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Finger injuries are uncomfortable, especially if you still have daily tasks like typing, writing, or cooking. Not to mention, conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome , arthritis , or tendonitis can cause pain or stiffness that can make your daily life difficult. For many of these conditions and injuries, a split finger can alleviate some of this discomfort.
"Certain injuries or conditions require a brace that extends up to the arm or wrist to provide additional support and control to the finger," says Dr. Hardy. "In other cases, a band holds the fingers is sufficient."
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a finger clip. You will want to choose a material that is comfortable for your skin and an optimal design and fit for your particular situation. You should also be mindful of your lifestyle and look for dynamic braces that don't interfere with your daily tasks.
Here are the best finger braces on the market.
If you are looking for a product that can be used on any finger to treat a variety of injuries, the Oval-8 3-Point Finger Splint (view on Amazon ) is your best option. Not only is the splint small, making it easy to wear during the day, but it also quickly provides support for an injured joint or finger. We recommend Mueller's Green Brace (view on Amazon ) for a comfortable brace that provides more support for your hand. The adjustable clamp will help immobilize your wrist and keep your fingers in shape for daily tasks.
What to Look for in a Finger Brace
It's important to choose an adjustable brace that is neither too loose nor too tight, according to Brian Hardy, MD , orthopedic hand surgeon at Texas Orthopedics in Austin, Texas. Otherwise, it will not do what it is supposed to do or it may cause discomfort, the main indicator that something is wrong.
'The clamp should fit snugly, but not too tight, ”he explains. "If it hurts or is uncomfortable, it could be a sign that the brace is too loose or too tight."
If you are unsure of how well a corset will fit, Dr. Hardy suggests seeking advice and guidance from an orthopedic surgeon or board certified therapist (specially trained occupational therapist or physical therapist).
The design and overall size of the splint or brace will determine how immobilized your hands and fingers are while wearing the product. If you want to keep using your hands while wearing one, then the bulkier design that immobilizes most of your fingers is probably not for you.
If you are looking for protection at night when you are not active, we recommend a larger brace that stabilizes your entire arm. According to the Cleveland Clinic, wearing an arm and wrist brace at night can improve symptoms of certain conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Hands can sweat quickly when bulky corsets or splints are worn. This is not a problem for everyone, but some people prefer a more breathable material so that their fingers are not slippery with sweat. Also, you need a brace that is made of a material that will not irritate your skin, as you are likely to wear it for longer periods of time.
"By choosing the best brace and brace, neoprene or nylon will provide maximum support for fractures and sprains, as well as carpal tunnel and tendonitis," says Dr. Okubadejo. He adds that these materials are less obtrusive and more comfortable than plastic.
However, if you are working outdoors, Dr. Okubadejo advises purchasing a hard plastic corset as it will be waterproof and can be washed to remove dirt.
What do you need: a splint that severely restricts movement or a flexible brace that allows you to flex your finger? And what part of the arm, wrist, and forearm should be covered for proper support?
These are tough questions because there are different splints and braces for different injuries. Be sure to pay attention to design when choosing a product; most of them will list the diseases they treat and fingers that can be splinted.
If you need a quick reference, Dr. Okubadejo suggests the use of braces to support inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis and splints for injuries that require immobilization.
It is important to choose a style of corset that is compatible with what you will be doing during the hours you wear it, according to Dr. Hardy. Encourage consumers to consider whether the corset can get wet or washed, and whether you can do your normal activities in it, such as gardening, exercising, and even sleeping.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, especially if your arthritis has worsened after sleeping or if you are recovering from an injury.
'Wearing the brace at night is normal for broken muscles and tendons to heal,' says Dr. Okubadejo. "Do not remove your brace until your doctor tells you to."
It depends on whether you are trying to treat an injury, a long-term medical condition (such as an index finger or Dupuytren 's contracture), or arthritis.
If you are dealing with trauma, Dr. Okubadejo says that three to eight weeks may be appropriate depending on whether you have a broken bone or damaged tendon: 'A brace should be worn on a finger or splint for about three weeks for a broken finger [and] if the tendon is stretched, it can heal in about four to six weeks; But if you pull on the tendon, you will have to wear the bandage for six to eight weeks. "
For the permanent treatment of more chronic pain conditions, you may always need to wear a bandage for some time every day to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. A 2018 study published in Rheumatology that examined the effect of wrist splints on hand function suggests that stabilization may improve joint function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
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Additional reporting by Sarah Bradley
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