Can a messed up finger cause shoulder pain?
May 1, 2015 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I've had this messed up pinky for as long as I can remember but, now my shoulder feels weird and it's hard to type. Well harder than normal anyway. My shoulder kinda feels like it's cold and has a minor ache to it. This is day 2 of symptoms I hit the table the other day pretty hard after getting angry with a videogame.

I hear that tingly fingers is a symptom of diabetes which my father has but i was tested in october and was fine. I'm leaning towards a self inflicted injury getting mad at videogames but this finger has been messed up long before. Here is a pic for reference. I'm going to be on vacation in a week so i can take it easy should I just wait it out? Is 27 to young for arthritis? Supposed to rain in few days.
posted by mamamia88 to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It seems most likely that the shoulder pain is a result of hitting the table, and nothing to do with your pinky, does it not?
posted by DarlingBri at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2015

probably. who knows. i'm gonna hope it goes away soon. maybe lay off the videogames and just read or something for awhile. but is it possible i messed up the pinky more?
posted by mamamia88 at 11:11 AM on May 1, 2015

Are you asking if it is possible you further messed up a part of your hand by slamming your hand into a table? Because... yes?

If your finger looks different than it did, or hurts more, maybe... see a doctor?
posted by DarlingBri at 11:19 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Your shoulder discomfort is almost certainly due to hitting the table. It's really easy to twang a nerve in just the wrong spot and feel it for days afterward. The fact that it feels cold makes me think it probably is just a random referred nerve thing. I get it all the time when I whack my funny bone.

I don't know what's wrong with your finger, but I doubt it has anything to do with your shoulder. You say you've been to the doctor to get tested for diabetes, but have you been to a doctor to discuss your finger? If your finger has been "messed up" for a while, you really should get it checked out.

Try to distract yourself from your shoulder. Go outside for a walk, focus on packing for your trip, just try to get your mind off it. Getting worked up and anxious (diabetes! arthritis!) about what is probably a fleeting shoulder pain is going to make you fixate on it and maybe psychosomatically get yourself to feel even more shoulder symptoms.

See a doctor about that pinky tho, forreal. Life is too short to go around with a jacked up body part.
posted by phunniemee at 11:19 AM on May 1, 2015

Fingers tingling is called "paresthesias" in medical jargon and it is a symptom of many things, not just diabetes, but definitely whacking things so that your nerve gets a temporary injury is one of them. Nerve issues from diabetes don't show up until late in the game when you've had diabetes for many years and haven't controlled it well. Also they would generally be in both hands and feet, not just one hand. The fact that you have tingling fingers in just one hand suggests an issue with the nerves in that arm specifically, not with your whole body.

Arthritis generally doesn't start in your shoulder. Something like bursitis would be much more common and usually goes away on its own if you take it easy with the shoulder.

It looks like in the photo, your other fingers are laying flat, but your pinky is a little bit flexed. Can you not lay it flat/straighten it fully, is that what you mean by "messed up"? Did you injure it in the past? An injury to the extensor tendon could make it so that you could not fully extend it. An orthopedic hand specialist could probably tell you more if you wanted to know or if it was bothering you/keeping you from doing anything you wanted to do.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's possible to injure tendons/ligaments all up and down the arm, from the pinky into the shoulder. I did that in tennis when I was in my teens. It bothered me for many years. Your hand is connected to your arm is connected to your shoulder. It is possible to injure yourself such that multiple connected tendons/ligaments are impacted.

Given the limited amount of information in your question, that would be my guess -- which may be way off, in part because there isn't much to go on here. People are terrible at forgetting stuff they did that could contribute to a specific problem. You may be leaving out all kinds of important details that just haven't occurred to you are relevant.
posted by Michele in California at 1:04 PM on May 1, 2015

Given that the pinky problem has been there for as long as you can remember, and the shoulder problem has only been there for 2 days, I doubt that they were injured in the same incident.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:09 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

@treehorn that is as flat as the pinky goes
posted by mamamia88 at 5:24 PM on May 1, 2015

IANYD, and I can't tell you with certainty what's wrong with your shoulder, but if that's your pinky problem then I am confident that the pinky problem is not related to the shoulder problem.

Here's a hand surgeon's webpage with a blurb in layperson's language about extensor tendon injury to the finger. You can see that there is some similarity between the picture of your finger and the image labeled "Boutonniere deformity".
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:06 PM on May 1, 2015

I will add that I see a typo on the page I linked to. He should have said "if conservative treatment does NOT resolve the injury, then Dr. [] will need to perform surgery." I shouldn't have used a surgeon's personal page, that was just the best image that came up on my quick search to show you what I meant.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:09 PM on May 1, 2015

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