I was talking to a man today and he was telling me that he’s had pain in the tip of his finger for years. He’s seen doctors who tell him nothing is wrong, he’s had x-rays and nothing showed up there, and he was starting to think he was crazy.
Pain that doesn’t come from something obvious, and that lingers for a long time, is frequently caused by repetitive strain injuries.
Repetitive strain injuries are interesting. Everyone knows they come from tight muscles, yet the one thing that was being ignored in this situation was the possibility of muscle involvement. Most physicians don’t consider muscles when looking for the source of pain.
It’s great when a person has gone for a full battery of tests, and they all come out clear. Muscles don’t show up on any tests, so the more tests that are done and are negative, the more we can be sure that muscles are the source of the problem.
In this situation, the muscles of your forearm all insert into your fingertips, at the first joint. When he told me that it hurts more as he tries to bend his fingers, I knew it was his extensor muscles that were causing the problem because the extensors need to stretch in order to been your fingers into a fist. Sure enough, following the muscle from his fingertip up to the top of his forearm, the muscle felt like a tight rope going along the length of his arm.
Treating this repetitive strain injury is easy. He started by applying direct pressure onto the muscle and holding it for one minute, and then curling his hand into a fist to stretch the muscle. He was shocked when the pain stopped!
Fingertip pain isn’t high on the scale of aches and pains…unless it’s YOUR finger that hurts! He was sure happy, and now he knows what to do in case it comes back (it is a repetitive strain injury, so the odds are it could return).
If you have a pain that isn’t obviously coming from something major (like a broken bone), then look into muscles as the cause.
You’ll find that repetitive strain injuries are the most common cause of pain, and are also the easiest to understand and treat!
Wishing you well,