Trigger finger, also identified as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the flexor tendons of the fingers and thumb. It is characterized by a catching or clicking sensation and difficulty bending or straightening the finger. This condition can be painful and interfere with everyday activities like typing or gripping objects. Fortunately, treatments are available to help reduce the symptoms of the trigger finger.
Keep reading to learn the common causes and the most effective trigger finger treatment.
What Causes Trigger Fingers?
A trigger finger gets a person’s finger fixed in a bent position and then snaps back into place. It is due to a narrowing of the space in the sheath or tunnel that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. This narrowing causes the tendon to catch or lock as it slides through the sheath. When this happens, the person cannot move or straighten the finger without assistance.
There are many possible causes of trigger finger, but here are five of the most common:
1. Repetitive Activities
Repetitive activities such as typing, gripping tools, or playing an instrument can cause the tendons to become inflamed and swollen, leading to trigger fingers.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that leads to joint inflammation. This inflammation can lead to the tendons becoming swollen and triggering the finger.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, making it difficult for the body to recognize when a tendon has become inflamed. This can lead to the tendon becoming stuck and triggering the finger.
An injury to the finger or hand can cause inflammation of the tendons, leading to a trigger finger.
As we age, our tendons become less elastic and more prone to injury. This can cause them to become inflamed and trigger the finger.
What are the Treatment Options?
Trigger finger is typically diagnosed during a physical examination. During this exam, your doctor will check for swelling or tenderness around the affected finger or thumb. They may also request you to move your finger or thumb to see if there is any catching or clicking sensation.
Treatment for the trigger finger depends on the severity of the condition. A splint or brace may keep the tendon from catching on the sheath in mild cases. In more severe cases, a steroid injection or surgery may be necessary.
Resting your finger or thumb is one of the most effective and simple treatments for the trigger finger. This means avoiding activities that require repetitive motions or gripping. You may also want to wear a splint or brace to help keep your finger or thumb in a neutral position and limit further inflammation.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Medications
An anti-inflammatory trigger finger treatment, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be taken to reduce inflammation and pain. However, it’s important to remember that these medications may also have side effects, such as stomach discomfort or ulcers, so discussing them with your doctor before taking them is essential.
3. Steroid Injections
Steroid injections can reduce inflammation and pain. However, these injections may cause side effects such as pain and bruising around the injection site.
Splints can help keep the finger or thumb neutral, limiting further inflammation and allowing it to heal.
Surgery may be an option if other treatments are ineffective. This may involve releasing the tendon in the finger or thumb so that it can move more freely. Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery, but it can take up to six weeks.
Trigger Finger is a common condition that can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty bending the affected finger. These are just five of the treatment options available for trigger fingers. Speaking to a healthcare professional to decide which treatment option is best for you is essential. With the proper treatment, the symptoms of the trigger finger can be effectively managed.
Hand & Wrist Center is a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience. Our facility is committed to providing patients with the absolute best care possible and is led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons. If you want hand and wrist treatments in Jacksonville, FL, USA, contact us today for trigger finger treatment.