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What is Trigger Finger? Discovering the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Trigger finger is a common condition that makes it difficult to move your fingers or thumb. Without treatment, this condition can be difficult to overcome and be very painful. Think about it: your hands do everything, from grabbing, stretching, making pinky promises, and crossing your fingers. The anatomy of your hands is very complex, with tendons that attach the muscles of the forearms to the bones of the fingers. Any issues with the hands can cause a true disruption to your daily life.

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition in which your fingers get stuck in a certain bent position, usually worse in the morning. This is because the tendon that attaches the muscles of your finger to the bone is inflamed. Each one of your finger’s tendons are housed in separate tubular structures, called tendon sheaths. When the tendons become irritated and swell, it prevents them from being able to move the fingers. Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger is when your fingers get stuck in a bent- down position, and can often make a snapping sound whenever it bends or straightens.

What causes trigger finger?

Trigger finger is an inflammation problem that affects the tendon. The condition’s primary cause is repetitive actions that involve gripping. People with hobbies or jobs that require excessive finger bending are often at a higher risk of developing stenosing tenosynovitis, such as musicians, knitters and crocheters, and even industrial or farm workers. The condition also targets people with health disorders such as diabetes and arthritis.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms for trigger finger usually vary in severity. Some of the symptoms patients experience include:

  • Finger(s) locking in a straight or bent position

  • Stiffness in the fingers, especially after a long period of not using them

  • Clicking or popping of the finger joints

  • Pain or swelling of the palms

  • Pain at the fingers’ base

Although this condition affects each finger, you might encounter these symptoms on one or two fingers in particular. It’s best to speak with your physician about what has been causing this issue for you in particular.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Depending on the severity of your condition, there are both surgical and non-surgical options for the treatment of trigger finger.

Sometimes, an over-the-counter prescription from your primary care doctor is enough. For other patients, they might require some injections to relieve the pain. In the most severe of cases, surgery is an option. Of course, every patient’s condition is difficult, and it is always best to discuss with your doctor what exactly is the best option for you.

Physical therapy treatment & trigger finger

While physical therapy may not be your first thought when it comes to trigger finger, physical therapists are trained in all parts of the body, including a body part as small as your finger. The knowledgeable BC + PT physical therapists can give you some potential exercises to help with your trigger finger syndrome, and if surgery is the route that you decide to take, seeing a physical therapist after surgery is a beneficial way to potentially speed up your recovery. If you are ready to stop hurting and start healing, give us a call or fill out one of our contact forms today!

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