other. Don't hurt yourself, of course.

Ice dip and ice massage, let me know how it goes.

Mar 16, 2012
reply to previous question!
by: Nikol

Hi Joshua

by jolting i mean it almost feels like something is stopping my finger from straightening and this occassionally happens in my little finger and can haooen to the 3 different fingers at different times. Yes my xray came back negative and the doctor says not trigger finger as us not specifically one finger.

My joints can ache all day at times and panful when i open or try to open a jar or bottle lid. My index finger also hurts when i try to straighten my fingers and my first 2 fingers look slightly puffy compared to the other hand. My doc prescribed me Ibuprofen to take 3 times a day for a week and then on the days when i am at work (2 days per week) this didn't help.

May i just add that when i wake in morning my fingers are difficult to bend and later on at times when i am resting ie late evening they are diificult to straighten.

I am quite fit and go running and body combat.

Thanks again


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nikol.

Well, ultimately, there's chronic inflammation in the hand and joints. Long story short, that causes that achey/stiff/tight feeling in the joints.

It also affects joint movement. Well, it affects all structures involved in joint movement.

The tendons slide along the joints. The extra tightness from inflammation affecting the tendons, joints, connective tissue, etc, causes that stiff, creaky feel.

Priority 1 is to ice the hell out of your hands and forearms. 5 gallon bucket full of arctic cold ice water, all day long, dip dip dip, for several days.

Plus, good fat (Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory) because fat is necessary for everything, make sure you're getting enough magnesium, extra Vit C wouldn't hurt.

First things first, knock down the inflammation and then it's easier to identify any actual spots of pain/damage.

Mar 21, 2012
stiff joint in fingers and hand
by: Anonymous

Thanks Joshua

I will try and do that, although may be difficult with 2 young children. I have also noticed that i have a tender muscle along the top of my forearm and when i press my elbow joint is a bit uncomfortable so makes sense to dip my fore arm too. My doc mentioned repetative strain injury but if i can just manage to reduce the inflammation i'm sure i'll be able to put up with any other discomfort.

I will let you know how i get on.

thanks again for your time.


Joshua Comments:

Do keep us updated!

Mar 21, 2012
finger jam followed by swelling after punching
by: Dotty Power

Hi, I have learnt alot from reading the posts here and you really seem to know your stuff! My story goes like this:
I am a 35 year old Mum of two boys and I have been training with them in Tae Kwondo for the last 2 years. Last October during a warm-up exercise I kicked my own finger (I know!) - we were running up and down the hall with our hands behind us, bringing our feet up to touch our hands, somehow my foot kicked the end of my middle finger and felt like it pushed it back into my hand (like a finger jam). I felt a white-hot pain and ran it under cold water for a few minutes at the time. The finger swelled and bruised and the next day I had an x-ray, which showed no bone damage. The swelling went down after a few weeks, although my middle joint(middle finger, 2nd joint in)remains larger than it had been and is painful to hold things tightly, and if it ever gets twisted or pushed sideways. This I can live with, and I feel it is slowly getting better, however, whenever we do any punching onto pads into class, very quickly my middle knuckle (where the middle finger joins onto the hand) become painful, swollen and bruised. Having done some padwork last night I now have swelling and bruising around that knuckle that extends down the middle finger, and back up, almost to where my wrist is. My other hand which was also punching (although maybe not as hard as it's my left) is completely fine. Do you think I may have done some damaged in the original finger-kicking that is being irritated by punching now?
I'm not going to punch with that hand for a while, but will I ever be able to?
Any advice would be gratefully received : )


Joshua Comments:

It's a miracle any of us are alive at all. We're all just a microsecond away from some slight, random slip or impact that can maim or kill us.....


It's -probably- just a bone/joint bruise, which at this point means it takes very little to kick in a huge injury response.

Maybe you have some little injury, but bone/joint bruise can be just as disabling, and there's really nothing to do about a little 'injury' like that other than what you'll find on this thread.

Ice. Ice like a crazy woman. Then Ice some more.

Plenty of 'how to' on this thread.

Get to work, then ask questions and give updates.

Mar 21, 2012
I broke/dislocated my thumb knuckle/joint.
by: Hunter

So last summer I got in a fight with my mother. I didn't lay a hand on her but she did on me (we talked out and resolved issue already) but somehow I damaged my thumb knuckle. The joint closest to the palm sticks out and I have lost flexibility and strength in that thumb. Also when trying to apply strength my thumb will start to hurt and it will remain hurting for a day or so afterwards. I didn't even realize what had happened to my thumb for a couple days though until I tried to play video games and it hurt intensely to move the joystick. Anything I can do to fix it?


Joshua Comments:

Is it a joint thing, or a ligament/tendon thing?

Mar 22, 2012
To Joshua.
by: Hunter

I have no idea, I never got it checked out. But I assume it is joint.

Mar 25, 2012
update on hurt knuckles
by: Deborah

Hi Joshua,
I want to thank you for your help and information regarding my knuckles and health in general. I've been participating in my martial arts class for a couple of months now. I'm back to knuckle push-ups and punching with no pain. However, I really must have "scrunched up" my knuckles because when I make a fist there is hardly any indentation between my 2nd and 3rd knuckles. But, they don't hurt. They are also tight in the morning but so is my other hand so I am probably going to be dealing with arthritis soon; runs in the family.
Because of your help and info, I know exactly what to do when I get this type of injury and can take care of it sooner than I would have. I keep a 2 liter bottle of frozen water in the freezer...just in case. I fully intend to get my 2nd degree in a couple of years (I'll be 60), so knowing how to take care of myself is invaluable. Thank you.


Joshua Comments:


And, might as well keep icing it for a while longer even if it's not currently hurting. The more you do, the better it gets. And, the better it gets, the better it is.

I love your dedication to excellence!

Aug 06, 2012
1st & Last wall ill ever punch.
by: Robert

Hey joshua,

ive been readin some posts and really appreciate all the help and advice you share. Im 21 & also damaged my hand pretty bad punching a wall, -__- just 2 nights ago. So im hopeful i can get it fixed.

I dont have a habbit of punchin anything walls but i regularly hit my heavy bag. After a couple beers i started ragin over a lost cellphone(which i found, yeah, lesson learner)
I only hit it once and it bloodied up my fist.
I just went to bed nd i woke up to a grapefruit on my wrist, knuckles bloody, i can barely wiggle my fingers.
I NOW know i shouldve iced it but ive just been dippin it in hot water with salt and takin ibuprofen. Ive been wrappin it up nd just kinda seeing what happens because i have no insurance and going to an 8 hr away concert in 4 days for a week so i need all the money i can save.

Its been 2 nights and the swellin went down a good 1/3 and im able to move my fingers alot more, although i cant close or open my hand.

Its gettin better yet bruisin persists on my palm and wrist.

Im goin to start icing it as much i can now, would it help to get a wrist/hand brace or anything?

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Robert.

Assuming nothign is fractured/broken, you've probably just mashed up the cartiledge and have some bone bruising and a huge inflammatory response.

5 gallon bucket of arctic cold ice water. Constant 10 second dips, and or you may just want to leave your hand in there non stop for 48 hours. You can't literally do that, but get as close to it as possible.

Without icing, it's going to take forever for that whole thing to settle down (weeks, months). With icing, it's going to knock in down considerably faster.

Then we'll see what's happening with the joints etc.

FYI, have you ever tried the water filled punching bags? I love them. It hurts to punch a regular bag hard, but the water bags have lots of give.

Very nice.

Aug 07, 2012
Re: joshua
by: Robert

Thank youuu! Ive been icing it every chance i get and the inflammation went down a good amount. I can now touch nd feel my knuckles except the wedding finger one, and when i massage the back of my palm i notice a slight bump that seems like my bone, although it doesnt hurt much.

Could that have anything to do with my wedding finger knuckle?

Other than that my hand is getting better tho, i can Almost form a fist and extend my fingers all the way out. Im gonna take your advIce nd dip my hand in a cold bucket for as long as i can these 48 hrs.. Thank you, i appreciate it Joshua, And also for the quick response.

Ps. No ive actually never heard of them, ill look into them as ill need a softer bag for a few months. Thank you.

Aug 08, 2012
Knuckles hurt after school yard punch
by: Alex

When I was 15 I got in a schoolyard fight and I took a swing at someone and the blow landed on the back of their head. Trust me, I learnt my lesson - never to get involved in anything physically violent again!

My knuckles were really bad and have gradually got better. I can move the knuckles in all directions, but when I move them upwards, they hurt. The knuckles seem swollen and darker than my other knuckles.

I know the details are limited, but any ideas what's wrong with the knuckles? What should I do about it?




Joshua Comments:

Hi Alex.

Read the thread again. Sounds pretty par for the course

I imagine that there's still A. bone bruising and B. inflammation of and in the knuckle joint.

How long ago did this happen?

Aug 08, 2012
heat or ice better?
by: Alex

It happened a little over 3 years ago. I heard that ice is fantastic for newer injuries, but for older injuries your best bet is heat? Is there any truth to that?




Joshua Comments:

I don't think there's any truth to that, no.

Plus, you have deep and chronic inflammation and bruising. A flesh bruise is WAY different than a bruise of the hard dense bone/cartilage tissue.

I will always argue that ice is better than heat.

Aug 18, 2012
let me know way you think
by: jay

Last week Saturday I hit a pretty thick glass a few times and it didn't break. Over the course of the week I have soaked it in hot water with Epsom salt and I put an ointment on it called ubre de vaca.( some type of cow fat they sell in the pharmacy) the swelling has gone down substantially but my where my knuckels should be it hurts.

My right hand seems as though my knuckles aren't even there anymore. This has happened b4 at 16 now I'm 26. The first time there was a hairline fracture on the middle knuckle but this time I didn't bother to go to the er because I still have motor function except for the pain if something touches the surface of my hand.

Plus I can't bend my fingers backward like I can with my other hand.

What do you think.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jay.

I think you jacked up your hand and you should't hit hard objects with it anymore.

If it's the same hand (at the very least, use the other hand next time) you've definitely retriggered the old injury/inflammation response that was already lurking in there.

But if not, you've absolutely created a NEW injury and inflammation response.

Now you're all swollen. You still have hand mobility, that's good. You've bruised the bone and cartilage, is a safe bet. And you're all swollen.

Now, Ice Dip. And lots and lots and lots of it.

And go ahead and read through the entire thread again.

Sep 11, 2012
Hand hurts from punching walls for 3 years
by: Anonymous

I've been punching walls since I was about 16. I'm 19 now, a few of the things I punched included brick walls, cement and metal doors. My hand swelled up immensely and ever since although the swelling is gone and it's been a while since I've punched anything the pain is still there. Opening my hand and closing it isn't nearly as easy with my injured hand and I can't even fully close my hand into a fist. What's wrong with my hand and how do I fix it?


Joshua Comments:

What's wrong with your hand?

You've been treating it like a sledgehammer, but it's a watermelon.

What do you think is wrong with your hand?

You're young (young and dumb, as I like to say) so you get some leeway for thinking you're immortal and immune to physical problems down the line.

But. It sounds like you're in danger of having given yourself a lifetime of arthritis symptoms and decreased function in your hand.

Let's hope not.

That actual answer to your question is what you'll find if you read this thread:

Inflammation causing not only pain but swelling in and around the joint, bone bruising, possible bone and cartilage growth.

Hopefully your youth will work for you in repairing this. But it's just one factor.

You better get to work doing the right things to try to help bring your hand back to working order, I wouldn't rely on time and youth to fix it.

Also, stop punching things. Use your elbows on a punching bag. No more wall for you.

Sep 22, 2012
Knuckle Injury from punching walls to condition my hands
by: Anonymous

Around april this year i repeatedly hit a wall(was trying to condition my hands but i was at the time ignorant of the consequences of wall hitting) i am and was at the time of hitting wall 14 now and will turn 15 ,Nov 11 2012 God's Willing. What i want to know is that i still have swelling with a dark purple area on my middle knuckle on right hand that got hit the most.

Right now i am starting to ice it as much as possible and i have noticed the discoloration is slightly lighter than before i started icing alot. But my knuckle that got hit alot has a small indent that hurts when i pressed on it. My Human and Social Biology teacher told be to keep icing it to help swelling and inflammation and the indent will heal by itself and i should not worry too much.

The reason i am asking is to get professional advice to what happened to my hand and to know how to heal it, if the Lord Wills.

The indent only hurts when pressure is applied on it, months ago slight pressing on wall was enough to hurt it, but now after a few months later, which is now and especially since i started to ice it yesterday and everyday God's Willing, it does not hurt unless even more pressure is placed upon it.

