Wednesday, November 2, 2016

TRIGGER FINGER. DOES KINESIOLOGY TAPE HELP?

Will kinesiology tape help Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is not something we see very often in our clinic so when a client came in with it as one of their concerns we were intrigued.  I say "we" because even though one of us works with the client we often consult each other to get opinions and bounce ideas of one another.  

This was a regular client who had a recent shoulder surgery and the pinkie and pointer fingers of that hand were getting stuck in a flexed position at random times every day.  The client would have to take their other hand to "pop" the flexed fingers back straight.

Trigger finger Kinesiology tape helpful for healing




What is Trigger Finger?

The Mayo Clinic describes trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, as a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position.  Your fingers may straighten with a snap - like a trigger being pulled and released.  

Trigger finger occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger.  If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position.  

How to apply the Kinesiology tape?

Would using Kinesiology tape on the flexors of the forearm be better to relieve this condition or would taping the extensors be of more benefit?  The top of our forearm is where the muscles and tendons sit to extend or straighten our fingers.  Conversely, the muscles and tendons on the underside of our forearm have the action of flexing the fingers.  We know this client's overactive flexors seem to be the problem but kinesiology tape can be used to excite or stimulate under-active muscles or calm or inhibit the overactive muscles.  

In this client's case we had a choice to make.  Which would be better to try first in hopes of giving the most relief while the trigger finger heals. 


Here is the kinesiology tape application chosen.



Because this was something we've never tried before and after research, seems not many others have tried either, we went with our gut.  The extensors of the forearm seemed ineffective in straightening the fingers when the client made a fist.  In theory, the tape would assist the muscles and tendon attachments to extend the effected fingers and help with inflammation.  This is an oversimplified explanation of how kinesiology tape works.  To read about how the tape works visit http://www.massagelamesa.com/kinesiology-tape.html


Part of the reason for choosing to tape the extensors was practical in nature. We know well applied kinesiology tape can stay on for 4-5 days and we figured with hand washing and how often the hands are used this application would begin curling up around the edges on the fingers sooner, which it did.  Tape on the underside of the hand would curl even sooner.


The results

The client reported no significant change in how often the effected fingers "stuck" in flexion.  The client never reported pain when the fingers stuck so we can't say if the tape decreased pain which it has for many other taped clients. The advantage of taking pictures is to have a visual to duplicate the taping if it's a success and to make changes if the tape seemed ineffective.  We make notes and mark body diagrams in the office but the pictures have proven invaluable multiple times and this case was no different.  In looking at the picture there is an obvious change that could be made.  The tape could extend farther up the forearm toward the elbow to cover more of the bellies of the extensor muscle group.  The therapeutic zone of the kinesiology tape would then expand more on the forearm itself.  This may or may not make a difference but that's the fun of what we do.  We try new things, collaborate and keep our minds stimulated because the human body is amazing and it keeps us on our toes!          
         
 

1 comment:

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