Monday, September 2, 2013

Active Release Technique for Trigger Fingers

    My two hands are very unique from one another. My right hand has suffered the most from rheumatoid arthritis stiffness.  It is the hand that went to physical therapy, but has never yet been able to make a complete fist again or pick up small items like coins or bobby pins and tends to swell up the most when going through a flare.  This is the hand that also has enlarged knuckles.  This hand requires that I frequently do mobility exercises to keep it moving.    My left hand rarely stiffens up.  It swells enough that I sometimes can't wear my wedding ring, but that's it. However, I have trigger fingers on this hand and to me, it is worse than stiff fingers because it really freaks me out.  When my fingers bend, they often don't want to come out of that position.  When they do, they make a popping or clicking noise and it feels that is exactly what is happening.  I often have to stop what I am doing and manually straighten my fingers back out.  My rheumatologist has warned me that it is not a good idea to do exercises with these fingers because it can just make the situation worse.  When they are at their worse, I should try to use them as little as possible. Her remedy is always to do a cortisone shot and to remind me that at some point I may need to have surgery.

A few months back, I was listening to a podcast and a question came in about trigger fingers.  It was suggested the listener have active release technique to help her fingers.  I contacted a local chiropractor and she said she has had success with ART and trigger fingers, but the treatment plan varies for each person.  So, before trying this treatment, I am curious if anyone else has tried it and if they have had success.  Have you done anything else besides shots?  That isn't the route I want to take.  I appreciate your feedback.  

*I did do a month of ART sessions.  While it didn't help with my trigger fingers, it did remove a cyst in my wrist and decreased some of the buildup around my wrists.  Unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover this treatment and the costs became more than I could handle.  If you can afford it, I would definitely give it a try.