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Hand pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Hand pain. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed pain in your hand?

    Why: to establish if acute or chronic.

  2. What area(s) of the hand is affected by the pain?

    Why: to determine if local or generalized pain and to determine if finger joints may be involved.

  3. Is the arm also affected by the pain?
  4. Are both hands affected and is it symmetrical?- helps determine which nerves may be affected e.g. painful peripheral neuropathy is symmetrical compared with individual nerve or nerve root disease which should be suspected if pain is asymmetrical or confined to one hand
  5. Is there a time of day when hand pain is worse?

    Why: can help determine the cause of hand pain e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome wakes the person in the middle of the night ; cervical spondylitis wakes the person with pain and stiffness that persists well into the day; people with thoracic outlet syndrome find it difficult to fall asleep due to pain.

  6. Relieving factors?

    Why: helps determine the cause of hand pain e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may be relieved by dangling the arm over the side of the bed.

  7. History of trauma?

    Why: e.g. whiplash injury, fall onto outstretched hand, direct trauma to hand - can determine possible cause of pain.

  8. History of arthritis?

    Why: e.g. Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout.

  9. Past medical history?

    Why: diabetes or porphyria can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy; diabetes may be associated with erythermalgia ; hypothyroidism may cause carpal tunnel syndrome; possible causes of Raynaud's phenomenon include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, polyarteritis nodosa, Buerger's disease, polycythaemia, leukemia, polymyositis , dermatomyositis.

  10. Medications?

    Why: e.g. beta-blocker blood pressure medications and ergotamine can cause Raynaud's phenomenon.

  11. Dietary history? Vitamin B1 or 12 deficiencies can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy
  12. Occupational and sporting history?

    Why: certain occupations and sports requiring repetitive motions are at risk of causing overuse disorders e.g. process and meat workers are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain's tenosynovitis due to rapid finger thumb and wrist movement; vibrating machinery workers are at risk of Raynaud's phenomenon.

  13. Alcohol history?

    Why: can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy.

  14. Cigarette smoking?

    Why: smoking aggravates Raynaud's phenomenon and is a major risk factor for peripheral microemboli and Buerger's disease.

  15. Possible history of poisoning?

    Why: e.g. arsenic or thallium poisoning can cause painful peripheral neuropathy.

  16. Hand paresthesia?

    Why: if also paresthesia in the involved hand this usually suggests herniated cervical disc , spinal cord tumor or cervical spondylosis. Other conditions to consider are brachial plexus neuropathy, thoracic outlet syndrome, cervical rib, Pancoast's tumor, Raynaud's disease, sympathetic dystrophy or various entrapment syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow.

  17. Neck pain?

    Why: pain originating from disorders from the neck can transmit to distal parts of the arm and sometimes the hand.

  18. Fever?

    Why: can indicate septic arthritis, osteomyelitis.

  19. Joint pain in other parts of the body?

    Why: may suggest osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus erythematosus, psoriatic arthritis.

  20. Symptoms of Diabetes mellitus?

    Why: e.g. frequency of urination, excessive thirst, weight loss (especially in Type 1 Diabetes mellitus), tiredness, fatigue, increased infections especially of the skin and genitals, blurry vision - Diabetes mellitus is a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy.

  21. Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome?

    Why: e.g. weakness and wasting of the small muscles of the hand, numbness over the inner side of the hand and forearm, unequal radial pulse.

  22. Symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon?

    Why: e.g. sequential discoloration of the digits from pallor to blueness to redness upon exposure to cold. When fingers become red they are painful.

  23. Symptoms of acute occlusion of major peripheral artery?

    Why: e.g. abrupt onset of lower arm and hand pain, hand coldness, hand numbness, arm weakness and absent pulses.

  24. Symptoms of peripheral microemboli?

    Why: e.g. recurrent episodes of sudden pain, blueness, coldness or numbness in a digit. These changes characteristically improve over several days, only to reappear perhaps in a different area of the hand.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Hand pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Hand pain' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Hand pain or choose View All.

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