Fix my fingers
November 22, 2012 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Sharp pain in my right ring and pinky fingers when I bend them. I need to do a lot of typing. YANMD, but can you help me get through the weekend?

Yesterday, somewhere between chopping vegetables, working on my laptop, and playing guitar, I developed pain in my ring and pinky fingers on my right (dominant) hand. When I curl my fingers, it hurts on the palm side near the closest and second closest joints to my hand. Curling just one finger while keeping the other still makes both hurt in the same region. Extending them or stretching them backwards does not hurt. When it started, I moved them around to try to relieve the pain and made it worse. It feels like maybe an overworked tendon.

I've tried icing them for an hour or so, and when that didn't work, I wrapped them together in athletic tape, which seems to keep them in a pain-free position for the most part. I slept with them wrapped, but when I unwrapped them this morning, it was no less painful. I re-wrapped them and am typing two-fingered on my right hand, which does not irritate it further but is slow. I will not be able to go to the doctor until Tuesday, should this continue or get worse, but I'm assuming it's overuse and will go away eventually. I need to get a lot of writing done this weekend, so I'm wondering if there's anything else I can do to make this feel better more quickly, knowing that I can't rest it as much as I'd like to.

Possibly relevant: I take oxaprozen for chronic back pain. I have complained about finger pain on askme before, but that felt more dull and went away after a period of rest.
posted by quiet coyote to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try using Salonpas pain relief plaster patches. You can cut them to fit over your fingers.
posted by plokent at 9:20 AM on November 22, 2012

IANAD but I deal with hand pain constantly. The ring and pinky finger share a nerve which I believe runs up the side of the forearm. It's possible that the problem originates further up your arm, around the elbow. Were you putting pressure on that part of your arm when you were playing guitar, like say resting it against the edge of the instrument? There are also pressure points in the neck that can cause hand pain like that. Maybe try wrapping your forearm just below the elbow with tape instead of the fingers. It may not change anything but it won't hurt to try. If you can take NSAIDs with your oxaprozen, those might help too.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:12 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

This probably doesn't work for your process, but can you use a dictation service instead? Transcriptions via online services are super cheap these days, and may stop you from exacerbating the problem further.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:08 PM on November 22, 2012

Be careful about the taping. I had a small finger problem that turned into a bigger finger problem because I kept the finger immobilized with tape. (Had to go to a physical therapist to get it bending again, and it's still not quite like it was!)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:16 PM on November 22, 2012

medic hubby says if pain only on curling the fingers it's prob a tendon sheath inflammation so also do a dosing series on anti-inflammatories, like combo ibuprofen and paracetomol. It should take 32 hours dosing every six hours to get the kind of bioavailibility that will give you some relief.

answer is rest unfortunately
posted by Wilder at 5:06 AM on November 23, 2012

I actually chimed in on your last question and it sounds like the same problem, but now involving two fingers. Trigger finger. The only way to know for sure is to see a hand doctor.
posted by karlos at 5:57 PM on November 23, 2012

Response by poster: It went away with rest, ibuprofin, and tylenol. Thanks.
posted by quiet coyote at 3:17 PM on January 3, 2013

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