The finger joints can become swollen and painful as a result of trauma (traumatic arthritis e.g. wicket keeping) or rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. The affected joints become stiff and pain is provoked at either end of their range of movement. Fracture should be eliminated if suspected, although treatment for finger fracture is usually by strapping the affected finger to its neighbour. It is always wise to seek an orthopaedic opinion for adolescents if fracture is suspected, to prevent deformity and loss of normal function in the hand.
Physiotherapy can help by applying soft tissue massage and encouraging movement in the finger joint to prevent stiffness. Ice, exercises in warm water and electrotherapy may be used with advice on progressively using the joint without aggravating the pain and swelling.
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