Do You Have Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a type of tendonitis, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. Running through each digit in the hand is a long tendon. These tendons allow the finger flexibility by sliding through a sheath, similar to a pulley. Without this motion, opening and closing the fingers is impossible. Persons with a trigger finger have inflammation happening at the sheath. The tendon can’t pass through smoothly, causing a range of issues. Here are 3 signs that trigger finger could be at play.

minnesota valley surgery center 3 Common Signs Of Trigger Finger And How To Relieve Symptoms

1. Feeling the pain?

Persons with a trigger finger will notice pain at the base of the fingers. The area where the pain is located will feel tender. There may even be a small bump at the bottom. The pain will especially flare up at times of overuse.

2. Ready to pop

Hearing a clicking or popping sound? Trigger finger patients report a pop when extending the fingers. This is the point where the sheath is inflamed. The tendon has to squeeze through to help extend the finger. The sound could be confused with the cracking of fingers or knuckles. But the issue could be a trigger finger.

3. Staying locked in

In some cases, the sheath becomes so inflamed that the tendon can get stuck in one position. This happens when someone with trigger finger attempts to make a fist. When releasing the fist, the affected finger stays locked in place. This is actually where the name trigger finger comes from. The finger looks similar to a motion of firing a gun. If the finger can’t extend properly, trigger finger is at play. Moreso, if the finger needs to be manually extended with the opposite hand, there is a more severe case happening.

It’s all about management

Trigger finger can be painful and uncomfortable, but the condition is treatable. First, seek help from a medical professional. The doctor will use simple physical tests to confirm the condition. The first step to relieve symptoms involve a combination of rest and medication. Trigger finger gets worse with overuse. So persons should recognize any triggers and avoid activities causing the pain. Over-the-counter medicines like NSAIDs can help at this point. Proper pain management can restore range of motion in many cases.

Give it a stretch

During trigger finger flare-ups, there are a few stretching exercises that can help relieve pain. Try stretching the finger as far back as possible using the opposite hand. Small elastic bands, stress balls, and towels can be used to squeeze and release the affected hand gently. Speak with a doctor for a range of useful physical therapy exercises.

Taking treatment to another level

If other pain management fails, the doctor will administer a steroid shot. The injection happens at the base of the affected finger. The steroid shot takes a few days to kick in. After a few weeks, the patient should see some improvement. If there is still pain, a second shot may be attempted. If all else fails, the doctor will recommend open release surgery.

Take care of trigger finger today

Trigger finger can get painful and can restrict the proper use of the hand. Identifying these 3 signs can help persons visit a doctor right away. With a combination of pain management, medication, and therapy, a trigger finger can be fixed. For more information, speak with a healthcare provider.

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