The pain in mostly from where the indent is. The indent is not really that visible unless i contract my hand very hard. If i make a fist you won't see it but if it is contracted alot to were skin rests on knuckle it i noticeable. i want to know if the indent will heal especially since i am 14 and there's a chance it may heal as i grow. I don't want to take a chance and need some advice on how to help it heal besides icing and what is the possible problem.

Also i know i am not super human but i thought if i allowed my hand to heal it would become stronger. If God Wills it to heal i will never try to punch a wall alot again or if i do it will be with wraps or something and on things softer than walls like punching bags or stuffed bags. Though the good thing is that i learned ALOT about my hand health in trying to heal it and this site has alot of good tips and info too.


Joshua Comments:

Hey, a little prayer never hurt anyone. Keep at it.

Whatever avenues you use, the more you focus on healing, the better.

And, right action never hurt anyone either. There's plenty of suggested self care in this thread, so I'm not going to go over that again.

The indent may or may not fill back in. Youth has lots of benefits, so maybe. Make sure your Vitamin D level is where it should be, get plenty of magnesium and enough B6, and keep icing and massaging for circulation.

Bone bruises are slow to 'heal'. Damage to bone and joint tissue...even slower. You can help speed it up though, for the best results.

Sep 24, 2012
Knuckle injury from conditioning hands
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the advice. I will try to increase my intake of those nutrietns but what i want to know is why will the indent may or may not fill back itself and is i a slow process that may take even years to heal properly.

Also on my knuckle next to the middle wth the indent it took some damage too and when i contract it very hard it seems to have breaks slightly noticeable to the touch than the left(only when it is contracted to the spot it got hit) and it gets stiff or 'hard' when it contracts.

I want to know if any of these injuries are permanent meaning they can't heal and i will be stuck with them for a life-time unless i get professional help by Doctors, God's Willing.

Though i would like to say i didn't punch the wall very hard and i barley used strength, but it did get hit repeatedly many times and i think that's what caused the damage. I am very anxious and just want it to heal as i get this weird feeling when i see people punch hard things like walls in real life or on Anime.


Joshua Comments:

What would a doctor do for you?

I have no way of knowing whether it's permanent or not. It just all depends. And it depends on how much self care you're willing to put into it. It depends on your nutritional status. It depends on how your body responds to self care/no self care.

You have damaged the structures of your hands. Structures that 'heal' slowly. And the body adapts to the stresses placed upon it (though not really in the way you were hoping for), which accounts for stiffening up, tightness, etc, etc.

Maybe things will get better over time. Like I said, youth goes a long way.

Having said that, if you're interested in getting your hand back to a functional state, I suggest that you get to work with adequate self care.

Regardless of how you hit a wall repetitively, you hit a wall repetitively. The body isn't particularly fond of that.

Oct 10, 2012
Pain below pinky joint and above wrist
by: Anonymous

Hello, i recently punched a wall and below my pinky joint, above the wrist (carpal i think) it is swollen. The swelling is very hard and doesnt hurt when i touch it, but when i press it, it hurts inside and it's not red nor blue-ish coloured. Also, on the other side of the hand, same place, but at the palm, when i press it, there is pain there too and at the joint of the pinky. I can still move my fingers, including the pinky without pain but can't make my hand into a fist.

Any idea of what it might be?

Thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Any idea what it is?

Yes, I have a pretty clear idea: you punched a wall and you've jacked up your hand/joint.

Bone and/or cartilage bruising.

Read the thread, get to work.

Oct 26, 2012
Knuckle injury from all punching
by: Anonymous

The knuckle that has an indent does not hurt as much as before.In June it hurts when pressure was applied to it now(october) it doesn't hurt as much when the same pressure and it only hurts where the indent is.

I guess its healing, but i want to ask what is an approx for the healing time. i know it depends on severity but under normal circumstances whats the time taken to fully heal. i also know it may take years to heal since i am 14 turning 15 in Nov.

All i really want is a way to know or help my knuckle fix the indent. The knuckle itself looks basically the same and no one would know the difference unless they examine it.


Joshua Comments:

There's no real answer for 'the approximate time for healing'. It just all depends on what you did to it, what self care you're doing to try to help it, your overall/specific health situation, etc.

The best you can do is to help speed up recovery time with the right self care.

As far as the indent, I suspect you're just going to have to live with that. You punched something hard with something soft, and reshaped your tissue.

Maybe it will fill in/smooth out over time...but personally I'd let go of worrying about that and focus on getting rid of the pain and other symptoms.

Dec 18, 2012
Repeat hand trauma
by: Anonymous

Im 25 years old and have had 3 fractures of my fourth metacarpal on my right hand. My knuckle protrudes from the bottom of my palm. I was told by doctors that if I damaged my hand again there may be nothing they can do to help me. Right now my fingers overlap when I make a fist, I have a weak grip, and constant pain. My biggest problem however comes every time I hit my hand on anything. Right under my knuckle on that finger a large lump pops up almost instantly about the size of a walnut. It will go away after a day or so but hurts bad. Any ideas on what's causing it. I have also had surgery on that knuckle because I contracted cellulitis in it after one of the fractures and they had to put a tube in to drain it. Any advice would be great.


Joshua Comments:

Why are you still hitting things with that hand?

Jan 01, 2013
right pinky injury
by: Anonymous

Hi, I smacked my hand against our wall about 2 months ago and of course my hand hurt and turned red. It hurt to bend my fingers, but after a few days it was better. It always ached, but was ok. A couple of weeks ago, I shook hands with someone and they had a very firm grip and I had immediate pain in my pinky again! I was quite worried because it hurt to bend and was swollen. I have seen an orthopaedic to check for broken bones and he said nothing was broken and recommended taping the pinky and ring finger together. It has since been a couple of weeks, the pain is still there and the second knuckle is still larger than my other hand and the outside of that knuckle turns red. And help or opinions would be greatly appreciated!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Sounds like the typical bone bruise/joint bruise as discussed on this thread.

That's how it works. Pain might go away over time, but you'll notice how little it takes to re-irritate things.

This isn't due to injury like a fracture etc (assuming there isn't one), but is to to the function of the connective tissue that wraps bone and that makes up joint lining and structure. Flesh bruises go away fast. When connective tissue is involved, not so much.

Get to work on the self care.

Jan 07, 2013
Abnormal knuckles and wrist pain from pucning a wall in a fit of rage
by: Shedrick

I went into a fit of rage and punched a hard metal surface a few times. Shortly afterwards my hand became extremely swollen and very painful.

Now, approximately a month later, both the knuckles of my ring and pinky finger do not protrude as the others on the "normal" hand. I experience great pain throughout my pinky finger when my hand is squeezed. Also, my wrist and tendons of the ring and pinky finger hurt when the wrist is bent backwards and force is applied such as if I do a push-up.

Your help and knowledge will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Shedrick.

Ouch. I'm guessing you won't be doing that again!

Read through the thread. It says everything that I would tell you now (ice dipping, bone broth, self massage of the joint tissue and farther up the arm to get any muscle structure that is too tight and thus pulling the finger(s) into the joint(s).

Do the self care for a while, then give me an update.

Also, when you say it 'doesn't protrude like the others' does that mean you mashed it such that it's squished out of its original form?

Jan 07, 2013
Abnormal knuckles and wrist pain after punching a wall in a fit of age
by: Shedrick

Yes, they are squished in in comparison to the same fingers on my other hand. I definitely won't be doing that again. I will do everything you suggested and give an update in a few weeks. Thank you so much for your fast reply and advice.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Shedrick.

Do be patient. Joint damage/bruising is slow to change by design (of the tissue). But the self care will absolutely speed things along if done adequately.

The squished part likely won't return to how it was, so fair warning there. But first things first, get out of pain and return to free mobility/use of the hand/joints.

Jan 08, 2013
re Joshua
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the response. A bone bruise, I will have to do some research on that. I have been icing it and dipping it in cold water as you have mentioned. Still hurts like heck at times and still have some numbness in the pinky and through part of the hand below pinky area. I will keep you posted on the progress!


Joshua Comments:

For what it's worth, Bone Bruise

Jan 10, 2013
Possible sagital band injury from mma
by: Anonymous

I developed pain in my wedding finger on my right hand which caused swelling and pain through doing mma, when the swelling subsided I could feel like a tendon slipping off the knuckle bone, around a month ago I injured the same knuckle further doing mma and now as well as the moving tendon I now have an indent inbetween my knuckle bones on the injured knuckle, I have had x rays and I have no broken bones but pain in the knuckle area. I've done research and it sounds like a sagital band problem and is called boxers knuckle. What do you know about this is surgery the only option or if I have no movement loss at all in my finger will it just go away, the original injury was done around July 2012. I can strike with gloves on but at times the pain is terrible even feels sometimes like there is an exposed nerve in my knuckle or something like that.

Any advice whatsoever would be much appreciated

Many thanks.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sagital.

Well, if you've caused damage from striking etc, it may or may not be repairable (in the sense of staying in the striking game).

I don't normally recommend rest, but in this case I'd stop hitting things, and go light on using that hand for grappling etc. (how's that for a training regimen, only using your other hand...!)

Because every time you strike or grip hard, you're adding irritation to an already irritated dynamic.

Learn How To Reduce Inflammation. That will start to lower pain levels.

Get an MRI if you're really worried about it. Xrays are only good to see if there's a bone issue. You don't have a bone issue. Well, a new indent in your knuckle may count as a bone issue, technically.

If the tendon is slipping off it's spot on the knuckle, that's not great. If the connective tissue holding it there has been shredded, maybe surgery can repair that, I don't know. Especially in the 'repair it good enough to get back to striking' sense.

I would definitely follow the tendon down to the muscle and start working on that muscle to soften it up/lengthen it. The tighter it is, the less slack it gives and the more factors are at play to pull the tendon off the knuckle. I would absolutely focus on that.

See the conversation at Long Term Hand Injury From Punching A Wall - Hand Tendonitis And Knuckle Pain. Everything there applies.

Jan 12, 2013
Sagital band
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your reply and information I have a doctors appointment on Monday and hope to get referred to a hand specialist, I will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again for your prompt reply.


Joshua Comments:

You're welcome. Definitely keep us updated.

And I'm always curious to hear what the doctors (and things like MRI's etc) have to say.

If you're seeing a GP and end up at a specialist, I'd be curious to hear their opinions about whether surgery is required or not, and the predictions for future ability to strike/grapple post surgery.

Feb 01, 2013
Punched wall, knuckle is large and soft
by: Adam

I saw how consistent you were with answering everyone's concerns and I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice as well. About a month ago I punched a wooden wall very hard with my right hand. After I punched it I felt immediate pain in my knuckles, specifically my middle finger knuckle. It began to swell and after about a week the swelling was almost gone.

I iced it consistently and ended up getting an x-ray just to make sure nothing was fractured. Everything was okay.

After about 3 weeks I began boxing on it. Now whenever I box I wear gel pads under my hand wraps followed by 14 oz gloves. Every time I throw a right hand it stings and although the pain is not that bad I am curious how long it will take to heal if it will at all.

Also I noticed that the knuckle is flattened right in the middle and is very soft and squishy on the flat part. It is also a lot wider and bigger overall than my middle finger knuckle on my left hand. I know I probably shouldn't keep boxing on it, but it is very important to me and I can't stop training. What would you recommend? Should I be worried?

Do I need to stop boxing in order for it to heal or can I still box with the gel and wraps and expect it to heal over time? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Adam.

1. You have literally reshaped your knuckles. They're not bone, they're (relatively) soft cartilage (parts of them, anyway).

It's INCREDIBLY unlikely the knuckles will return to the original shape. Will the soft/mushy harden up? Probably, though that's a long slow process. It's a function of time and proper nutrition so the building can be properly built.

2. Can you continue boxing (with gel pads) and still have things heal? Probably yes. But recovery will be far slower. If you include serious self care with your boxing, that will increase the speed of a slower recovery.

Hitting things adds negative factors. Effective self care adds positive factors. It's a constant push and pull taking the boulder uphill or downhill.

3. Switch to kickboxing for a couple months and focus on/specialize in elbow strikes. This will give your hands a break and improve your close range/movement skills. Just a thought.

4. Don't punch walls again. Ever. But I imagine you've already learned that lesson.

5. Worry won't help anything, so no, IMHO, you shouldn't worry. I'd put all that worry energy and motivation to train into self care awareness and action. Self care is it's own kind of training.

Feb 02, 2013
by: Adam

I really appreciate the prompt feedback, and yes i've definitely learned my lesson. Thanks!

