Waking up with stiff hands is a relatively common problem with a variety of potential causes. Arthritis, tendon changes, and even nerve compression may be to blame for this annoying and potentially disabling concern.
You can reduce your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by preventing repetitive strain and learning to keep your wrists in a neutral position. However, you may be more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome due to underlying health conditions, anatomic factors, or a wrist injury.
Having a finger or thumb lock up in a straight or bent position is a common problem. A locked finger or thumb is the telltale sign of trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. This occurs when the sheath of tissue that wraps around a tendon (the tissue that connects muscle to bone) becomes inflamed.
A dislocated elbow occurs when the elbow bones no longer connect. It is a common injury in adults and children and often happens in tandem with bone fractures (breaks) and additional nerve and tissue damage. Falling onto an outstretched hand is the most common cause of this type of injury.
Hands locking up can be a symptom of various medical conditions, or occur as a side effect of anxiety. Common causes of hands locking up include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren's contracture, and trigger finger. These conditions can also cause pain, swelling, and difficulty with daily tasks.