Owing to limited quantitative data related to the loadings (forces and pressures) acting upon finger joints, several clinical observations regarding mechanical risk factors of hand osteoarthritis remain misunderstood. To improve the knowledge of this pathology, the present study used musculoskeletal modelling to quantify the forces and pressures acting upon hand joints during two grasping tasks. Kinematic and grip force data were recorded during both a pinch and a power grip tasks. Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging measurements were conducted to quantify joint contact areas. Using these datasets as input, a musculoskeletal model of the hand and wrist, including twenty-three degrees of freedom and forty-two muscles, has been developed to estimate joint forces and joint pressures. When compared with the power grip task, the pinch grip task resulted in two to eight times higher joint loadings whereas the grip forces exerted on each finger were twice lower. For both tasks, joint forces and pressures increased along a disto-proximal direction for each finger. The quantitative dataset provided by the present hand model clarified two clinical observations about osteoarthritis development which were not fully understood, i.e., the strong risk associated to pinch grip tasks and the high frequency of thumb-base osteoarthritis. (C) 2013 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.