Imagine typing up this article and just as your press the last key down emphatically and excitedly you realize you cannot bend your finger back to the straight position. Say hello to trigger finger – and you didn’t even need a gun. In the previous article we discussed the risk factors and symptoms for this condition, so let’s move straight to ways to treat trigger finger.
After you seek medical attention for the symptoms mentioned and the doctor diagnoses you with trigger finger, then it’s time to look at your options. First and foremost, it is important to stop – or limit as much as possible – the activity that caused this condition. Whether you are a professional hunter, control room operator, brain surgeon or spend your days in front a computer – like me – then it is obviously hard to stop doing the job that pays your bills. And we as human beings know we can’t just put down the spoon that feeds us. So, what do we finger jamming people of the world do?
Here is some food for thought: splinting the finger or thumb can take the pressure off the tendon and restrict some movement giving it time to heal. So, if your trigger finger pays the bills, this may be your best option to continue putting food on the table. In between work, sleep and eating try to rest your hand as much as possible, or attempt something silly like eating dinner with your left hand instead of your right. Every little bit helps when relieving stress off your trigger finger. My whole life I have been a lefty, but in the 5th grade it wasn’t so funny when I pinched a nerve in my left hand and couldn’t use it for six weeks. You would be amazed what you can do with your opposite hand when it comes down to it. Now, I find myself ambidextrous in many things, especially eating and playing guitar.
If you are resting your finger or thumb and still don’t find much relief within four to six weeks it may be time to look into another option – surgery. Although not the most popular choice of treatment, it may be your only option to making a full recovery – especially if your career is suffering. Speak to your doctor about all the risk factors and benefits of surgery. Quite frankly, it is probably your fastest way to recovery. It is a same day procedure using local anesthesia, with a small incision. The surgeon goes in, releases the sheathed tendon and is out before you even know it. And the good news is, you are almost guaranteed a full recovery.
Whatever your reason for developing trigger finger, just know you have options to treat this condition, and you are not alone. Ask your doctor as many questions as you need to feel comfortable and know the facts.