A finger brace should provide you with maximum relief from the injury or pain you are experiencing while being comfortable for extended wear. The joints of the fingers are constantly being used and exposed to repetitive motions that can allow an injury to occur. Such finger sprains, swellings, or other injuries involving the fingers can make it difficult to carry out many basic tasks such as using utensils or typing without experiencing pain. For those dealing with arthritis in their fingers or a physical trauma, finger deformities may also occur.
There are various types of braces to choose from, and typically the best finger braces are those that correspond to the type of finger injury you are dealing with. Mallet finger, for instance, is a finger deformity where the finger curves in and is unable to straighten out without support. Since this injury affects the tip of the finger, a stack finger splint is likely to be used. A stack finger brace covers the tip of the finger down past the distal joint, the one nearest the nail bed. The brace holds the finger straight and allows normal fingertip extension to be restored.
The best finger braces are also sized to fit the circumference of your finger. When shopping for a commercial finger brace, sizing charts may be provided to help you get the best fit possible. Some splint designs also use hook and loop fasteners, allowing the user to get a perfectly snug fit without having to use tape. For effective treatment of some conditions like arthritis and to get the best possible fit, you may choose to get a custom-fitted brace.
Another issue that may be important to you when trying to decide on the right brace is the overall appearance of the splint. Some splint designs are obvious and can draw attention to the injury. A popular look for those looking to minimize attention to their injury is a ring splint. A ring finger brace features plastic or metal spirals and is spring-loaded, allowing correction of joint deformities without restricting movement. Stack finger splints can also be found in clear or flesh-colored designs for a less obtrusive appearance.
To decide on the best finger cast for your injury, you have to pay attention to the type of materials used in the brace. Aluminum finger splints, for instance, usually provide firm finger support, but some users may find the design is too rigid when wearing for extended periods or for overnight use. The metal could also rub against the injured finger, making the finger brace uncomfortable to use. Aluminum finger braces featuring a thick foam padding, however, are usually more comfortable to wear. They also typically need less padding for a proper fit and allow for air around the wound to speed up healing and help the isolated finger remain dry.
Picking the ideal finger splints may come down to considering your daily activities and looking for a splint that will not interfere with them. Athletes, for instance, often desire a slim finger brace that will immobilize the finger for proper healing but is flexible enough to allow for some movement so they can continue with activities. A slim, metal-free design is generally preferred so the wrapped finger can still fit under gloves. This style of finger brace is usually adhesive backed and designed for a single use. They are also usually low cost to compensate for the need to make constant replacements.
Although a finger brace has its uses, it is usually not to be relied on for injuries that are more serious without first seeing a doctor. Generally, when the joint is not fully movable or there is a noticeable deformity or significant swelling or weakness, a medical consultation is likely needed. It may also be necessary to see a doctor to ensure that a suspected fracture or dislocation is properly diagnosed and receives the correct treatment.