If your fingers are getting stuck in a bent position when gripping, or you experience popping or tenderness at the base of your fingers, you should talk with your doctor about trigger finger. Trigger finger, or tenosynovitis, occurs when a tendon sheath becomes inflamed. People with certain health conditions, like arthritis or diabetes, may be more prone to developing trigger finger, but anyone can develop this issue if they have hobbies or jobs that require repetitive gripping motions. While trigger finger can be corrected with surgery, your doctor may want you to try conservative treatments, like chiropractic services, first. Here are three treatments that can help you rehabilitate trigger finger.
A chiropractor can set you up with a finger splint which you can wear during the day and night to reduce the use of the tendon. Wearing the splint during bedtime can help you reduce symptoms like pain and locking. It's helpful to visit a chiropractor to get fitted for a splint so that you can get the right size for your hand. Some splints may not be as comfortable for extended wear, so your chiropractor can help you find a device that's made of breathable materials so that the skin on your hands isn't irritated. Splinting may be enough to resolve mild cases of trigger finger, but if you are still having issues, your chiropractor might recommend strengthening exercises and soft tissue therapy.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, physical therapy for trigger finger can be beneficial since it can help you restore some range of motion in your fingers. A chiropractor can show you how to properly stretch the affected fingers. They might have you do strengthening exercises, like gripping a tennis ball or stress ball. They might also have you do stretches, such as
- Finger extensor stretches
- Finger abduction
- Finger spreads with rubber bands
- Tendon gliding
While splinting is a good first line of defense, it's important to stretch and strengthen your fingers afterward so that you can maintain flexibility. If you do end up needing surgery for your trigger finger, stretching, and strengthening can still be used to reduce any scar tissue post-op.
Graston therapy and active release technique (ART) therapy are manual therapies that use ergonomic tools to gently massage affected areas of the body. During these therapies, your chiropractor will use specialized instruments to break up trigger finger adhesions. These manual therapies also improve circulation. One chiropractic journal reported a study that found that Graston and ART could help restore range of motion and extensor strength. The patient in the study was relieved of disability and pain after using a Graston/ART treatment plan.
These are just a few ways a chiropractor can help you rehab your trigger finger. Reach out to a chiropractor in your area today to learn more about physical rehabilitation treatment options for you.