Fingers comprise of bones, ligaments and tendons. Each of these structures can get damaged. Damage is caused either by certain illnesses or is associated with injury or trauma to the finger. Once any of the previously mentioned structured is damages the finger may lose its ability to bend and becomes stiff. The pain is what usually accompanies damage of any kind hence such patients have to deal with pain of different intensity.
What Are Causes of Finger Pain and Stiffness?
All potential factors of finger pain and stiffness can be roughly classified into two groups. In the first one are factors that contribute to reversible damage to different structures of the finger such as injuries or trauma. The second group includes permanent damage to certain finger tissues. One of the examples is rheumatoid arthritis, a progressive inflammatory and degenerative illness.
Fingers are parts of the body used in many activities. This is why they are easily injured. One may injure the finger while performing even the simplest tasks. Finger injury is also common for athletes particularly those who participate in sports which include a ball (basketball, volleyball etc.). Pain, stiffness as well as swelling are only temporary and in majority of cases the finger restores its function.
Furthermore, many degenerative and inflammatory illnesses cause damage to tissues of the finger. For example, irreversible damage occurs in patients suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis of fingers. These inflammatory conditions cause serious damage to the joints and cartilage and eventually lead to loss of finger's mobility. Such fingers are stiff. The degeneration also leads to pain of different intensity. The presence of bone spurs is another cause of stiff and painful fingers. And finally, the fingers may also be significantly damaged in cases of gout and psoriasis. Fortunately, the damage in such cases can be prevented and there may be no permanent disability.
Treatment for Finger Pain and Stiffness
It is essential to identify the underlying cause of finger pain and stiffness and then choose the most appropriate treatment. Injuries are usually treated with rest, cold compresses, immobilization and pain killers. It is essential to follow doctor's orders and prevent further damage and start using the injured finger only when the doctor suggests (after complete healing).
Chronic pain and stiffness usually affect patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. In such cases the doctor prescribes suitable treatment for the underlying conditions. In some patients pain and stiffness only occur in the morning and they tend to withdraw during the day. The process repeats the following day. Unfortunately, such patients have to deal with finger pain and stiffness on daily bases. Severe cases of finger pain, stiffness and accompanied deformities may require surgical correction.