Have you ever been going about your day and all of a sudden one of your fingers locks into a bent position and you can’t release it? When this happens, it’s important to know what the problem is, how it is caused, and how to prevent it. Odds are in this situation, you have Trigger finger.
Trigger finger, formally known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which your finger or thumb get stuck in a bent position.The term Trigger finger was coined because your finger may straighten with a snap, similar to a trigger being pulled and released.
Trigger finger is the result of inflammation surrounding the tendons in the finger. Maintaining a strong grip for a long period of time can cause your fingers to lock. However, you can also experience Trigger finger in conjunction with rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes – all conditions affecting joints in the extremities.
Although a “locked” finger is the number one symptom of Trigger finger, there are a few other things you can look out for.
- Pain at the base of the finger (where the finger meets the palm of your hand)
- Popping or clicking
- Limited movement in the affected finger
Most people experience Trigger finger in their thumb (Trigger thumb), middle, and ring fingers. It is possible to have multiple Trigger fingers at one time, and it can affect both hands.
Trigger finger typically affects people that work with their hands regularly. This could be musicians, industrial workers, or chefs. It has also been found in many smokers as a result of using a lighter frequently. Trigger finger is most common in women ages 40-60, however, it can affect men too.
If you think you’re experiencing Trigger finger, a doctor can provide you with a splint and you can take an anti-inflammatory medication. The goal of treatment is to reduce swelling, and prevent future locking/catching.
Hand therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for Trigger finger. With a combination of massage and exercises, you can relieve the tension in the muscles and tendons of your hand and restore proper function of your fingers.
Don’t let Trigger finger get in the way! Schedule an appointment at Contact Physical Therapy today!