man with trigger fingerHave you ever experienced holding something or working with your hands, and then your fingers suddenly lock up? You could be doing the most mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or typing away on your keyboard when your fingers suddenly freeze up. When this happens, you’re most likely experiencing a trigger finger. 

Trigger finger is a painful condition that makes it difficult to use and move your fingers. Because we use our hands and fingers quite often, the trigger finger is one of the most common reasons doctors refer patients to hand specialists and hand surgery clinics. This is because they can properly diagnose and give you the right treatment for hand conditions, such as this.  

It pays to know more about common health conditions to ensure that you spot complications and get treatment immediately before things escalate. So if you’re suffering from the discomfort and pain of the trigger finger, it’s best to know everything you could about this condition. 

In this article, we’ll share the causes, symptoms, and treatment for trigger fingers. Let’s dive in!

What is Trigger Finger?

When your finger or thumb gets stuck in a bent position, you’re most likely having trigger finger. The reason it’s called trigger finger is that your bent finger may suddenly straighten with a pop, mimicking the pulling and releasing of a trigger. In medical terms, this condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. 

Trigger finger is caused by inflammation in the tendon. This happens when you overuse or injure your tendon sheaths, causing them to get swollen or irritated. When this happens, your tendons get stuck and produce trigger finger symptoms, scarring your tendon or forming bumps. 

Which of My Fingers is the Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger often affects the thumb or ring finger. However, it can happen in any digit or even several fingers simultaneously. Additionally, trigger finger usually occurs in your dominant due to excessive usage, but it can affect both hands again.

What Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

When you first experience trigger finger, they may sometimes feel painless, but here a bit of clicking. However, when the condition progresses, the pain may be more evident and could affect the functionality of your fingers. 

Here are some common symptoms of trigger finger:

  • Pain the palm at the base of the finger;
  • Finger stiffness;
  • Popping or clicking sensation when moving affected finger;
  • Lump in the bottom of your finger;
  • Finger locking into a bent position and popping straight right after;
  • Difficulty in straightening your finger after a locked position.

What Should I Do When I Experience Trigger Finger?

  • Rest: The most common cause of trigger fingers is due to overusing them. The best way to deal with this is by avoiding activities that require repetitive gripping for extended use. Additionally, wearing padded gloves can help prevent strain. 
  • Apply Ice: Cold treatment can do loads to reduce discomfort and pain as it reduces the blood flow in the affected area.  
  • See Your Hand Specialist: If your symptoms don’t improve after taking action and medication, it’s best to seek advice from your doctor to know the best treatment for you. Some may recommend injections to help reduce the severity of your trigger finger symptoms.

The Bottom Line: Anyone Can Experience Trigger Finger

Because we use our hands pretty much all the time, you may experience trigger fingers at any point in your life. However, when you avoid strenuous and repetitive hand activity and visit your hand specialist regularly, you can lower severe symptoms and help manage this uncomfortable hand condition. 

How Can We Help You?

Dealing with body conditions can be stressful, especially when you don’t have the right doctor with you. If you’re dealing with hand conditions, like trigger fingers or carpal tunnel, you want to ensure you visit a reputable hand doctor right away. 

Led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, North Florida Hand & Wrist Center is a team of expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing the best care possible to their patients. Have your hands and wrist checked today — book an appointment with us!