Some car accident injuries are more common and well-known, like whiplash or a broken bone. We don’t always think of injuries that affect smaller parts of the body, like hands and fingers. However, if you have been in a car accident, there are many ways to have injured your hands and fingers. Whether you were holding on tightly to the steering wheel or braced your hands on the dashboard or a window to prepare for a sudden impact, it is possible to sustain an injury to your hand that can cause pain and negatively impact your daily activities. Most people think of a car accident chiropractor for back or neck pain treatment, but chiropractors actually help with a wide variety of bone, joint, and musculoskeletal injuries. An injury from a car accident that may surprise you is known as trigger finger.
What Is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger is the nickname for a medical condition known as stenosing tenosynovitis, which refers to when one or more fingers get stuck in a bent or straightened position. There are tendons in each of your fingers that are what control your ability to bend your fingers. These tendons connect the muscles and bones in your fingers so that when a muscle contracts, the tendon pulls on the bone and causes the finger to move. Inflammation or damage to one or more tendons in your finger can cause the painful condition commonly referred to as trigger finger. Trigger finger can range from mild to severe and is more often associated with repetitive movements and overuse injuries. However, it is also possible to develop trigger finger after a car accident when your hands and fingers have been put under immense pressure.
When to See a Doctor for Trigger Finger
If you notice that your finger seems to be stuck in a bent position, then you want to visit your car accident chiropractor to find out if you have trigger finger. The most common signs and symptoms of trigger finger include a finger that seems stuck in a straight or bent position. You may also hear a popping or clicking sound when you try to move the finger. Trigger finger can also cause tenderness in the palm of the hand or at the base of the affected finger. You may also experience your finger seeming stuck in a bent position before suddenly popping into a straight position without prompting. This condition can make it difficult to grab or grip objects firmly. If you notice the joint in your finger is warm to the touch and swollen or inflamed, then you may have an infection and want to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you experience any tingling or numbness in your finger, then you should also see a doctor right away.
Diagnosing Trigger Finger After a Car Accident
In order to effectively diagnose trigger finger, your car accident chiropractor will want to perform a physical examination and talk to you about your symptoms. When the tendon in your affected finger becomes aggravated and inflamed, it can interfere with the normal functioning of your fingers and hands. Your chiropractor may ask you to hold up both hands and demonstrate opening and closing both hands, monitoring for differences, areas of pain, and evidence of one or more joints locking up. Your car accident chiropractor may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray to rule out other potential injuries, like a broken bone.
Treatment for Trigger Finger After a Car Accident
Treatment for trigger finger after a car accident will depend on the severity of the injury. For a mild case of trigger finger, your car accident chiropractor may recommend a safe and effective adjustment to the joint along with at-home remedies to treat inflammation in the area. Icing the affected finger can help reduce inflammation and swelling, while elevating the hand above the heart can decrease blood pooling in the finger. Your car accident chiropractor will likely recommend that you rest your hand and avoid movements that require gripping or grasping until the swelling and pain have subsided. Gentle stretching exercises can help provide stability for your finger and also help you regain your mobility.
To help manage trigger finger after an accident, visit our team of chiropractors and multi-specialty doctors at AICA Orthopedics in Marietta.