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Finger pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Finger 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 finger?

    Why: to establish if acute or chronic.

  2. Which finger(s) are affected?
  3. What area of the finger is affected by the pain?

    Why: to determine if local (e.g. pain around joint, around nail bed) or generalized finger pain.

  4. Are fingers on both hands affected and is it symmetrical?- helps determine if nerves may be the cause e.g. painful peripheral neuropathy is symmetrical compared with individual nerve or nerve root disease which should be suspected if nerve pain is asymmetrical or confined to one limb
  5. Are there other areas of the upper extremity or neck that are painful?

    Why: e.g. hand, wrist, arm, upper arm, shoulder - may help determine cause of finger pain.

  6. Is there a time of day when finger pain is worse?

    Why: can help determine the cause of the finger 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.

  7. Relieving factors?

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

  8. History of trauma?

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

  9. History of arthritis?

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

  10. Are you pregnant?

    Why: carpal tunnel syndrome is not uncommon in pregnancy.

  11. Past medical history?

    Why: diabetes or porphyria can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy; diabetes may be associated with erythermalgia; carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused by hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, amyloidosis, Acromegaly, rheumatoid arthritis and Paget's disease; Raynaud's phenomenon may be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, polyarteritis nodosa, Buerger's disease, polycythaemia, leukemia, polymyositis , dermatomyositis; Hand arthritis may be due to systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma.

  12. Medications?

    Why: some medications can cause peripheral neuropathy e.g. amiodarone , phenytoin, nitrofurantoin; beta-blocker blood pressure medications and ergotamine can cause Raynaud's phenomenon.

  13. Dietary history? Vitamin B1 or 12 deficiencies can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy
  14. 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.

  15. Alcohol history?

    Why: can be a cause of painful peripheral neuropathy.

  16. Cigarette smoking?

    Why: aggravates Raynaud's phenomenon.

  17. Possible history of poisoning?

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

  18. Joint pain?

    Why: may suggest arthritic cause of the finger pain e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, gout, systemic lupus erythematosus.

  19. Finger or arm paresthesia?

    Why: if also paresthesia in the involved extremity 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, Raynaud's disease, sympathetic dystrophy or various entrapment syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow.

  20. Finger weakness?
  21. Neck pain?

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

  22. Fever?

    Why: can indicate septic arthritis, osteomyelitis.

  23. Local redness of skin of finger?

    Why: may suggest pulp space infection, paronychia, tendon sheath infection or acute gout.

  24. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Why: e.g. pins and needles affecting the thumb, index and half of the ring finger, worse after rapid use of the hands. May also have pain in the involved fingers radiating upwards as far as the shoulder.

  25. 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.

  26. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually gradual onset of persistent pain and stiffness of the small joints of the hands and feet. May also involve the feet, knees, hips, shoulder, jaw and neck. Joint pain is worse on waking and relieved with activity.

  27. Symptoms of osteoarthritis?

    Why: e.g. joint pain worse with initiating movement and eased by rest, associated with pronounced stiffness, especially after activity. Major joints involved are the finger, thumb and big toe joints. Other joints involved include knees, hips and spine.

  28. Symptoms of gout?

    Why: e.g. most common joints involved include big toes, other toes, ankles and knees. Fingers may be involved. Skin over joint is red, shiny, swollen and hot and very tender to touch. Attacks may be precipitated by alcohol excess, starvation, surgical operations and some drugs (such as frusemide and thiazide diuretics).

  29. Symptoms of scleroderma?

    Why: e.g. joint pain in many joints, involves the joints of the hand in 25% of patients, soft tissue swelling causing a sausage shape to fingers, Raynaud's phenomenon.

  30. Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus?

    Why: e.g. symmetrical arthritis of many joints, especially the small and medium joints of hand and wrist. It does not usually cause deformation of the joints.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Finger pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Finger 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 Finger pain or choose View All.

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