Any limitation in the use of your hands is critical in a disability case because almost every job requires you to use your hands. Therefore, even a relatively mild problem with your hands can drastically reduce the number of jobs available to you. If you are unable to use your hands at all for either fine or gross motor activities, you could be considered disabled on the basis of your hand limitations alone.
There are dozens of medical conditions that can affect your ability to use your hands such as carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis, essential tremor, rheumatoid arthritis or De Quervain’s tendonitis or Dupuytren’s syndrome. Even arthritis in your neck could cause pain and numbness into your arms and hands. If you have any medical condition that is affecting the use of your hands and fingers, it is critical that you complain to your doctor about it. Show your doctor the joints that are swollen. Make sure your doctor conducts hand strength testing on clinical examination. Even if your hand problem is the least of your worries, it is very important in a disability case. Get imaging of your hands if you have arthritis, and make sure to have a nerve conduction study if your problem is something like carpal tunnel syndrome or cervical radiculopathy (pain and numbness referred into your arm and hand from neck arthritis). The more objective proof we have the better.