Trigger finger is a condition that can cause an affected finger to lock in a bent position or become stiff. It’s often painful and can make everyday activities considerably more difficult. If you have trigger finger, and you’re looking for treatment in NJ, it’s a good idea to research your options in advance.
It’s common to think of surgery as the preferred treatment for trigger finger, but this isn’t always the case. Many different treatments, such as rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, exercises, splints and corticosteroid injections are available to suit the wide range of patients’ needs. Learn about the different trigger finger treatments to make a more informed decision about your condition.
What Is Trigger Finger?
It’s easier to understand trigger finger treatment in NJ once you learn about the condition itself. Trigger finger is an issue associated with the tendons that run along the inside of each of your fingers. These tendons, which help fingers move, are encased by protective sheaths. If a tendon becomes irritated and inflamed, the sheath may start to constrict and impair the movement of the tendon. This can make it hard to move the affected finger and, occasionally, cause the finger to lock in a bent position.
The condition is more common among people whose jobs require heavy use of the fingers, but it can happen to anyone. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, trigger finger can range from a minor inconvenience to a debilitating restraint on everyday activity.
Trigger finger comes in many forms and levels of severity, and there are many different treatments available to fit your condition. All options have the same goal to reduce or eliminate pain and stiffness and increase mobility.
Trigger finger is often caused by overuse of a particular finger, so symptoms can sometimes be relieved by simply resting the finger. Resting is not right for everyone, though, as it cannot always completely resolve the issues underlying the symptoms.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Because trigger finger is caused in part by inflammation, many doctors opt to treat it using anti-inflammatory medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are the most widespread type of anti-inflammatory medication, and they can be an effective way to ease trigger finger symptoms. Doctors generally use them only as a short-term solution, however, because their long-term use is associated with harmful side effects.
Trigger finger can sometimes be caused or exacerbated by weak finger muscles. Strengthening the muscles of the finger can reduce the strain on the tendon and relieve pain and stiffness. For this reason, doctors may prescribe an exercise regimen to help alleviate trigger finger symptoms.
Another trigger finger treatment you should consider is splinting, which involves attaching a rigid, supportive splint to the finger. Splinting keeps the affected finger straight, preventing activity and allowing the tendons to rest. Symptoms often subside after allowing the tendons to rest for a few weeks.
Like NSAIDs, corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory compounds that are often used as trigger finger treatment. Corticosteroids are generally stronger than NSAIDs, though, and when injected into the affected finger, they can relieve pain, swelling and redness for several months.
Like many other trigger finger treatments, the goal of surgery is to reduce the extent to which the tendon sheath constricts the tendon, which lessens pain and restores finger function. A key difference between surgery and other treatments, however, is that the goal is accomplished through direct manipulation of the tendon sheath. During the operation, the surgeon opens the finger and widens the affected section of tendon sheath to allow the tendon to move more freely.
Although it can vary depending on the details of your condition, most patients are able to return to all everyday activities six weeks after their operation.
Surgery is a fairly common trigger finger treatment in NJ, but it is important to note that it is not for everyone. It can be a good way to reduce pain and improve function, but you should only choose to undergo this procedure after trying nonsurgical options.
Remember, other noninvasive treatments can improve the mobility of the affected tendon and relieve your symptoms. Surgery is the right choice only when certain conditions are met, for example, if other treatments have failed, or if your symptoms are particularly severe.
The best way to decide which treatment is right for you is to discuss your condition with your doctor. After careful consideration of your medical history, your lifestyle and the details of your condition, you two can confidently select the treatment that will most effectively address your symptoms.
Navigating trigger finger treatment in NJ can feel like a complicated, overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By discussing your condition with a medical professional, you can choose wisely and feel at ease with your health.
For information on trigger finger treatment in Bergen County and Northern NJ, schedule a consultation with a qualified hand specialist today.