Feb 24, 2013
hi I punched a wall wooden door and had a punch up in the last 2 weeks
by: Anonymous

First of all I punched a wall and wooden door in a rage and my hand was sore nothing to bad then about a week later I got into a silly punch up and a few days later have noticed my hand swelling, bruised and my little pinky and right wedding finger knuckles are squished but I have a pain below my pinky in my wrist when I move it certain way also I have experienced my fingers going cold and the tips numb could please helped because I don't know whether to go hospital and have it x rayed or whether it will be ok please write back as soon as possible thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonypuncher.

A trip to the doc for xrays etc might not be a bad idea.

You punched a hard object, you jacked your hand up. Welcome to the reality of a soft tissue body.

Read through the entire thread, then if you have any questions let me know.

Feb 25, 2013
Broken wrist and metal plate surgically attached
by: Deborah

Hi Joshua,
About a year ago I broke my wrist which required surgery and a metal plate was attached to repair the break. I've had months of PT and even a few with a OPT. I have full extension with my wrist and can do push-ups with minimal pain.

My flexion is about 65-70 percent. The problem is with my fingers and that is why I am writing you for advice. I can finally make a tight fist but it still hurts and my little finger pops up.

I know the break and surgery must have traumatized the tendons and ligaments in my hand and fingers. I can't play my violin because the last two fingers will not stretch. Is it possible to still regain the flexibility I had before the break? I don't think any of the joints in my hand are locked up.


Joshua Comments:

Probably your ligaments were traumatized, but your tendons weren't. They're just cables attached to the bungee cord of your muscles.

Your muscles have responded by being more tight, connective tissue has shrunk wrapped down, your nutrition has gotten eaten up, etc.

As long as the metal plate isn't restricting anything, yes you can theoretically retain full range of motion and function, etc. Don't leave it to time and rest, of course, as that won't get your function back.

And icing as I describe it is great for decreasing pain and increasing circulation and healing, it doesn't do much for flexibility etc.

Mar 04, 2013
i am icing my hand while m typing this..
by: Anonymous

i hope applying ice solves this issue,we should all stop punching walls!!!!!

Mar 13, 2013
5 months ago and I still can't even tap my knuckle of soft things help me please?
by: Anonymous

Roughly 5 months ago I had a run in with someone who I refused to hit so when they left I took my anger out on a plexi glass window thinking won't do too much damage, it swelled up to over 2 times the size it was but even to this day if I gently punch my mate in the arm or something it severely hurts help me because I don't want this for the rest of my life any help is welcome and appreciated.


Joshua Comments:

Well, the good news is you didn't hit someone and end up in jail. The bad news is, you jacked your hand up.

Read the thread. All will be revealed.

Also, describe your hand. Is the cartilage disfigured, has the shape changed, has all obvious swelling gone down, etc?

Apr 01, 2013
knuckle injury is healing
by: Anonymous

Last year I hit my hand on a wall. now in April the knuckle not only doesn't hurt as much as it use to before, but the indents on it seems to be 'filling up'. It still looks indented but doesn't not feel as indented as it was before months ago, also the part that use to be soft imo is now harder imo.

I have learned that knuckle injuries especially on how its injured. I also want to thank you for taking the time to answer not only my questions but the questions of others who posts too.


Joshua Comments:

Great. I'm glad things are feeling better, and super glad the 'dents' are filling in/hardening up.

Did you do self care suggested here, or just let time do it's thing, or a combination of both?

Apr 04, 2013
by: Anonymous

Its a combination of both actually. Time though really helped in hardening and the start of filling the 'dents' while the tips here helped with the pain and stiffness.

May 09, 2013



Joshua Comments:

Hi Shah.

People were afraid of your grip because you were tougher. Now, HOPEFULLY you are afraid of the wall because it is tougher. Shame is the precursor to humility....

No more punching walls for you.

So let's see...you punched a wall or you karate chopped a wall? I'm thinking it's the former.

If you punched a wall, and your knuckles don't hurt but the side of your hand does, that's interesting.

1. Are your knuckles hurt at all?

2. Describe the pain on the side of the hand. Who how where what when?

3. Have you had your hand xrayed?

Start ice dipping as this thread describes, and answer the above questions.

May 10, 2013
Deformed bones in right hand due to hitting walls
by: Anonymous

The knuckles in my right hand have deformed in comparison to my left hand due to punching many walls. The bones almost seem as they are constantly swollen/deformed but i feel no pain when applying force to the bones. The bones are slightly "Squishy" to the touch even months after the impacts but with no swelling around the knuckles. Is this a sign of "Bruised bones"?

I train MMA/Boxing at home and after every workout, the knuckles in my right hand are red and sore, certain parts of my knuckles give of excruciating amounts of pain when pressure is added and the pain will last a few days (I have high pain thresholds if this makes any difference to the situation).

After a few days my knuckles will be back to normal in appearance but i still experience pain when slight pressure is added and my knuckles will still be deformed. Is there any way of my knuckles returning to their normal shape/structure?

I hope you can help, thank you.


Joshua Comments:

Hi AnonyWallPuncher.

It seems like your knuckles are swollen/deformed because they are. Basically yes, you have bruised knuckles.

Cartilage and joint tissue does not behave the same as skin, muscle, etc, when it's hurt/damaged. You're currently experiencing how cartilage/joint tissue behaves when bashed against hard objects.

1. You say you're doing MMA workouts at home. I'm going to guess that that means you're solo, and it's punching a bag that irritates your knuckles.

Do you wear gloves? If not, you should. If you do, get thicker gloves. At this point you want to stop as much impact force to the knucles as you can, so you can heal as much as possible while still working out.

2. Will your knuckles return to pre-wall-punching state? Not unless you stop punching stuff. So you can either go completely punch free and spend time on the self care, or keep punching and have a markedly slower recovery, or you can go somewhere in between those two ends of the spectrum.

And they may never reshape, but that's less important than returning to full pain-free function.

And, you may have ruined your ability to be a strong puncher, depending on what you did in there. For instance, if you take a year off and devote it to rehabbing your hands and the pain is all gone etc, and then you go punch a heavy bag, you may, or may not, move pack towards pain etc. It just depends on what you have going on and how you do your rehab.

3. See the rest of the self care and suggestions and explanations in the thread.

Jun 24, 2013
you say you know what your doing.
by: joe

listen joshua

i dont wanna hear another you have jacked up your hand i know i have but here is my story

im 17 yrs old and my family hate my gf (all except my mum and dad) anyway in retaliation for them taking the piss out of her i punched a wall about 7 or 8 times over and over again (like a boxing bag punch) my knuckles went red and swelled up also i have this fluidy feeling in my hand (no i do not mean blood)

what i mean is whenever i press on it, it makes a squelching noise i want to know what i have done to my hand without any of this stop punching wall stuff u say u know what your doing yet every answer is the same i haven't had an x-ray because my family say its nothing serious its been 2 weeks and it still hurts.


Joshua Comments:

1. There's a reason I say the same thing over and over. It's because those are A. the things you need to know and B. the things you need to do.

There is a lot of small differences in scenario of what happens after punching a wall, but there's not a whole lot of variety to the required self care, and not a whole lot of variety to how the body works when soft tissue impacts hard surfaces.

It sounds like you've read the thread. Great. Read it again, and look for the similarities to A. the scenarios of different people and B. what I tell them to do. You need to do those things if you want a faster recovery. You're 17, but youth only goes so far with healing/recovery, and you can speed up that recovery greatly.

2. Thanks for the details of your scenario. The 'squelching' thing hasn't come up very much. Basically, all that swelling and extra fluid is 'interstitial fluid'. Not blood, but the white fluid you see when you cut yourself.

Some people 'swell' more than others. It just all depends on how your body reacts to injury.

You have a bunch of swelling in the knuckles area that has spread to the hand (fluid has to go somewhere), it sounds like.

3. I say 'you jacked up your hand' for a reason.

It is not an admonishment. I'm not calling people stupid. I don't care what they hit or why they hit it.

That reason I say that phrase (and I say it other ways too), is to impart the concept that 'this is not just a bruise, this is a serious physical issue'.

It's not as bad as getting hit by a car, obviously, but damage to the soft tissue of the knuckles A. doesn't heal fast, B. can hurt for years and decades, C. cause problems like arthritis later in life.

Again, I really don't give a damn that you punched a wall. I care that you learn how to reduce the side effects and speed up the recovery.

4. Aside from what I've already commented on here, you want to know what happened to your hand?

Read the thread again, 'every answer is the same' for a reason.

Jul 06, 2013
minor but constant knuckle pain
by: habitualwallpuncher

I'm an 18 year old female and when I turned 15 I started punching walls, preferably stone ones when I got upset (due to the fact that I also had a tendency to punch through wooden walls and was afraid I would do it again if it wasnt sturdy). It became a substitute for tears bc I hate crying bc it makes me feel weak. so anyway it happened a lot, often I punch walls before the previous bruise was healed.

now though between my pinky and ring finger knuckles is VERY sensitive. also because of a slightly larger than average middle finger knuckle, the way that my fist falls on the wall if I don't pay attention is just flat on the last three knuckles, neglecting the index, so I never had any issues with the index finger.

but whenever I punch walls it bruises REALLY dark all the way back from the middles of my fingers to the right side of my wrist. sometimes if I pull on something with that hand, esp if its bruised, I feel a sharp pain shoot like electricity up my arm and my elbow wrist and shoulder hurts for a while after. ive never rly tried to do anything for it after punching bc I kinda try to keep this habit a secret.

a female who blackens her knuckles punching walls because she let's herself get angry instead of crying? not very attractive. what could be wrong with my hand and what can I do(if anything) to fix it?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Habitual.

1. Read through the thread. All the answers to your questions are there.

2. I suggest a punching bag and some gloves. They have thick wall pads for punching training, so wouldn't have to hang a bag.

Now, you need thickly padded gloves, because it's going to take some time for the joint bruising and joint injury to heal.

The discoloration is no big deal, per se, that's just from blood and fluid leaking out in to the soft tissue, a bruise.

It's the joint tissue you need to worry about, take care of, and give some respite to.

3. If you're into the sensation of it (nothing to be ashamed of there, but one does need to find a way for it to be workable and safe), then mix it up some. Forearm strikes, elbow strikes, heel strikes.

DO NOT knee a wall or wall-like object. Don't jack your knee up. A faulty hand you can get through life with, a faulty knee....creates a higher degree of pain and disability.

Be smart about it. Change it up to attacking couch pads or the equivalent. There's no future in a habit of punching immovable objects, the body can't take it, and won't. Your fist is already losing. You can help it back to 'good' condition, but it's a losing proposition if you don't change this particular habit into a more sustainable habit.

Jul 17, 2013
Pure Genius
by: Christians Mama

Hi, So first I should say that I realize that hitting an inanimate object was not the brightest idea.

I'm not a violent person. I have been under a lot of stress, and my 23 month old (almost 2) was screaming at 1 am. Clients were driving me nuts, at 1 am I was still answering client e-mails.

Well, I walked into my bedroom, hit my apothecary chest as hard as I could, and loudly dropped the F bomb. The problem is, that I'm not normally a fighter. So I didn't exact punch the chest. I basically slapped it with full force.

The bone between my wrist and thumb collided with one of the many knobs. Now' it's black and blue, swollen about 3x's it's size, and HURTS!

Can you break a bone that way? Or do you think it's just a bone bruise or tendon damage? It hurts primarily around the trapezium or trapezoid bones (thank you, google!) It's swollen from the top of wrist, to the bottom base of the thumb.

Do you think I should drive almost 2 hours to the VA hospital, or do you think it will go away on it's own? Do you think it's something that would require a surgery? I don't do well with general anesthesia. Please let me know what you think.

On a side note...you mentioned bone broth for joint/tendon health. Years ago, my A&P professor told me to occasionally eat the cartilage off of chicken legs. Does drinking bone broth and eating chicken cartilage have the same effect?


Joshua Comments:

Hi CM.

I'm lucking in that I don't have to deal with what lead up to the impact, I just deal with what to do about the side effects.

So, you basically slapped a hard object, and that hard object had a little knob (or equivalent) that hit either or both of your thumb joint and carpal bones.

And now it's swollen and black and blue.


Can you break bones this way? Absolutely.
Can you tear tendon or ligament? Absolutely.

Did you? I have no way of knowing.

Should you rush to the hospital? Personally I wouldn't until I got the swelling etc down. You could get an xray, and that would give you good info, but all they're going to do is put you in a splint or a cast, give you anti-inflammatories, tell you not to use your hand, etc.

If you fractured or tore something, there's nothing to do about it right at the moment. First thing's first, get the swelling down.

If it's as swollen as you say, they likely wouldn't put a cast on it anyway.

