What is Trigger Finger?
The tendons that run into the fingers have protective sheaths around them. When the “tendon sheaths” become irritated and inflamed it can make it difficult for the tendon to glide when we close and open our hands. Patients with trigger finger will report finger stiffness, popping or clicking, locking in a bent position, tenderness, or a bump at the base of the finger. In severe cases, the finger may become locked in the bent position and the patient may be unable to straighten it at all.
Common activities that may exacerbate the condition include:
- Heavy work with hands (i.e. tool use, vibrating equipment, frequent loading or carrying objects)
- Rock climbing
- Throwing sports
- Prolonged and repetitive gripping and carrying
- Awkward finger positioning
Women, older adults, people with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and congestive heart failure are also at higher risk of developing this condition.
Tips For Treatment
There are a few options for addressing a painful trigger finger. The first line of treatment involves non-surgical strategies.
These would include:
- rest medication
- steroid injections
- nighttime orthotics
- avoid pain-inducing activities
All of these interventions allow for inflammation to be mitigated and resolved so the tissue can heal.
If the finger is stuck in a bent position, as surgery may be needed to prevent permanent stiffness. (Jennings, 2010). The surgery essentially involves the following: a small incision is made in the palm and the tendon sheath tunnel is cut to allow the tendon to glide.
AOPT is Here to Help!
Trigger finger responds best to non-surgical treatment if it is addressed quickly from the time of onset. If you are experiencing the above described symptoms, call AOPT to set up a free screen today.
To view all of our Programs and Services, click here.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Diseases and conditions: Trigger finger. Mayo Clinic. Retrieve from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigger-finger/basics/definition/con
Jennings, C. D. (2010). Trigger Finger. OrthoInfo. Retrieved from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00024.