“Are you suffering from pain in your fingertips?”

“It’s been years..”

“I noticed that my fingers are swollen…”

“I can’t do anything because of the pain…”

Swelling and pain in the fingertips (especially the first joint) are caused by Heberden’s nodes.

Some of you may be hearing this term for the first time, but Heberden’s nodules have been reported for more than 200 years. It is by no means a modern disease.


What are Heberden’s nodes?

Heberden’s nodes occur when the cartilage in the fingertips (especially the first joint) wears away, causing joint pain, swelling, and deformity. This condition can affect all fingers. Like Bouchard’s nodes, Heberden’s nodes fall into the category of degenerative joint diseases. They cause pain and make bending and stretching of the fingers difficult. In some cases, mucous cysts resembling blisters may develop near the first joint. The name “Heberden’s nodules” honors William Heberden, the physician who first described the condition. It tends to occur more frequently in women in their 40s and beyond. (Note: Bouchard’s nodes are similar to Heberden’s nodes, but affect the second joint, the proximal interphalangeal or PIP joint.)


Symptoms of Heberden’s Nodes
Heberden’s nodes are characterized by the following

Pain: The fingertips become painful. Tasks such as washing dishes or holding a plate may become difficult.
Deformity: The joints at the tips of the fingers become deformed and the fingers bend easily.
Restriction of extension: bending and stretching of the fingers becomes difficult.
Localized swelling: Mucous cysts resembling blisters may appear near the first joint.
This symptom is especially common in women in their 50s and 60s who use their hands frequently for household chores. Musicians, especially those who play stringed instruments or the piano, are also susceptible to Heberden’s nodes.


The exact cause of Heberden’s nodes is still unknown, but it is believed to be related to factors such as overuse of the hands, genetics, and hormonal imbalances associated with menopause.

Hospital Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis includes an interview, physical examination, and x-rays. Although Heberden’s nodules share some symptoms with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, X-rays can accurately distinguish between them. Based on the information obtained from the examination, the diagnosis is made by ruling out other diseases with similar symptoms.

Conservative treatment includes rest with local taping, medication, and icing. Surgical options are considered if symptoms do not improve with conservative treatment or if the joint deformity seriously affects daily activities.

For those experiencing Heberden’s nodes, daily living can be difficult. In most cases, joint immobilization resolves symptoms, but some individuals, especially musicians and those requiring delicate movements, may need to maintain partial mobility.


General Management of Heberden’s Nodes

Most people who experience pain in their fingertips consult an orthopedic specialist. Usually, analgesics and topical applications (e.g., compresses) are prescribed.


However, some patients continue to suffer even after painkillers have been used. In addition, doctors may make discouraging statements such as: “This is a symptom of aging.

This is a symptom of aging.
“Please be patient until the pain goes away.”
There is no special treatment.”

As a result, many people endure years of pain caused by Heberden’s nodes.

Is surgery appropriate?

When visiting a hand surgeon, patients may hear phrases such as, “Surgery will solve the problem. However, it is important to understand that surgery primarily involves immobilizing the joints of the affected fingers to prevent bending.

Immobilization naturally reduces pain, but it also limits the movement of the hand. This limitation can affect fine motor tasks such as playing the piano and can lead to changes in body image due to the inability to bend the fingertips.

Personally, I do not recommend surgery.

Therefore, our clinic offers a treatment that meets the wishes of those who suffer from Heberden’s nodes.

“I want to use my fingertips.”
“I want to play an instrument.”
“I want to live a pain-free life!”


Acupuncture Treatment Exclusively for Heberden’s Nodes

We specialize in Korean hand acupuncture (Koryo acupuncture) for the treatment of Heberden’s nodes.

Location of acupuncture points for Heberden’s nodes

The acupuncture point related to Heberden’s nodes is located on the fingertip of the ring finger.

Applying acupuncture to this specific location can reduce the pain and swelling associated with Heberden’s nodes and prevent recurrence of symptoms.

Location of Heberden’s nodes acupuncture points

Korean hand acupuncture differs from traditional acupuncture in that it treats the affected area of the finger directly. At present, it is the only acupuncture technique that can effectively address Heberden’s nodes.


Treatment and Self-Care

Many people suffering from Heberden’s nodes tend to be cold. Before acupuncture treatment is performed, a systemic adjustment (e.g., improving blood circulation throughout the body) is performed.


Full body adjustment at Meguro Ibe Therapy Center for Heberden’s nodes.

After the adjustment, acupuncture, joint manipulation, and taping are performed.

Taping is intended to rest the affected finger, and the cushioning effect of the tape reduces the severe pain of an accidental finger bump.

Note: Unfortunately, our treatment cannot reverse the deformity caused by the Heberden’s node.


Overcoming Heberden’s Node Pain

You may be asking yourself, “Do I have to live with this finger pain for the rest of my life?” You may still be wondering.

Why do so many people endure so much pain in their fingertips?

It’s because orthopedic surgeons have told them it cannot be cured.
Because they were told that they would feel better if they could fully extend their fingers.
It is because they have given up on the idea that it is a sign of aging.

Many people from all over the country come to our acupuncture clinic specializing in Heberden’s nodes, from housewives to musicians, manicurists, and jewelry designers. We help them get back to work comfortably.

Early intervention also prevents deformities caused by Heberden’s nodes, allowing them to use their hands confidently in public.


For those suffering from Heberden’s nodes

We are the only acupuncture clinic in Japan specializing in Heberden’s nodes.

We take the time to listen carefully to those suffering from Heberden’s nodes and offer advice on self-care.

Rehabilitation of Heberden’s nodes: Patients have said the following

No one else could help me.”
I didn’t think acupuncture could help my Heberden’s nodes!
I searched desperately and finally found this acupuncture clinic.”

You don’t have to endure the pain in your fingertips caused by Heberden’s node. Let’s get back to enjoyable days together.

Thank you for readimg.



Initial consultation fee: 2,000 yen (tax included)
Treatment fee: 6,500 yen (tax included)
5-session ticket: 31,000 yen (tax included)