How to Relieve Hand Pain at Night

Have you ever experienced hand pain at night, while you’re sleeping? The experience is a painful one that can be caused by arthritis, a hand injury, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This wrist pain or hand pain can wake you up in the middle of the night and cause a lack of sleep.

It’s common for people with osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, to experience hand pain day and/or night. At night, when joints don’t move while you’re sleeping, hand stiffness can occur. Lying down can also cause stiffness since inactivity increases fluid build-up, which stiffens the joints.

Additionally, your joints become more inflamed at night. Since the body releases higher levels of melatonin and prolactin at night, this can cause inflammation. Another reason pain is worse overnight is because cortisol, a hormone that helps control inflammation, decreases at night.

As for carpal tunnel pain, which is caused by excess pressure on the wrist and median nerve (responsible for moving your wrist, hand, and arm), overnight hand pain can also be due to inflammation. Considered an inflammatory disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome is worse when joints are stiff and fluid buildup occurs. Essentially, movement is important for anyone who has hand pain.

If you want to learn about mitigating hand pain at night, read ahead for Copper Compression’s tips.

Common Conditions That Cause Hand Pain

Here are a few conditions that commonly result in hand pain.

Arthritis: Defined as inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis can cause hand pain. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory arthritis (IA) are also known to cause hand pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: When the median nerve, which starts at the upper arm and ends in the hands, is pressed at the wrist. Without a properly functioning median nerve, the sensory and motor functions in your hands become compromised and irritated. This can result in pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands, which are common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The most common cause of CTS is overuse of the wrist from sports, texting, typing, arthritis, diabetes, or wrist injuries. Pain and numbness are typically worse at night. Nerve damage caused by CTS can worsen or become permanent if it’s not treated properly. Severe damage may lead to an orthopedic surgery called carpal tunnel release, where a surgeon cuts through the ligament in the palm of your hand that’s pressing down on your carpal tunnel. This can help give your median nerve and tendons space to move through the tunnel without pain.

Tendonitis: Defined as a condition in which the tissue connecting your muscles to your bones (AKA your tendons) becomes inflamed. Someone can develop tendonitis in their elbow, shoulder, knee, or wrist. Similar to carpal tunnel, tendonitis is typically caused by repetitive movements over time. Typing, texting, and exercising, can all lead to stressed tendons.

Purlicue Pain: Defined as pain between the thumb and index finger. This can be caused by carpal tunnel, tendonitis, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.

Repetitive Stress Injuries: Defined as injuries caused by damage to the muscles, tendons, or nerves due to overuse. Types of RSI include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

What causes hand pain at night?

Hand pain at night is typically caused by inflammation and poor blood circulation. People who commonly experience hand pain at night include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and arthritis. Our joints are stiffer at night due to a lack of movement. Inactivity from lying down and sleeping can also cause fluid build-up which leads to inflammation.

How do you get rid of hand pain when sleeping?

Here are the best treatment options to promote hand pain relief overnight while sleeping:

  • Wear compression gloves or wrist splints while sleeping
  • Sleep with your hand over the bed
  • Keep hands to your side or in a neutral position with wrists unflexed
  • Shake your hands out before going to bed
  • Take (NSAIDs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Naproxen or another over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Take cortisone tablets, a type of corticosteroid that resembles cortisol and is prescribed by a doctor to decrease inflammation.
  • Work with a physical therapist or on your own to strengthen your hands with flexing, clenching, and bending exercises
  • Ice packs and heat packs near your bedside for nighttime relief
  • Don’t overextend your hands before bed, including texting or typing
  • “At night, it is important to keep your hands above your heart's level as much as possible. This helps reduce swelling and inflammation, which can ease the pain,” according to Doctor Kellie K. Middleton, MD/MPH, a physician specializing in shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries while treating general sports and orthopedic injuries.

Wear a Compression Glove Overnight

Copper Compression gloves, which are designed for those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, purlicue pain, and repetitive stress injuries, can be worn overnight. They come in different sizes and arm lengths. Some of them are fingerless while others are covered from your wrists to your fingertips.

Compression gloves can help overnight hand pain while you’re sleeping. They increase blood flow and blood circulation by warming up the muscles, which in turn reduces inflammation and swelling. Additionally, with copper-infused materials, you don’t have to worry about developing bacteria or sweat due to the copper’s antimicrobial properties.

What are the benefits of sleeping in compression gloves at night?

Those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or another type of condition that causes hand pain, can benefit from wearing compression gloves at night while they’re sleeping. Compression gloves increase blood circulation, which reduces stiffness, relaxes the muscles, and reduces inflammation. These benefits will allow you to get a good night’s sleep and wake up with refreshed, ache-free hands!

Compression gloves and wrist splints also provide support to achy hands and act as a barrier between your hands and bed. This ‘cushion’ ensures your hands have space to rest and don’t rub against outside elements that may cause more distress. Anti-rub materials ensure your hands are comfortable and don’t itch overnight.

Shop Long Arthritis Gloves here

Shop Carpal Tunnel Nighttime Wrist Brace here.

Shop Half-Finger Arthritis Gloves here.

Shop Hand Relief Gloves Bundle here.