Treating trigger finger may be long and strenuous, however, there are several options you can take to improve, and, eventually, heal the condition altogether.
The first option an individual can take is not treating the condition at all. Approximately one in five people will improve their state by simply not doing anything at all! Simple resting and allowing the inflammation to die down naturally may solve the problem without any need for professional treatment. However, a physician may advise a patient to take some painkillers to ease the pain and help the healing process. Ibuprofen and paracetamol will do the job quite well in most cases.
Another fairly invasive option is to simply strap the affected finger to a splint to keep it in an extended position. A doctor may advise you to keep the splint at night for some time, up to six weeks or less. The purpose of the splint is to help the tendon rest, and it also prevents one to curl the finger into a fist during the night, while sleeping. This also helps to alleviate the pain patients usually experience in the morning, after they’ve had their finger curled all night.
Stretching and/or applying ice or heat
Sometimes simple exercises can help with the trigger finger and promote the mobility of the affected finger. Additionally, a doctor may advise the application of heat or ice to the site as there are reports that show that some patients can experience significant improvement by icing the palm of the hand a few times a day. However, others see improvement with soaking the hand in warm water, especially in the morning, right after waking up.
If the simple remedies fail to help, one may receive a steroid injection into the tendon sheath. A corticosteroid injection may be effective for up to several months in over half of the patients. In most cases, corticosteroids are combined with a local anesthetic to help alleviate the pain from an injection. Steroids and corticosteroids work by reducing the inflammation, and if the first injection does not help, a second one may be needed. If, however, cortisone injections do not work, a surgical procedure will probably be advised, as it is a permanent cure for trigger finger in most cases.
The simple surgical intervention will usually completely resolve the trigger finger issue. The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia and usually outpatient. Most commonly, a small incision is made at the base of the finger where the tendon sheath is widened and the inflamed and scarred tissue is removed. As with all operations, there is a small risk of damaging the finger nerve and infection of the wound if not taken care of properly.
Another option is the percutaneous release of the tendon. The doctor will numb your palm and insert a needle into the tissue around the affected tendon, and moving it to break apart the blockage that prevents the finger to move smoothly. This intervention can be done under ultrasound control and is usually done in the doctor’s office. The procedure is minimally invasive and no incisions are made.
Home remedies for trigger finger
Some people may choose to go down the road of home remedies for their trigger finger condition. If you are one of the lovers of natural medicine and home treatments, here are a few tips and tricks.
Firstly, a patient may choose to use natural pain relievers instead of conventional ones. Natural pain relievers are usually mixtures of selected botanical ingredients which have anti-inflammatory properties and help alleviate the pain. Since these medications are made of completely natural ingredients, they do not have any side effects.
Gently massaging the affected muscles of the forearm several times a day can definitely help with trigger finger condition. Do not be afraid if you feel some pain during the massage, as the tightness and pain you may feel is due to the spasm you should break by applying pressure on the muscle. Being consistent with the massage helps a lot with the treatment of trigger finger condition.
Using primrose oil and vitamin B6 or consuming the foods rich in this vitamin can aid with the condition. Ingesting vitamin B6 can help reduce swelling and locking, however, this process is rather slow and one should not expect overnight effects.
Using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is a common way of treating trigger finger. The usual choice is ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can help ease the pain as well as to reduce inflammation. However, one should be very careful because these drugs can damage the liver and kidneys if used for a prolonged period of time.
Bromelain, an enzyme commonly found in pineapple juice can help stimulate the human body to produce substances that relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Moreover, bromelain can help remove damaged and dead tissue, which can be the underlying cause of the condition
Using fish oil can also have positive effects in the treatment of trigger thumb. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help lubricate the joints and aid in the restoration of the damaged nerve tissue.
Aloe vera is definitely one of the home remedy choices as well. It helps with the inflammation and when applied to the area, or if taken as a supplement, aloe vera can reduce the stiffness and soreness. It also contains other beneficial vitamins and minerals that help with various issues one may have.
Additionally, acupuncture is another option for the treatment. Some patients have reported that acupuncture helped immensely with their trigger finger condition, and combined with one of the home remedies, completely cure the condition.