How do you do that? Ice Dip! Read through the thread and you'll see all about that and links to get you to more info on it.

Ice dip intensively for a few days. It's going to take a few days. Keep a 5 gallon bucket, or smaller bucket, full of arctic cold ice water, and just keep dipping.

Obviously if symptoms get worse a trip to the doc might be a good idea, but unless you have a broken artery that needs surgery or some such, there's not really anything they can do for you (if you tore a tendon/ligament, they're not going to do surgery when you're so acute).

Aug 02, 2013
knuckle pain from repetitive striking
by: T

Hi Joshua, thanks in advance. I read through the threads and my situation is a little different. I hurt my knuckles before (bruising and swelling)and it usually heals itself rather quickly.

This time, the swelling and bruising has subsided but the pain is still there. I have full mobility but i noticed my middle knuckle has a moveable, semi-squishy lump on it that is painfull when i apply pressure to it.

In the morning its hard but after ice and massage it gets squishy and grity. Almost like a sponge that absorbed sand if that makes any sense. There is also a slight dent but im only worried about the pain. Ive recently switched to weapons training but i like to return to striking asap.

What kind of tests (besides xray) can i have done to see what is wrong and what do you think it will cost? Should i keep massaging it or should i let it rest?

Thanks again.


Joshua Comments:

Hi T.

What have you been repetitively striking?

With or without gloves? What kind of gloves/protection?

How long a time span are we talking here that you've been having knuckle pain?

Aug 05, 2013
knuckle pain from repetitive striking pt 2
by: T

I didnt realize you'd be responding so quickly. Thank you for that. I lashed 2 4x4's together and rounded out the edges so there's no sharp corners. I started with a basic hand wrap but 4 months ago i switched to just wrapping my wrists.

The incident occurred about 2 months ago. (Usually it takes my hands about 10 days tops to heal back to 100%) This time its been going on 2 months and the pain is still there like it just happened yesterday. The swelling subsided in the normal time frame. THAT MOVEABLE, SQUISHY, GRITTY LUMP IS STILL THERE AND HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE INCIDENT. THATS WHAT I'M WORRIED ABOUT! Ive not used that hand since the incident.

I have a fight coming up in 2 months. My trainer is telling me not to worry but his hand is not the one in pain. I hurt my hands many times in the past but ive never been worried until now. Like i said before, i switched to weapons training but the weapons demonstration is a small accomplishment.

The full contact tournament is where the real glory is. Thank you again.


Joshua Comments:

Here's why I like MMA over Boxing. In boxing, a guy gets his face/head pounded over and over (big hits).

In MMA, a guy generally just gets his face/head pounded on a couple few times (big hits) and the fight's over.

Over a career, that's a HUGE difference, or should I say, reduction in the amount of damage the body takes.

It's not different with your knuckles. If you're pounding body parts that weren't designed to pound on solid objects over and over again, then sooner or later, it's going to end badly.

Historically, you took damage, and you healed back to a point where you thought that you were 'as good as new'. But you weren't.

Like a brick wall crumbling slowly with age (well, sort of like), your soft tissue was basically getting less and less structurally sound.

Then one day you gave it more than it could take and it collapsed.

Personally, I'd consider your career of punching solid wood or stone or metal over.

Can you still train? Absolutely. Can you still strike in tournaments? Absolutely. Can you still spar? Absolutely.

Would I adjust my training? Of course. Open hand strikes (for training, instead of constantly irritating the knuckles), working on speed and accuracy (light touch) instead of 'strengthening your fists' (which is a load of bs anyway, past a certain point), saving your knuckles so they can heal and restructure themselves, etc.

(continued in next)

Aug 05, 2013
knuckle pain from repetitive striking pt 3
by: T

PS: The lump is rock hard before ice and massage. It seems like the lump should be where the dent is. Should i have tests done, sling it or continue ice and massage? Thank you again


Joshua Comments:

What range of answers would you expect from 'tests'?

It might be interesting to hear what docs would say, but basically they're going to say 'stop punching stuff, rest, immobilization, etc'.

I can't imagine that they'd recommend surgery, because what is there to do?

Back to what I was saying in last post. You definitely need to give your knuckles a break. That soft tissue is slow healing. You can help it along with icing and nutrition and gentle massage and not punching hard things, aka damaging already damaged tissue.

Will the tissue become hard again in the future? Most likely yes. Will it if you keep tenderizing it? Less likely.

Part of aging and part of being an athlete is learning about your body and learning how to best use your body.

If you have the 'soft lump' that used to be hard tissue, that's the spot that took most of the damage, so you need to outsmart your current situation. Adjust your training. Save your hands. Wear bigger gloves. Tell your trainer that longevity is better than being forced to quit due to inability to function.'

You gotta do what you gotta do to go for the glory, but at the same time, you gotta work with what you got and make the best of it.

Sep 03, 2013
confused, worried and sore after accidentally punching a mirror frame
by: renee

I recently punched the frame of the mirror (by accident) but with all my force. My middle finger and fore finger swelled up to golfballs, everyone told me it was broke, and went purple. I left it two days to go to the doctor, it didn't hurt that bad. X ray showed no broken bones or anything (doctor was amazed).

I went home with a support for my hand, one morning I was doing my hair without the support on and I felt a pop in my hand and then a shot of pain that easier after a minute. It hasn't the same since. Its been just over a week now and I am getting a stiff, shooting pain in the middle of the back of my hand between the two knuckles. I don't know what's wrong, and when ever I write at school it gets sore too. Is it bruised/trapped nerves or tendons. Its really sore compared to what it was like.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Renee.

It's certainly bruised, both on the exterior surface and almost certainly the interior of the joint (basically).

Was that 'popping' a joint separating or dislocating?

The swelling isn't a problem per se, that's just the body's inflammation process. Granted, the less swelling the better, but there's no rule that says you have to have a break/fracture to have that much swelling.

You definitely want to learn how to reduce inflammation, even now that the swelling has reduced. Look for those links in this thread.

First things first, ice dip like crazy for a week, then give me an update and we'll go from there.

Sep 07, 2013
Punched Wooden floor
by: James D.

Im 15 . I was recently in my schools gym & hit the hard wood floor. Now my middle finger knuckle is slightly bruised & it feels spongy to the touch. I can feel it when I open and close my fist.

What can it be ?


Joshua Comments:

Read the thread. "What can it be" is described and explained many many times.

Sep 09, 2013
by: renee

Thank you, I still don't know what it was but it is getting much better.. I haven't taken anything for the pain or swelling and even at that its not bad at all. It has gone down immensely even since I talked to you. On the way to recovery. I don't think i dislocated anything, my father thinks the piping might have been something going into place.

Sep 10, 2013
Internal scar tissue in finger after mild injury
by: Christina


Last year I twisted my middle finger. It was swollen but I could move it with no significant pain. I iced it and took anti inflammatory pills and used some anti inflammatory cream.

However, one month later after the incident the finger was still swollen so I decided to have it checked. The xrays revealed no fracture and the doctor who saw me basically told me I was going to be just fine, only it will take a bit longer to heal since the injury was mainly to the soft tissue in the finger and recommended some motion exercises.

But now, months later, although no motion/pain problems, I am left with some scar tissue which makes my finger look bigger than the one from my left hand (on one side it appears like a lump/bump).

Is there anything I can do now to break-up the scar tissue?


Joshua Comments:

Hi CHristina.

The answer is, maybe.

Scar tissue build up is literally the formation of new tissue.

So either:
A. you can rub it/massage it and it will go away over time, or
B. you can rub it/massage it over time and it won't go away.

If you don't have any pain/problem, and it's just a visual flaw, that's a huge plus.

The danger is, that scar tissue continues to lay down and the lump gets bigger.

Were I you I'd start rubbing/massaging the lump.
You want to keep that scar tissue soft and malleable, like a gummy bear. If you let it get all dried out and crucnchy, scar tissue fibers break off and the body lays down new scar tissue fiber to 'heal' the injury.

So either way, you want to speand a serious month of workign that lump. Every time you think about it (more often that that...link it to every meal or every time you check your email or...) reach over and rub the lump for 30 seconds. After a week of that, start rubbing/pushing harder to force that lump to smooth out.

Do that for a month and check back in let's see exactly what you did and exactly what the results were.

Sep 12, 2013
thanks, saw a doctor, strataderm
by: Christina

Hi there,

Thank you for the advice! For the last two weeks or so I actually started to massage the lump. The problem is that immediatley after i started doing so the finger started to swell up again in the area. Maybe I over did it? How often and how intense should the massage be?

Recently, I also went to have it checked (again) by a doctor. Her best guess was that the sprain healed with scar tissue. She recommended to apply a cream (scar cream) Strataderm and then to wrap the finger (pip joint) with coban.

The good thing is that only after two days the inflammation was gone, however the scar tissue lump still there. I am aware that it will take some time. I have read about strataderm and it seems to work on external scars (new or old). Do you know if this can actually be effective if the scar tissue is underneath the skin?

thank you!


Joshua Comments:

I don't know about Strataderm. Does it absorb in all the way through the skin? If not, it's probalby not going to help.

So you rubbed on it, a lot/a little? And it inflammed/swelled up? How much swelling? Say more about that.

Sep 15, 2013
massaging and swelling
by: Christina

Hi Joshua,

Well, it seems that rubbing/massaging the finger increases the swelling in the pip joint area.

Also, I have noticed that after removing the coban wrap, the finger is not swollen, looks rather normal, however on the sides of the pip joint of the finger the skin seems to be somewhat hardened/thickened, with the consistency of a hard bunion. Also, after maybe half an hour-1 hour after getting the coban wrap off, mild swelling is back.

If I press down on the inflammed/hardened area/lump it does go down, but when moving the finger it comes right back with mild swelling.

About strataderm, it doesn't really soak into the skin (it forms a layer of silicone), however I have received a response from the producer: they said that if the scar protrudes to the surface of skin it should hydrate it and thus normalize collagen production which should flatten and soften it, but to what extent hard to say..

What do you mean when you say that one of the dangers is that the scar tissue will continue to lay? Can massaging/rubbing the area actually trigger more scar tissue in the process? Should I continue massaging the area, could you please be more specific with what movements/intensity I should use.

Can you think of maybe other alternatives to break and soften the scar tissue? I have read about castor oil and ultrasound therapy? Is it possible that in time, with motion exercises this scarred tissue will break down by itself?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Christina.

1. Compression wraps don't stop the inflammation process, but they do prevent the swelling. You'll notice that as soon as you remove the wrap the swelling...swells.

2. Sorry, tell me again exactly where the inflamed/hardened area/lump is? Also, and again sorry if you're repeating yourself, can you tell if the lump is on a tendon or not on a tendon?

Say more about the 'hardened area' and I'll the respond to the questions you asked re: scar tissue.

Sep 16, 2013
location of scar tissue
by: Christina

Hi Joshua,

The lump/hardened tissue is on the side of the middle finger, towards the ring finger (right above where the finger flexes around the pip joint, towards the end of the middle phalanx. being on the side of the finger, could be on the lateral ligament?


Joshua Comments:

What actions does that finger do regularly? Mouse, keyboard, knitting, etc? Do you have a nervous 'twitch' such that you constantly rub that spot? Or does some activity rub that spot? Or does your fingertip put a lot of pressure on something a lot/regularly?

Anything along those lines? I'm looking to see what forces are at play that might be affecting that spot. It would be VERY surprising for that spot to be having a problem for no reason.

Is the skin itself hardened? Or is it like the, for instance, ligament or joint tissue underneath has enlarged/grown?

Sep 17, 2013
location of scar tissue soft like a gummy bear
by: Christina

Normal actions I would say. It seems more like your second guess: ligament or joint tissue underneath has enlarged/grown. If I lightly massage/press on sides of the joint it does diminish.

It feels just like having extra tissue, it is soft to the touch (just like a gummy bear), no pain when I touch it/press on it.

Any thoughts?


Joshua Comments:

The danger of scar tissue is that it will continue to lay down over time (thus get a bigger 'lump'. So it's worth it to do the work now and keep it soft/malleable instead of brittle.

It's also worthwhile to find out WHY that lump is forming. 'Normal' activities is kind of vague. Unless your body is experienceing nutritional lack and doing something weird by building new tissue in that spot, the main/only reason for what you describe is repetitive tension/pressure on that joint or on the muscle/tendon structure such that spot thinks it needs to make itself bigger/stronger to withstand that pressure.

Included in that is the muscle/tendon structure is too tight and is compressing that joint (more than the others?) and thus the spot thinks it needs to build up/become stronger to withstand the pressure.

