| Anatomy fitness

Bones of The Hand: An Easy Manual

By Jayton Miller

One of the very things that make us human is our hands. Without the development of opposable thumbs our development into primates, and later the Homo Sapiens, would not have been initiated. Without this unique development of the bones of the hands our evolution would have gone down a very different course and the world as we know it today would not exist.

In this article we look at the structural components of this amazing development that allows us to be what we are today.


Function Of The Hand:

Function Of The Hand

The main function of the hands in most animals is locomotion, however, since humans developed the ability to walk on two feet (bipedal locomotion) our hands have been freed up to mainly function as manipulators. This means that hands are mainly used for manipulation in the sense that humans can easily grab, hold, and throw objects (among other things).

Structure Of The Bones Of The Hand:

Structure Of The Hand

The bones of the hand include:

  • The Metacarpals - These are numbered 1-5 starting with the thumb and ending with the pinky. These are the bones that are mostly within your palm.
  • Proximal Phalanges - here are numbered from 1-5 starting with the thumb and ending with the pinky as well. They make up lower part of the fingers.
  • The Middle Phalanges - These are labeled 1-4 as the thumb lacks a middle phalanx. These make up the middle part of the four top fingers.
  • The Distal Phalanges - These are labeled from 105 starting with the thumb and ending with the pinky. These bones make up the ends of the fingers.

Read More: The Anatomy Of The Pelvis

Common Issues With The Bones Of The Hands:

Structure Of The Hand

As humans the hands are used for nearly everything we do, making them very susceptible to wear and tear or injury. Some of the most common issues that are seen with the hands are:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Dislocated joints
  • Trigger Finger (stenosing tenosynovitis)
  • Ganglion Cysts

Helpful Ways To Keep The Hands Healthy:


Some of the best ways to keep your hands healthy, especially as you age are:

  • Fisting - repeatedly making a fist and then opening your hand as much as it can.
  • Finger stretching - laying your hand on a flat surface relaxed and then stretched out.
  • Finger lifts - laying your hand on a flat surface, flatten your hand out and then lift each finger individually.
  • Claw Stretch - bringing your finger in towards your palm without making a fist.
  • Working your grip strength - my personal favorite for this is hanging from a pull up bar for as long as you can.

Read More: Movement Is Medicine | A Guide To Moving Better

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Your hands are one of the most important parts of your body. Although it is possible to live without them, living a life without hands is extremely difficult and taking care of your hands should be one of your top priorities if you want to remain happy and healthy as you age.


  • Abrahams, Peter. The Human Body: An Essential Guide To How The Body Works. Amber Books Ltd, 2021.