Fingers are comprised of tendons that connect muscle to bone, allowing them to move. This movement occurs with a gliding motion in the sheath, a tunnel-like structure of tissues. When tendons become inflamed or irritated, they become crowded and as a result, do not glide correctly. Instead, the tendons lock up, causing trigger finger. This condition typically occurs with pain in the middle joint and tenderness in the base of the finger, where it connects to the hand.
Trigger finger is caused after repeated movements or improper form and conversely, keeps the affected individual from having full functionality. For this reason, trigger finger is frustrating on a day-to-day basis, making treatment options necessary to return the hand to its prior level of functionality.
When an individual suffers from trigger finger, the recommended first method of treatment is typically splinting. A trigger finger splint has been found to be effective when rest and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories have failed or become less effective.
What is a Trigger Finger Splint?
A trigger finger splint is a plastic splint that straps the finger into a straight position, immobilizing it to promote rest and recovery. These splints are helpful to keep you from moving your finger while at the same time, allowing for a full range of motion in the rest of your hand. Many people experience the worst symptoms of trigger finger in the morning when the finger is especially stiff. To alleviate this discomfort, your doctor may recommend using a splint at night so the finger is rested and mobile by the morning. Depending on your symptoms and progress, your doctor will tell you when and for how long you should wear the splint.
How Does a Trigger Finger Splint Help?
Trigger finger is a condition caused when tendons swell, making movement painful, even difficult, and in more advanced cases, impossible.
A trigger finger splint prevents any further inflammation or irritation from occurring by keeping the finger in place. Using a trigger finger splint has been found to be beneficial for between 50-70% of people with a case of trigger finger that didn’t resolve on its own after prolonged rest. Studies have shown that trigger finger splints are effective in many cases, especially in those where patients are looking to avoid corticosteroid injections or other medications as treatments.
For many patients, a trigger finger splint is an effective solution that them to avoid the risks associated with surgery and extensive recovery time.
Seeking Specialized Treatment for Trigger Finger
There are different types of trigger finger splints. Some people find certain types to be more comfortable and effective than others. It’s important to find a trigger finger splint that works for your needs and lifestyle, without being too bulky or uncomfortable. Although you can find trigger finger splints at stores or online, studies have found that the most effective splints are custom-designed by a doctor for the patient.
By seeing a specialist, you can get a trigger finger splint that’s customized for your hand and therefore, is more likely to help you than a ready-made model. Additionally, these splints are more comfortable and make it easier for patients to wear them day and night, or as prescribed by a doctor.
The surgeons at Cohen/Winters have experienced diagnosing and treating trigger finger. The doctors at Cohen/Winters take the time to explain all treatment options to their patients and determine the best course of action for each individual case. For any symptoms and discomfort you may be experiencing, a careful and thoughtful examination by a leading trigger finger expert will help you arrive at a solution.