Rub the spot. Rub the tendon and muscle connected to it to soften the muscle and take pressure off the spot. Find out what you're doing with that finger that puts pressure on it/sideways pressure on it, and adapt/change/stop doing that action.

Oct 16, 2013
Possible injury from wall punching
by: Leo

Hi Joshua!
I'm a martial arts practioner. Many years ago, during some wall pucnhing drills I struck a part of a wall that had a quite small, "splinter" like, object the size of a pins head. This caused a sharp pain and a bruise (but not major pain or swelling) that went away after some time (any sort of punching, for months, was stoped).

Years ago, there was no problem till then, I managed to hit a similar object that caused the same small, sharp-like pain.

Lately, again years after the second incident, it appears it can get sore "easier" than before (mostly with power punching, when major body mass is involved), i.e. after some wooden board punching drills, or even against the abdomen of a fellow practioner. After this "mini pain" I can also cause some pain by softly hitimg the knuckles of my left and right hands together.

Generally, I've stopped the majority of these drills, especially with my right hand (the one with the issue).

The area that can hurt is in the left half part of my middle finger's knuckle (the one opposite the index) on my right hand. My finger can reach the entire range of motion without any pain, there is no visible deforming of any kind, also no fractures.

Could these injuries be chronic or non related?
Also what would you suggest I should do?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Leo.

If the pain over the years has been on the same knuckle, I can't imagine that they're not related.

Any particular part of the body can take only so much 'damage' before it gets into a habitual 'defensive, please don't hurt me again' state.

Said another way, you now have an active and chronic inflammation process there in the knuckle, your nervous system is primed to cause you pain to avoid further injury (not super smart, but that's what it does). YOu may or may not actually have damaged/deformed/soft knuckle tissue, but you probably do have, effectively, a permanent 'bone bruise'.

YOu'll find what to do throughout this thread. In short, ice dip, ice massage, gently rub frequently throughout the day until you win.

Even when you win, you may want to consider not hittin wood, walls, etc, or anything without some padding. It's rare to get what you describe back to pre-injury state. You can generally get it good and functional with some work and time, but personally I wouldn't be hitting wooden boards once you get yourself pain free/pain lowered.

You'll have to play with how much you can do against how much causes re-irritation.

NOTE FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW: Training your knuckles on a wooden board etc doesn't actually make your knuckles stronger/harder. It just desentisized the tissue and desensitized your brain to the trauma. Which is fine as long as you train smart and understand what's happening so you can deal with it. Gotta do what you gotta do, and sometimes you gotta desensitize your knuckles, shinbones, etc.

Oct 18, 2013
Hardened skin...
by: Christina

Hey Joshua!

Thanks for the advice. I have to say that my finger is looking a bit better now - the swelling is almost gone (it seems that the first time I had started massaging the finger I actually managed to reinjure the soft tissue..)

For the last month I have been using the coban wrap with the strataderm and some antiinflammatory cream. However, the "lump" (middle finger, on the right side,right above/ near the PIP joint) I was telling you about is still there...I tried rubbing and daily exercising but now I am just afraid I'll make it worse again.

The problem now is that I have noticed that the skin on the finger has kind of hardened/thickened. This is really visible only when I soak my hand in water: it wrinkles excessively - the skin on the finger feels and looks really hard and it kind of looks sort of enlarged..The part with the lump almost feels like a hard bunion that has formed inside the finger.

After drying out and applying cream it gets better. However, whenever I get my hand in water it just turns into the finger of an old person so to speak. I have to mention that this is the only part of my body with this issue, so I am inclined to think that rubbing/ stretching/ coban wrapping for so long might be the cause..What are your thoughts?

I am really stressed out about this...Will my skin return to normal, will it tighten back? Is it possible that this is a permanent condition? I have read that skin hardening is due to excess collagen build up. Does the body have the ability to reduce this build up? Will my skin return to its normal aspect? Any suggestions on how to improve things?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Christina.

Some lumps one can rub out, some one can't.

Some lumps it doesn't matter how hard on e rubs them, some get irritated/inflammed etc. It just depends on what you have going on.

If scar tissue laying down, then yes that can make skin hard(er), thicker, etc. Are you using a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory cream? That can do that to skin too.

Did you ever find the tendon that runs along there and follow it up to the muscles in the forearm and rub on/soften them?

Oct 24, 2013
skin stretching
by: Anonymous

hello Joshua,

No, I did not use/am not using a corticosteroid anti-inflamm cream.

Could the coban wrapping and stretching the finger (maybe excessively) cause the skin on my finger to get loose/overstretch? The fine lines on the back of the finger seem to be more pronounced (and looks more creased) than on my other fingers.

Does the skin has the ability to tighten back and return to previous state? any suggestions?


Joshua COmments:

It's INCREDIBLY unlikely that stretching any amount would loosen up skin to any extent.

The wrap, also unlikely.

I thought the skin was getting harder/denser/tighter. Now you're saying looser, and I'm confused. Perhaps I missed something?

Oct 28, 2013
Middle Knuckle messsed up for life?
by: Anonymous

I punched a solid wall a few times very hard maybe a year ago, i have damaged my middle knuckle and have not been to get an xray

My middle knuckle is the only one that hurts, and it only hurts when i work out or touch the knuckle with any pressure. It isnt a sharp pain but it really does hurt. (Tapping my knuckles together, or just tapping it on a wall lightly with my middle knuckle hurts).

I couldnt see this knuckle being like this for the rest of my life, i dont know what i would do

My knuckle is still swollen a year later as well, or it has gotten bigger. Because it is larger then my left hands middle knuckle

Any idea what i can do? Im only 18 years old, i really want this to be fixed. Should i see a doctor asap? Do i have an extremly bad case of swollen bones?

Please help me, thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anony18.

The knuckle certainly could be larger due to the impacts. Larger with some residual swelling.

It's unlikely that it's -just- swellilng having the knuckle be larger. But I haven't actually seen your hand...anything is possible (but I wouldn't put money on the 'just swollen' option).

You hit a wall a few times, and have a bone bruise (soft tissue knuckle bruise, essentially the same thing). You're stuck in a pain causing dynamic and a chronic process of inflammation, thus tapping the knuckles together a year later hurts.

What have you done for self care, other than given it a year?

The answers you are looking for are in this thread repeatedly, so read it, read it again, and get to work.

Oct 28, 2013
skin ridges
by: Anonymous

hi! The skin on the finger gradually got better. It's not that hardened anymore.

What I was asking you about was the fine lines, the ridges on the skin.

When I bend the finger these lines/ridges (that on my other fingers are barely noticeable) on my middle finger (that I have coban wrapped) seem overstretched and are more noticeable.

Can this be due to stretching & coban wrapping? Is this permanent or will they shrink/smooth back eventually?


Joshua Comments:

Well, of course, the only possible answer is 'we'll see'.

There's been a lot of change happening there, so if you're feeling better, I don't see any reason why things wouldn't return to normal, skin/lines/ridges-wise.

Having said that, if the lump/bump is still there, and or grows, then it's pulling the skin such that when you bend the finger, the skin across the joint already has some stretch on it, so when it stretches more to accomodate the joint bending, it will stretch more. That sounds like a likely cause of the increased ridge/line. I should have thought of that possible explanation earlier.

Oct 28, 2013
Middle knuckle messed up for life?
by: Anony18

Hey Joshua thanks for replying so fast, i read this thread a few times over today. From what ive learned i should start taking joint specific nutrition, maybe tape 2 fingers together, ice it more and also heat it before i ice it.

For self care i have iced my hand maybe once a week when it does hurt (without hitting anything). maybe i should tell you that i hit a few more things then a wall, like a tree and the ground. But ive learned to stop, and stopped a year ago because i want good hands, and now it would hurt way too much to punch something anyways

I have noticed when i straighten my finers thay the knuckle is deformed, it isnt smooth, kind of bumpy. If there was a way i could take a pic and show you i would. I read that this could be messed up cartilage?

Thanks again


Joshua Comments:

Funny how pain will stop us from doing things that cause pain...

Yes, messed up cartilage. Possibly permant. So first thing's first, let's try to lower pain levels/become pain free.

You could take a picture, but it's unlikely I would have anything in particular to say about it. There's only so much variety available post-punching things harder than the tissue of the fist.

Ice Dip A LOT. Ongoingly. Idly rub at the knuckles (not to hard, but firmly, and if it hurts lighten up).

Check in after doing this for 10-30 days.

Nov 21, 2013
Tight fingers and hand swelling after fight
by: Luis

i have just had recently had removed a ganglyon cyst from my left wrist. it was healing fine until i got into a fight in a night club. some drunk started on my friends and i had to intervene.

i didnt punch with my left hand however i imagine during the fight i must have made strong movements with my wrist. as soon as i was leaving the scene my hand started to swell up fast. its been 3 days now since the fight and the pain in my hand is really bad specially when i move my fingers. i can barely open my hand or close my fingers, i have to be relaxed or else the pain kicks in. have i done something to my tendons?? should i go to the doctors?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Luis.

Sorry for the response time Luis. I haven't been attending to new submissions for a while.

This thread will be useful for you.

Give me an update on how you are now and what happened between now and then.

Nov 21, 2013
Punched a wall now left wrist doesnt bend backwards or in towards the thumb
by: Charles

Probably about 8yrs ago i was young and dumb(still young not as dumb) and punched something out of anger. My wrist hurt, i never went to doctor, still havent went to dr bout this problem. I cant do push ups cause my wrist only bends back slightly (slight pain in back of wrist when i try). Wrist does not bend in towards thumb at all. If i make my hand flat and pull my thumb into index finger there is pain at bottom of thumb.

If i feel the the bone at the bottom of my left thumb it feels the same as right thumb except for it seems bigger, tender and sore. My fingers do tingle or go numb when i try to use my left hand or wrest on my left elbow.

Also when i move my left shoulder up and down i get a tingling or electric shock feeling jolt down the back of my arm to my pinky finger. My shoulder is always stiff feeling. This is all on my left arm/hand.

I'm right handed. I dont know if the the shoulder, elbow, wrist symptoms can be tied together somehow through tightness or swelling.

Any suggestions or help will greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance fo excepting this question.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Charles.

The thread will cover the hand, let me know if you have any questions.

As far as the shoulder, I wonder if that's related to the wall punch. Can be, doesn't have to be.

Any history of whiplash causing impacts? Boxing, car crashes, falling off a horse?

Check out the Shoulder Tendonitis page.

Feb 10, 2014
Broken index finger , middle finger and both knuckles
by: Nick

Howdy ,
Had a few barneys in past few years and broken my index finger and knuckle and middle finger an knuckle and little finger , i understand that it cant be fixed but are the chances of arhritus really increased by this and do you have any tips on decreasing the discomfort ?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Nick.

If you don't do anything effective about it, and if your knuckles are damaged (or at least affected), then sure down the line arthritis can set in.

Partial explanation here: Tendonitis and Arthritis

Lots of explanation and description of what to do in this thread.

So you broke your fingers, tell me more about the knuckles.

Feb 15, 2014
Knuckles and arthritis?
by: Nick

Cant tell you much, happened while in school doctor just said i had broken them but that there was nothing i could do about it.

I just get stiffness quiete often in the cold weather and wondered if it could be the onset of arthritus.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nick.

1. I'm assuming a barney is a fight..? (Slang dictionary states 'cop', 'ugly male', 'violent disagreement')

2. Did you impact the knuckles and something broke, or did the finger bones themselves break?

3. Fracture or clean break?

4. What exactly was the impact? DId you punch a wall, punch a face, get hit in the hand with a stick/bat/car/sledgehammer, etc?

Answer the above, and we'll go from there.

Feb 15, 2014
Nick, knuckles, and arthirits
by: Nick

Yes a barney is a fight basically , if i remember rightly the knuckles and little finger were fractures and my other fingers were clean breaks, i broke different bones at different times but varies between walls and faces/


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nick.

Ok, so your knuckles have taken a fair amount of assault.

'Bruising' of the interior joint tissue kicks in an inflammaiton process and swelling of the tissue, which then causes 'grinding' of the swollen tissue.

Add to that some actual fracture of the knuckle bones and that essentially adds in more inflammation, more joing swelling, and possible new bone growth which can reshape or misshape the the joint, causing various forces to be placed upon the joint which can result in grinding and inflammation which results in arthritis immediately and/or down the road.

What have you done so far, other than lettin gtime 'heal' things?

Mar 09, 2014
punched wall and hand never healed
by: Anonymous

Exactly a year ago, I repeatedly punched a wall out of anger, to the point where my knuckles were bleeding and my hand became swollen, red, tender and warm.

I had xrays done and showed no fractures but I wore a splint for three weeks. My hand developed two hematomas, which was clearly visible from the second day from my palm.

