Carpal Tunnel historical posts June 1998

trigger finger

Posted by martha on June 23, 1998 at 16:21:17:

Hi Walt: one of my relatives has a "trigger finger". That
is, the third finger is flexed on one hand and cannot be
straightened. Is the Rx the same as for carpel tunnel?
Thanks, Martha


Re: trigger finger

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 25, 1998 at 14:57:48:

In Reply to: trigger finger posted by martha on June 23, 1998 at 16:21:17:

Dear Martha,

Very much the same.

However, depending on how long it has been present, extensive surgery (followed by intensive physical therapy) may be the only answer to get it back to a functional position. THEN, the person MUST be willing to learn why s/he got this in the first place & change THAT or the problem will surely recur.

Walt



Re: trigger finger

Posted by Antonio on June 26, 1998 at 09:59:08:

In Reply to: trigger finger posted by martha on June 23, 1998 at 16:21:17:

Martha:

Did your relative get his "trigger finger" from typing? or computer work?. I did about 6 years ago and was able to solve it w/o surgery.

Let me know if it is typing-related and I will give you more details.

Antonio


Re: trigger finger

Posted by martha on June 26, 1998 at 19:32:51:

In Reply to: Re: trigger finger posted by Antonio on June 26, 1998 at 09:59:08:

Thanks Antonio; she does use a computer but not more than
an hour a day and no other typing. She was given a metal
brace to wear at night but it hasn't done observable good.


Re: trigger finger

Posted by Antonio on June 27, 1998 at 17:29:17:

In Reply to: Re: trigger finger posted by martha on June 26, 1998 at 19:32:51:

To Martha:

Sorry Martha, I don't think your relative and I had the same problem. At the time I was typing/using the computer for 4 to 6 hrs/day, without my being a typist. The positioning of my hands in the keyboard was not right and when I corrected it and the doctor gave me a cortisone shot the problem went away. This was about 6 years ago and I have not had any more problems.

However, Dr. Stoll recommendation of getting to the CAUSE of it is quite important. Maybe your relative may want to find this cause BEFORE he has the surgery. Maybe if he corrects the CAUSE he may not need the surgery. Another item when the finger locks, (my finger was also the 3rd finger) I found that hot water (from your house's hot tap water, without burning yourself. Increase the temperature slowly until it unlocks) worked great. Within a few seconds it was unlocked.

Good luck.

Antonio



Re: trigger finger

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 28, 1998 at 07:52:00:

In Reply to: Re: trigger finger posted by Antonio on June 26, 1998 at 09:59:08:

Dear Antonio,

Even if this were "caused" by typing, I would like to know how you resolved it without surgery.

The reason I put the "caused" in quotes is that, at worst, typing could only have been the "straw that broke the camel's back" & pushed you over the edge to having this. This is a condition of multiple causation.

SOME people can prevent recurrance by just getting rid of the trigger. However, even those people usually have a recurrance if they live long enough---and have done nothing about the other contributing causes.

Walt



Re: Victory against Carpal Tunnel from Typing

Posted by Antonio on June 28, 1998 at 15:42:10:

In Reply to: Re: trigger finger posted by Walt Stoll on June 28, 1998 at 07:52:00:

Dear Dr. Stoll:

Yes, this was a victory against carpal tunnel syndrome. My symptoms were locking of the 3rd finger of my right hand. I could not move it. It happened sometimes early in the morning (just after I awoke) and I think it also happened at other times. This was over 6 years ago. At the time I was doing pretty heavy typing without any formal typing training. (I started 2-finger and then improved to 3-4 finger typing, but apparently neither my hands nor my desk were properly placed for good typing).

My GP sent me to an orthopedic Dr. who gave me a cortisone shot and told me that if that did not help, I would have to have surgery. You know how much I hate surgeries. As I was not going to quit my job I started looking around to see what else could be done. I found that putting my hand under warm water from the hot water tap unlocked the triggered finger. (I increased the water temperature slowly until it got unlocked).

In my local computer superstore I found a gadget called a "Wrist Reminder" (about $ 10.). It is a specially shaped piece of plastic that you wear against the palm of your hand while you are typing and keep in place via a velcro holding strap. The piece of plastic forces you to "position your hand properly" when you are typing. In quotes because I am not sure exactly how to describe the proper positioning of the hands. I still have a 4-page brochure that came with it and I will be happy to send you a copy of it via snail mail (same address as in the book order receipt?). Or I could fax it to you (to the fax # in the book order receipt?). I still use this gadget when I get into periods of heavy typing.

I also bought a foam bar to put in front of my keyboard (also from my computer store). I guess this bar and the "Wrist Reminder" did it. I also bought (but I am not sure if it was for the carpal tunnel; I forgot when I got them) a couple of those chinese balls you roll in your hand. I used to carry them when going for my 45-min-1hr walks.

You might think that stress may have contributed to it. Well yes at the time I was under heavy stress. BUT I had been under even heavier stress before (without having to do the severe typing) and afterwards and that problem have not recurred, so far.

Dr. Stoll, I changed the title of the reply so it could atract the attention of others who may be helped by it. Please feel free (I have a thick skin) to make any comments or corrections you think may be needed.

As usual thank you for everything. Your comments and advise are ALWAYS welcome.

Antonio



Re: Victory against Carpal Tunnel from Typing

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 30, 1998 at 10:31:03:

In Reply to: Re: Victory against Carpal Tunnel from Typing posted by Antonio on June 28, 1998 at 15:42:10:

Thanks, Antonio.

I agree with everything you have done. MY only point is that there have to be susceptibility factors--in addition to what you have mentioned as causes--or everyone who does what you did would have the problem. Without also dealing with the susceptibility factors, you will ALWAYS be susceptible to the problem (as this note acknowledges) and increasingly so as you age.

I am very familiar with the splint that you used. This is a favorite of conventional medial types & I used it for patients many years before I learned that it, too, was a temporary fix (and I had better things to recommend). Even then, it remained a helpful approach for those resolving their causes while waiting for the effect of that resolution to take effect. There were always those who were not willing to yet deal with causes. They LOVED the splint.

I know, from your notes, and the fact that you have my book, that you are learning about wellness. Eventually, that will greatly reduce your susceptibility to this.

Namaste` Walt



1998: Jun

Return to Main Page

More Carpal Tunnel historical posts