I've had physical therapy for my hand for two months and I stopped, even though my hand had not fully recover and was still in immense pain. It's been a year now and I still have pain in my hand, my hand cramps after 10 minutes, to the point where I have trouble cooking because my hand, my hand tremors now, which it has never done before and I am still not able to knock on doors or other objects since my knuckles are still sore.

I have lost muscle in my hand. Should I go back to my doctor because of the pain?

What helps is either dipping my hand into ice or applying heat to it.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Well, unfortunately, there's nothing your doctor can do for you other than offer you pain killers.

Essentially, you have joint/bone bruise. It's been a year and you still have pain. That's not extordinarily surprising if you repeatedly bashed the soft tissue of your hand/knuckles against a wall.

And as you are experiencing, bone bruises can take a LONG time to go away. Ice and heat help because they create circulation, which gets pain enhancing chemical and other irritant out, and new blood and nutrition in.

But pain returns because you have a chronic inflammation response (see the Process of Inflammation links in this thread).

I'm not exactly sure why you have tremors, but I imagine it's because A. your muscles are too tight, B. your nervous system is all amped up from being in constant pain and long story short over time, that has things not work very well, and C. you're short on nutrition including Magnesium.

Stress (of any kind, including pain) eats magnesium. Tight muscles eat magnesium.

See the Pain Causing Dynamic links in this thread, and the Magnesium For Tendonitis links.

Apr 04, 2014
small hard lump on knuckle, 3 weeks after punching a hand weight
by: Evan

Hi Joshua,

First I would just like to thank you for this page. You have provided a lot of helpful information to people in need.

3 weeks ago I punched a dumbbell right on the sharp edge of the weight very hard after getting mad about having lost my phone. Very silly I know. About 6 years ago I developed a very bad habit of every now and again punching a wall or some unbreakable object while drinking alcohol.

I am committed to stopping this behavior and know that it is destructive. My concern is that after 3 weeks of basically doing nothing I have noticed that the visable brusing and swelling is down and the scabs have almost healed but underneath the scab is a small hard lump.

I have started to ice and will be performing self massage as you described in previous posts. I iced once right when it happened but 3 weeks have gone by and this was my first day icing again and massaging. I noticed a difference after 20 mins. and it felt less hard and squishy.

I want to know if there is still time/hope to help prevent permanent reshaping of the knuckle. It is fortunately a small lump but somewhat annoying. I have full range of motion and massaging hard does not cause pain.

Thanks again for your time and help.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Evan.

Well, the good news/bad news is, you don't have to -try- to stop punching things...if you do it enough and hurt your body enough, your body will STOP doing that all on it's own. Pain and damage has a certain amount of influence on the nervous system.

So, do you still have time to counter the effects? Probably, if you get to work and be diligent about it.

The hardness is connective tissue growing tough/thick/hard to 'become stronger' to resist future trauma. It doesn't really resis future trauma, but the nervous system does it's best. It tries to harden up and get tougher, but that's not always in your best interest.

Punching hard things with soft things is just something the body will never be able to grow 'tough enough' for.

So you can -probably- stop more hard lump formation, and either make that go away or at least keep it where it's at. The more you work it the more it's likely to resolve itself as soft and squishy instead of hard and lumpy (which generally causes more growth fast or slow).

Apr 18, 2014
Help I've been punching walls for three years
by: Beth

Ive been punching walls for 3 yrs i got no movement and little sensation in my 3rd 4th 5th finger i also get jonit stiff ness in my other fingers could this be causd by this?

Also my 3rd knuckle sticks up and points uwards when i knocke the knuckle i get imeaite ain and lots of brusiseing ive seen a doctor abot this but they said it was a burst tendon and it would get better in time but when i punch things would of made it worse.


Joshua Comments:

Could punching walls over the course of three years destroy your hand?

Yes. Yes it could.

Apr 30, 2014
Index Finger Knuckle Pain
by: Anonymous

I am contacting you as a last hope for becoming pain free.

I am in constant pain due to a finger injury that happened almost a year ago.

My hand was caught in an automatic door and I have been experiencing pain in the palm of my right index finger knuckle ever since. I had an X ray and there were no broken bones so the doctor assumed that it was just a sprain.

My right hand has become very stiff as a result and I can barely use it. I can make a fist and stretch my hand out but barely. I also can not stretch my fingers apart anymore. I have lost all flexibility in my right hand due to the injury.

I have noticed that the skin is also very tight around the knuckle and on the palm of the right index finger knuckle there is a large puffy lump that is very painful and tender to the touch.

That is where I experience most of the pain. I am assuming it is a swollen tendon but I am not certain. What do you think is the diagnosis?

I am perplexed as to why I am still in extreme pain even a year later. I am an artist and not being able to use my right hand is really debilitating.

Will it ever go back to normal?

Is there anything that you recommend would help?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

1. I can't diagnose. Only doctors get to do that.

2. Doctors aren't all that bright. Xrays only show bone (basically) and ligament, cartilage, or tendon tears aren't going to show up. You -may- want to get an MRI.

While you need to do a lot of the same things, if you have a ligament tear, for instance, it changes the game at least a little bit.

You either have a tear, or you don't. Did you crush the joint?

Describe 'got caught in a door'. What does that mean, -exactly-?

3. What are you doing for self care? For ease of conversation and because you didn't mention anything I'm going to go with 'nothing'.


4. Will it ever go back to normal? Maybe. But probably not unless you help it get there. That's a more useful mindset anyway.

5. You can't stretch your fingers apart? Same more about that. Say more about each and every symptom.

6. You need to ice dip the hell out of your hand/forearm for at least a week (3 days hardcore and let me know what happens). That means, as many 10 second dips as you can do in a day.

See: How To Reduce Inflammation

May 02, 2014
Re: Index Finger Knuckle Pain
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

Thanks you so much for your speedy reply. I really appreciate your advice.

When I say I got my hand caught in an automatic door, I did not mean that the door slammed on my hand hard exactly. It was a freak accident since automatic doors are generally not suppose to malfunction and close on you. As I was walking out of the store, the door closed on my hand while my hand was in a twisted position for roughly 10 seconds. The position my hand was the position of touching the tip of your pinky finger to the tip of your thumb.

The doctors basically brushed off my injury as if it was no big deal and that it would just get better. The doctor assumed it was a sprain of the collateral ligament on the outside of my right hand index finger knuckle on the left side. He was not completely sure though. What makes me question his diagnosis is that most of my pain is focused directly over the index knuckle on the palm side.

When I compare my two hands, I notice that when I run my finger across the base of my knuckles on the palm side of my uninjured hand, it glides smoothly and is completely flat. But when I run my finger across the base of my knuckles on the palm side of my injured hand, the palm knuckle of my index finger has a big hard bulge/lump the size of the knuckle. It is constantly in pain. The whole index knuckle joint hurts but the pain is focused on the lump and radiates up my arm.

I'm currently not doing anything for self care. I am wondering if physical therapy would help as well as Active Release Technique or Graston? Also, will ice dips help both ligament and tendon injuries?

I can stretch the uninjured fingers on my injured hand apart fine as well as press them back. My injured index finger cannot do either. I forgot to mention that I also cannot lay my hand completely flat on a flat surface anymore. The index finger knuckle will not allow it so my hand lays in a cupped position. I also cannot move index finger side to side. If I try, it starts to shake.

I also noticed the long tendon that runs across the top of each knuckle on the top of my hand is less prominent on my injured index knuckle of my right hand. On my left hand, you can physically see the tendon on the top of my index knuckle, but on my right hand you can barely see/feel it.


Joshua Comments:

Ice dipping is very effective at getting pain and inflammation out.

Then you can better see what's going on in there.

You might just have some tear injury in there somewhere, the 'shaking' when trying to move is indicative of that but is in no way proof positive of that.

First thing's first. Ice dip the hell out of it for a week, get the 'pain' out, and then we'll have a clear picture of the actuality of the structure there.

May 05, 2014
Re: Index Finger Knuckle Pain
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

I just got back from a follow up appointment with the doctor for my hand. He felt around my palm index knuckle and said I probably have tendonitis, or a cyst that formed there due to the injury.

He wanted to give me a cortisone shot right then and there and said if that didnt work, surgery would be needed. He felt pretty certain that I would feel instantly better after the cortisone shot.

I declined the shot though and said I had to think about it. I have read horror stories of people that got the shot and they feel much worse after so I was too scared to do it right now.

I am feeling very down and not sure what to do at this point. What do you suggest?


Joshua Comments:

So basically, your doctor has no clue what you have going on in there. Personally, I would delete anything he said from your brain.

Without a skilled professional that can diagnose whether you have an actual tear injury or not, via manual testing or mri, you don't know the reality of what's what.

With a not-skilled professional like you just saw, it's worse than that...you're confused and in a void, having assumed you'd get some expertise from the guy you and/or the insurance was paying to be an expert but isn't.

So, here's what I suggest for right now:

Ice dipping is very effective at getting pain and inflammation out.

Then you can better see what's going on in there.

You might just have some tear injury in there somewhere, the 'shaking' when trying to move is indicative of that but is in no way proof positive of that.

First thing's first. Ice dip the hell out of it for a week, get the 'pain' out, and then we'll have a clear picture of the actuality of the structure there.

May 25, 2014
Re: Index Finger Knuckle Pain continues
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm wondering, is it possible to have tendonitis in the palm knuckle without having trigger finger?

I have all of the symptoms of trigger finger (pain/tenderness, stiffness, swelling over tendon), but no catching/locking of the finger when bending which usually happens with trigger finger.

I am thinking maybe I am just in the beginning stages of trigger finger? I hope not though because I really don't want the tendon to start catching.

I am hoping to start ice dipping this week. Would ice dipping be enough to fully reverse the trigger finger dynamic and therefore shrink the tendon to normal size? Have you encountered anyone who successfully reversed trigger finger by solely ice dipping?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Re: you 'can there be tendonitis' question, see:

Pain Causing Dynamic


What Is Tendonitis

And might as well read up on Trigger Finger

Ice dipping is very effective at increasing circulation (old bad stuff out, new good stuff in) and decresing pain and inflammation process (see: old bad stuff out).

It's not a fix in and of itself. Having said that it can stop/alter the progressive mechanism of a pain causing dynamic...it just depends on what factors are at play.

And, there's only one way to find out: Get to work and see what happens and then fine tune from there.

May 29, 2014
Re: Index Finger Knuckle Pain continues
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

What is your opinion on using essential oils to cure tendonitis? I have read that Lemongrass, Marjoram, and Helichrysum essential oils are particularly good at reducing inflammation and repairing connective tissue and healing tendons associated with trigger finger (especially Lemongrass oil).


Joshua Comments:

Hi AnonyOil.

I think if it works for you, great.

Everything works for -somebody-.

I don't see how it can 'cure' a tendonitis issue, but I can see that it might reduce inflammation, or decrease pain, or stimulate your body to do something good to help itself.

But it's not going to 'fix' the overall momentum of the factors that cause the progressive move towards tendonitis related pain and problem, including trigger finger.

Personally, I don't care what works as long as it works. Give it a try and see what happens. If it helps a little, or a lot, or not at all, that's good information.

If it slows down a trigger finger progression, you may be happy with 'slow down'. I'm a fan of fixing things, myself, but sometimes 'less pain' is perfectly acceptable.

Jul 20, 2014
pain in hand and forearm aftet accidentally running into cabinet
by: HitPressurePoint

I accidentally hit the bottle opener on kitchen cabinet. It is kinda on top of right hand but it was closer to the side in between index and thumb.

Now my whole hurts really bad and all my fingers are in pain and the pain is up to my elbow. I have.

I've been putting ice on it and was going to put muscle rub ointment as well. Should I seek immediate medical attention or will it eventually go away with no damage to nerves or whatever.

I think I just hit a pressure point and that's why the pain was instant but I don't know. Any suggestions thank you.


Joshua Comments:


How's the hand/arm feeling now?

Plenty of related comments/advice/suggestions on this thread.

Aug 05, 2014
Middle finger knuckle pain :( more than three months after boxing
by: Tony

Hi Joshua,Im so happy you answear all these questions so here is mine i hope you help:

For 9 months now i cannot box,nor hit anything with my right hand.

1 day i just finished my training session(boxing) and it was just a normal workout on the heavy-bag, but when i got home i noticed my right hand middle knuckle to be twice as big as it normally is...the next week i had another training session,but the knuckle was all swollen,got an x-ray and the doctor said that nothing was wrong with my bones(no fractures,but for some odd reason because of this swelling there I cannot seem to even put 20% pressure on my middle knuckle.

After 3 months(took a rest from trainings and stuff) i visited an orthopedic doctor-he told me i should drink anti inflammatory pills, besides that he told me that he thought i should just give it a rest...i rested and took these pills for a month,but no change...now im in the 9month of this whole charade and still everything is the same- pain in the knuckle, thickening of the skin and the swelling isnt really down(it's twice as big from what my left middle knuckle is).

I gave it a rest till now and im going crazy because it seems that with my career it is over :(




Joshua Comments:

Hi Tony.

So you took 3 months off and the doctor advised you that you just needed to 'rest' it?

Yeah....doctors.....*shakes head*.

You either damaged joint/joint lining/ligament/cartilage somewhere in/around that knuckle, or you bruised the joint lining/cartilage REALLY BAD.

That's not going to show up on an xray.

And 3 months of rest has proved that rest isn't the answer. Same for the anti-inflammatories.

Read the thread, get to work ice dipping and such.

That should lower inflammation and pain. If there is a tear, it will either heal or it won't. Meaning, if you get all the pain down/gone, we'll just have to see what happens when you get back tot he gym (and start out back on the bags lightly/conservatively).

You can of course stay in boxing shape, etc, just don't be hitting -anything- with that hand. Get good at the other hand. :)

Aug 07, 2014
Middle finger knuckle pain :( more than three months after boxing
by: Tony

Wow thanks Josh for the fast response!
I wish i read this earlier today tho,because today I got pretty depressed that the knuckle hasn't progressed so i said "screw it,im going to the heavy bag since nothing I do seems to work"

How dum of me huh...but the more depressing part was that after i finished my session(50% of power i think) it trippled it's size and the pain was just horrible. At touch it seems as if a bruise-just a thick skin(i still feel that long ligament that flaps around.

I move my middle finger without a pain or anything,it all just comes down to when i hit something. And I really hope it's not a tear,but im icing the knuckle for 4 or 5 days now but this seems to be just another failed attemp on my side,because that isn't working as well.

Do you suggest me doing some stretching of the joint or massage or something,because this thing seems to be as stubborn as me and it won't go away out of nothing unfortunatelly.

Oh and do I continue the icing (since it doesnt seem to work that much for me,or maybe im doing it wrong-should i do the icing with my arm in a fist position,or in a relaxed position?



Joshua Comments:

It's not that icing isn't doing anything for you, it's that you're not icing/ice dipping enough.

Due to the type of tissue and location and 'injury', it's stubborn. You have to push in the 'better' direction longer and harder than it is pushing towards the 'worse' direction.

Relaxed, fist, variety, move it around.

Soft gentle massage, just to move fluid around (and a LITTLE bit of tissue mobilization).

Aug 30, 2014
pain in wrist after punching heavy bag
by: sherry

2 months ago i punched a heavy bag.it was too much heavy (300_350 KG ).after that my wrist is hurting badly and pain is turning worse.when i leave my hand it is normal but when i move or twist its hurts .is this normal ?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sherry.

Is it normal to hurt one's body when punching something big/hard/heavy?

Yes, it's totally normal, and under a certain range of circumstances, to be expected.

What have you been doing for self care?

Aug 31, 2014
pain after punhing heavy bag
by: sherry

A little bit massage. I don't want to go to hospital.i am 17 years old .when i started punching the bag my hand hurts but some people said that it is normal.after 3 days the pain become worse so i am not using my left hand since 2 months.the pain is getting worse(only when i twist my hand).


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sherry.

A hospital trip for an Xray isn't a horrible idea just to rule out a fracture, but it's not going to pick up a joint or cartilage bruise or microtears in soft tissue.

And there's nothing they can do for you for a small bone fracture anyway.

And you were hitting a bag and not a wall, so chances are you have a joint and/or bone bruise, and possibly some cartilage damage.

Read the thread, do what it recommends. Ice dipping, gentle massage, and lots of it.

Sep 03, 2014
Punched wall and have lost strength in my right hand
by: David

Just over a year ago i began to punch hard objects when i got mad. I hit a tree, concrete walls, basically any solid object. I have now stopped hitting things because i've really hurt my hand in the process.

I've been left with a messed up right hand for about a year now. Mainly my middle fingers knuckle.

I've lost a great amount of strength in this hand. If i grip something tight for too long, i have to let go. I can feel a weird/bad feeling go up my forearm and in the back of my hand. I can also feel it on my knuckle and the finger itself.

Its very annoying, and i hate not having the ability to grip tight and long with this hand. Its impossible for me to grip something for too long, tightly. My hand just wont do it.

Is there anything i can do? I haven't been to a doctor because i believe nothing was broken, and there isn't 24/7 pain. Should i go see a doctor now?

Is there anything i can do to make my hand go back to the way it used to be? I'm honestly open for anything. This hand used to be extremely strong.

Also my hand hurts if i work out. Or if i tap the knuckle on a solid object.

Thank you for your time.


Joshua Comments:

Hi David.

1. Yes, you are almost certainly done hitting hard objects. The body will only let you do dumb things for so long before it makes sure you can't ever do those dumb things again.

That, combined with the damage you did to your structure(s).

2. Regarding lost strength: If the body is injured or thinks it's injured, it will not allow muscles to fire at full capacity (to prevent further actions which could cause more damage, basically).

Technically you still have strength, but the body is unwilling to use all of it since it's afraid of more damage.

3. It may or may not be worth a trip to the doctor. One one hand, there's nothing they're really going to be able to do (unless there's something broken that can be surgically repaired). On the other, it may be worth some xrays and/or MRI just to get a detailed view of any damage.

Xray will really only show bone fractures (which would have healed by now one would hope), so if a dr. won't do an MRI then it's probably not worth doing.

You either just have a general mashing of the soft tissue structures, or you have actual rip/tear of cartilage and/or ligament.

Only a surgeon could advise you on whether that's surgically repairable or not.

4. You could definitely have torn cartilage and/or ligament. And as you'll see if you read the thread, what certainly happened and what could be causing all the symptoms is that you jacked up and reshaped (in a bad way) the soft tissue of the joint, joint cartilage, joint structure, etc.

You know how when you cook chicken and there's that gummy chewy but still almost hard material there at the bone/joints? That's what you jacked up.

5. Is there anything you can do to make your hand go back to how it was?

Maybe, but probably not. Your primary goal is to 1. Lower pain levels
2. Get to a pain free state
3. Return strength and function

Will you ever get back to how you were? Maybe, I don't know enough about your scenario to have a guess more accurate than 'probably not'. If you pulverized hard soft tissue into soft soft tissue......

First things first. Do the work to lower pain levels, get pain free or close to it, and then we can reassess and make some educated guesses based on the results you got.

Sep 04, 2014
Knuckle damage from punching a solid wooden door frame 3 weeks ago?
by: Concerned

Hi Joshua, I stumbled on your site while looking for information on how to help my boyfriend.

He punched a solid wooden door frame 3 weeks ago, and the hand swelled immediately.

We iced it aggressively for the next few days, then spent a week on vacation (which was fortunate, since he works with his hands).

The swelling is now relatively minor, save for at the end of a long day at work, but I'm concerned about the soft tissue on the middle knuckle.

When he pulls his hand into a fist (which he still can't quite do all the way due to discomfort), it appears as if the soft tissue on the knuckle is slipping off the knuckle toward the ring finger.

We have considered that he may have split the cartilage that protects the knuckle, but we aren't very anatomy-savvy, and are just throwing ideas out there.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out if it is worth the expense of having his hand looked at by a doctor or professional... time and money now would be far preferred to limited/lost use of the hand in the future.

Any thoughts? Your advice is greatly appreciated!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Concerned.

I'm actually going to call you Smart Girlfriend.

So, SM, to answer your questions.

1. I of course would never tell anyone to not go see a doctor, but from what you've described, I don't know what a doctor could do for him.

They'd take xrays (even though that would really only show damage to bones) and tell him to rest and wear a splint and to take anti-inflammatories.

2. If he demolished the hard soft tissue and turned it into soft soft tissue, then yes, the remaining non-structurally sound structure could be doing anything.

What is the tendon that runs across the top of that cartilage doing? Did he destroy the groove/tunnel it runs through?

If so, that's potentially repairable through surgery, but he'd be casted for a fair amount of time, etc. It's a minor but significant repair job, and depending on what things look like, a surgeon may or may not even attempt it (life can be just fine without it, though obviously the hand will have to readjust to it's new functionality.

And of course the obvious costs and time requirements of surgery would be involved, so again, one would have to weigh the pros and cons and potential upsides.

3. He can't pull his hand into a fist because of swelling and internal swelling of the joint. That will eventually subside, especially if you put some serious time into ice dipping and super gentle massage (circulation, circulation, circulation!) There's a major inflammation process in play at the moment, and that particular injury is slow and stubborn to 'get better'.

With time and effort the swelling and pain will subside 80-100%. But if he destroyed structural integrity of the soft tissue structure there at the knuckle.....that's likely never coming back. Which may or may not be a problem.

When one turns soft tissue cartilage into mushy pulp....it may or may not harden up again, depends on a few factors like how bad the damage was, nutritional intake, etc.

The predictable conclusion is that he'll be able to use his hands etc, but it will never quite be the same. (Again, it depends on how badly he reformed/reshaped/demolished the tissue.)

Maybe surgery will help that (if surgery is even an option, which it very well may not be because there's just not much to work with there, and because there's likely not much surgery can do, depending).

If you do see a surgeon/doctor, you better see a damn good one, or it's going to be a waste of your time ("hmmmm, yeah...you should rest it and take anti-inflammatories and come see me again in a month if it's not all better").

Oct 22, 2014
Pinky knuckle pain form punching a wall a year ago
by: Jeremy

I punched a wall almost a year ago using my right hand out of frustration. My concern is my right pinky knuckle that after that incident whenever I apply pressure it hurts (for example making a fist and then pushing it against a solid object or punching it)

When I tried to compare my right pinky to my left pinky I don't feel any fractures or dislocations(yes, just like the poster I don't believe in fractures in the bones of my pinky) so at first I believed it will heal itself within months but now it's almost a year later since that incident and it still hurts.

Is it possible that it will take longer to heal itself?

Because I want also to go to martial arts session and if possible I want to heal my right pinky knuckle before I go to train.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jeremy.

"Is it possible that it will take longer to heal itself? "

Absolutely. That's why I HIGHLY suggest that you get to work doing smart self care to help it get as good as it can get as fast as it can get.

Assuming there's no rips/tears in the cartilage/structures in the area, it should be doable. It sounds like 'most' of the pain/problem/weakness is gone, but they're still tender to the touch.

It's never to late to start self care. And the sooner, the better.

Jan 01, 2015
5th Metacarpal fracture, s/p surgery, developed tendonitis. Advice?
by: J

Hello, and thanks for reading my question.

Ten weeks ago I broke my hand falling... I struck the side of my hand against a door jamb. X-ray revealed a displaced fracture of the 5th metacarpal shaft.

I was told my bone was small and that a plate may not fit. I ended up with a buried k-wire which required a second surgery to remove. The day before removal I was told that the bone was not yet healed but they were still going to do the surgery.

I had been complaining of pain in the knuckles of my hand and traveling down the ring and pinky fingers. The doctor said I developed tendonitis at these knuckles and said he would give me a shot of cortisone during the wire removal.

The removal was three weeks ago. I never got any relief from the cortisone.

In fact, the pain has only gotten worse. My hand is still swollen and hard.

Also, I developed two cords of fibrous tissue on my palm that the surgeon said looked like a duputren's contracture (extending from middle and ring fingers).

I have nerve pain from the fracture site to the tip of my pinky (lateral side). The fracture is still not healed. Last night I woke up with severe cramping in my palm.

Thoughts? Advice? I had a huge ganglion removed from my wrist on this hand 15 years ago and was back to work in a week.

This fracture has really been a setback for me. I am a 35 yo female.

Thanks so much.


Joshua Comments:

Hi J.

You didn't punch anything (the general topic of this thread), but the factors involved are the same, and everything in it applies.

Technically, you sort of did 'punch' a solid object when you fell.

Just consider this thread to be about impact to the hand.

Yur hand struck a hard object. Bone and cartilage and joint structure was damaged. Surgery caused more damage (surgery is traumatic, and the hand is a TOUGH place to work, what with all the small parts).

Read through the thread, and then come back with questions and updates on where you're at now.

There's some specific things I can say about the surgery and bone and wire and healing, etc, but read the thread first.

Feb 21, 2015
Old Injury (broken hand)
by: J

I have a question about an old injury that happened a few years ago. I broke my hand. The bone completely snapped to the point where my knuckle was pushed back a couple inches. I couldnt afford to lose the job that i had just started so i reset it myself and made my own splint.

Its fully functional as far as movement goes but if i try to use a lot of force it really hurts. Its got to the point where it constantly hurts.

Is there any way a doctor can see when this happened? im in the military now and have served through three combat deployments is why i ask. It is also slightly deformed.

I'd like to get it fixed but dont know if there is anything they can do. What is your advice?

Thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi J.

Well, if the bone/break has healed, meaning, it's become a solid structure again, the only thing a doctor will be able to do is to rebreak the bone and reset it.

Depending on HOW the bone reconnected and reshaped (as examined in an x ray), surgery may or may not be required.

I'd ice dip it like crazy for a week and see what happens.

I'd make sure your Vit D level was between 60-80ng/ml, and I'd get some magnesium in you as per the Magnesium For Tendonitis link you'll see on this page.

Both Vit D and Magnesium are required to utilize calcium (and various other aspects of body function). So if you're short on one or both (you are), that may be playing a role in how happy your broken/healed bone is functioning.

Apr 30, 2015
Hand crushed by concrete
by: John

I operate a rock crusher .

I've never had any trouble with my hands . till the loader operator wasn't watching me puling some metal out of the crusher hopper and dumped a 400 lbs piece of concrete on my hand and it blew up like a balloon.

I go to the hospital nothing broken just crushed 4 weeks go bye the doctor says I have carpal tunnel in my hand I told him I never had any problem with my hands now I read the results here and I don't think I am going to have any surgery done.

May 06, 2015
broke my wedding finger knuckle in a fight a year ago and it healed wrong!!.
by: Deli

a year ago i hit someone right on the jaw and pushed my knuckle into my hand,it broke so i went to the hospital couple of days later cuz i notic swelling..

They xrayed it and tried to put it back in place,they put a cast from my hand to my arm..

Months passed and it got healed but wrong. My bone is sticking out on the top of my hand,it looks like i don't even have a knuckle and i cant make a closed fist..it hurts at times idk what to do?

I cant live like this forever,its been a year already..

Should i go back to the hospital?

I think i need surgery on it. Don't you think? What do you think they are going to do with my hand when they see it?

is it fixable?..im 20 years young and need help on what to do asap

Please and thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Deli.

I haven't seen your hand, so I don't know what they'll think when they see it or what the hospital will do.

It sounds like they casted it without putting it back together correctly. Which probably means they'll need to re-break some bones or whatever, get it back in place, and then let it heal again correctly this time.

You need to talk to a doctor that knows what s/he's doing.

May 15, 2015
Knuckle injury from repetitive motion
by: Anonymous

Hi! I would so appreciate your help! Ten months ago, I started having severe pain in my right hand while performing regular duties at work.

I knew I had hurt my hand, but it wasn't like I hit something or could isolate the exact moment the injury occurred. I had to continue working despite severe pain. Long story short, after about 10 hours, my hand, specifically my middle and forefinger knuckle and hand instantly swelled up like a balloon. Worst pain of my life!

Ten months latter, after two rounds of oral prednisone, steroid injections, OT including sonogram to reduce inflammation, my hand is swollen and those two knuckles are severely swollen. Pain is awful.

I've been working under work comp with directive of no use of right hand. Original MRI stated tenosinovitis, etc. Today I had bone scan. Hot spots on knuckles, both sides of hand, and a few other places.

Technologist said it was odd because happened 10 months ago. What could this mean? Dr. Number 2 is stumped. MRI number 2 is next week. Now I'm very worried and perplexed.

What is going on with recurrent swelling, no healing, pain and now bone scan hot spots???


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

There is nothing perplexing about 'recurrent' swelling 10 months later, -depending- on the cause and what the actual scenario is.

Read the thread, it will explain 'what could this mean?'.

1. What are regular duties at work?

2. What impactful things occur to your hand historically? If you've never hit/punched anything, never had something hit/impact/crush your hand, if you're not doing serious heaving lifting/squeezing/wringing with your hands, then we'll have an entirely different conversation.

May 17, 2015
Mystery that needs solving
by: Anonymous

Thanks for replying! What I meant to express was that the pain came on pretty fast as I worked, but couldn't pinpoint an exact moment of "injury". After repeating the grasping/pulling/ motion that started the pain several (8.5) hours later, my hand swelled and turned red. I couldn't use it.

I've not used my hand for past 10 months. Has been in braces, sling. I'm sure it has atrophied. My life has completely changed, as in this very day. I sold my favorite thing, my canoe. I can't paddle. I've tried. Too much pain, and lack of movement and coordination. It swells randomly. It won't heal. That's what perplexed doctors. It won't heal.

What do the hotspots on bone scan mean?? As a sidebar, I presented both hands when taking bone scan. I've had to compensate for right hand by over use of left hand. My boss insists that I carry on and use left hand, because she can't fire me. My left hand had become extremely painful. My left hand thumb joint showed up on the bone scan as the brightest "hot spot" of all.

What am I to do?


Joshua Comments:

Hi again Anonymous.

To solve a mystery, one needs answers to one's questions.

Please answer the following:

1. What are regular duties at work?

2. What impactful things occur to your hand historically? If you've never hit/punched anything, never had something hit/impact/crush your hand, if you're not doing serious heaving lifting/squeezing/wringing with your hands, then we'll have an entirely different conversation.

3. What is your Vitamin D level. If you don't know, find out ASAP.

4. Did you get an MRI? You may need one to see if there was a rip/tear in there somewhere.

Hot spots on knuckles implies you punched (or equivalent) something. Did you?

If not, then that points to serious hand use (gripping, grabbing, hanging, squeezing). Did you?

5. Have you Ice Dipped, as linked to and described in this thread? If so, what happened?

If not, why not?

Jul 10, 2015
Enlarged knuckles will shrink again?
by: John

Hello, I got slightly enlarged knuckles from punching a punching bag with only thin gloves for about six months. A friend of mine had done the same and said that over the time the knuckle size will go down a bit again once you stop hitting with them.

Seemed plausible that the size will go down again, since bone is a living tissue. I don't have any pain in my knuckles anymore and I'm not punching anything anymore.

How can I make my knuckle size go down a bit faster? Would a supplement for bone spurs help, since that's also a build up of calcium?


Joshua Comments:

If the larger knuckle size is due to inflammation (yes the dense tissue can 'swell'), then time and self care described in this thread can speed the return to normal size.

If the living bone/cartilage has grown/expanded to try to make itself more able to withstand the forces being placed upon it, then that's basically permanent (bone growth is basically a one way trip), and the goal would be to keep yourself pain free.

Jul 14, 2015
Wrist Pain longer than a year
by: Henri

Hi Joshua, so a year ago I was on Xanax it didn't agree with me and made me angry. This resulted in me repeatedly hitting a wall. Now my hand and wrist didn't swell up at all, but my knuckles were tender for a few days.

I didn't get this treated as I was abroad. 5 months later I returned home and had it xrayed as my wrist had been hurting inside the 'Ulnar Styloid?'

5 months later I finally get sent for physio and they give me some exercises to do, now three months later these exercises trigger the pain but haven't helped it at all.

It hurts with hyperextension of the wrist.

Any idea what it could be?



Joshua Comments:

1. Why would exercises help anything?

2. "Any idea what it could be?"

You traumatized your hand/wrist with multiple impacts against hard objects.

You're experiencing the unsurprising if not predictable fallout of that, which is chronic inflammation, constant pain enhancing chemical being pumped into the area, the brain tightening things up to 'guard and protect', the downsides of chronic tightness, etc.

Jul 17, 2015
Thanks Joshua
by: Henri

Thanks for the quick response Joshua.

Regarding the exercises, the physiotherapist told me they were to strengthen the tendons and muscles in my wrist so it had more support. These exercises involved moving my wrist laterally with a weight, doing circles and moving my wrist up and down with my palm facing me and my thumb facing downwards.

I was just wondering if you would advise me to see another physiotherapist and explain that the exercises I was told to do have not done anything to alleviate the pain, and if anything have aggravated it.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Henri.

Tendons don't need strengthening.

You could see another physiotherapist etc. See what they say.

It's not something I would advise, but who knows, maybe they'll have something helpful in their tool box.

But generally, 'stretching and strengthening' is the bulk of their options.

As I said, tendons don't need strengthening. Nor do muscles.

Strength isn't the issue. Lack of function is the issue.

If muscles aren't functioning optimally, how is 'strengthening' them going to help?

Making a non-functional structure work hard, when it already can't work light.....that just makes no sense to me. Who is surprised when that irritates an already irritated dynamic?

Jul 18, 2015
I like your thinking
by: Anonymous

I've ran into this issue with 'stretching and strengthening' so many times with physical therapists. It usually doesn't work because the structure at hand usually isn't the only one involved. (Actually never in my long history of injuries)

What worked for me is looking at nearby structures first, because most likely there is something that's seriously overworked or compensating for the injured part. And then with that knowledge start mobilizing - which means moving correctly with help and alignment.

What say you Joshua?


Joshua Comments:

Yep. Pain and problem is almost never 'just' one spot/one structure.

Apr 01, 2016
popped my fifth fist
by: Owens

Hey guys; i punched a wall and am seeing a swelling at the fifth fist whenever i flatten my hand. it does hurts whenever i hit my hand accidentally on any surface please guys i need a feedback on what to do on the fist.



Joshua Comments:

First, read the entire thread, as that answers your question(s).

Jun 10, 2016
boxing unjury
by: ANDY

Hello Joshua, I came upon your website because I was looking for answers and this might be my last hope for my recovery.

I started doing muay thai boxing and I went pretty hard on one class where the teacher made us throw hook punches really hard on a kick shield. I also bought new gloves with were 14oz. had them for a few weeks but i felt like they were really tight inside.

I just assumed brand new gloves so i just have to break them in. ( i use 180 Mexican hand wrap.) So the next day after that class, both of my index knuckles were sore. no bruise. When i make a fist, my knuckles are tight. and when i extend my fingers outward i feel a sharp pain on both index knuckles as well. and when i rotate my index finger in a circle it hurt as well and i hear multiple small cracking noise.

I took a x-ray and nothing was broken. Im currently seeing an acupuncturist and he tells me to rest in a warm water with Epson salt.

I feel like if i take medicine like motrin with anti inflammatory medicine I feel relieved. also when i apply pressure or massage on my knuckle feels like a bruise. can this dipping my hand in ice method make the healing process faster?

I had this pain for 2 months btw.

Joshua, if your reading I want to thank you for taking your time reading this passage and for your help. hope to hear from you soon! :)


Joshua Comments:

Hi Andy.

So you wore too-tight gloves and then did a lot of bag work (basically).

It makes sense that the gloves compressed your knuckles, and then you repeatedly impacted those compressed joints.

Bone bruising is no surprise in that scenario.

Yes, ice dipping (hand and forearm) like crazy over time will speed the recovery process. And read the rest of the thread for related/helpful info.

Jun 24, 2016
Injury from hitting the wall
by: Anonymous


I hit my knuckle a week ago it still hurts but not as much as the second day plus it's not as much bigger. But when i press it with the other hand then open and close the fist I can feel how knuckle crunches hard .

Do I need to keep it in ice sometimes?

Thank you and help if you can.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonyknuckle.

Yes, you should ice dip it. A lot.

Read the whole thread, for sure.

Try to avoid making that crunch happen. Every time it crunches it irritates the dynamic a little bit.

Jun 25, 2016
by: Anonyknuckle

Hey Joshua thank you very much for the reply
Could you say if I need to go the doctor or x-ray it?
Can it lead to something unpleasant in future ?


Joshua Comments:

Well, if you've reshaped the structure of your knuckles (soft tissue, cartilage), that's not likely to get a lot better on it's own.

Will it ever so slowly get better on it's own (if you don't do anything in particular to help) over time....maybe/probably.

Will it reshape itself back to normal? No, so it's a question of finding a new as-good-as-possible normal.

An xray probably isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know. If there's a small bone fracture there's nothing to be done about it anyway.

An MRI would be more worthwhile (though more expensive), but again, may or may not tell you anything you don't already know.

If there is some ligament damage between the knuckles, that would be good to know, but there's really not much they can do about it...depending on the what and how bad the ligament is damaged.

Possibly it would be worthwhile to have surgery to clean up the knuckle....you'd have to talk to a surgeon about that (whether it's worth it or not, have him/her assess the scenario and see if it's worth doing surgery, etc.

Of course with surgery you'd still have pain and a recovery process, but potentially the 'shape' of the knuckle would be restored to some degree.

I'd go crazy with what you'll find to do in this thread, for a month, and see what happens.

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