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Signs Of Trigger Finger: Common Symptoms & When to Seek Help

Signs Of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a painful condition affecting finger or thumb tendons, hindering smooth movement. It is more common in women and typically occurs in individuals aged 40 to 60. It is a condition that affects the tendons in the fingers and thumb, causing difficulty in smoothly moving them. Additionally, inflammation and subsequent narrowing of the A1 pulley, typically in the third or fourth digit, are thought to cause it.

Common trigger finger symptoms include finger stiffness, a tender lump at the base, as well as catching, popping, or locking sensations, and pain. Additionally, various factors such as overuse, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, specific jobs, and hobbies can trigger the condition. Diagnosis typically relies on a physical examination and a discussion of symptoms, without the need for X-rays or lab tests. Treatment may involve rest, hot and cold therapy, splinting, and in some cases, surgery. If you experience signs of trigger finger, it is advisable to seek medical advice for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

In this blog post, we will discuss the common symptoms of trigger finger and when it’s time to seek medical help.

How is a trigger finger diagnosed?

Trigger finger is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and a discussion of the patient’s symptoms. X-rays or other tests are usually not necessary to make the diagnosis. During the exam, the doctor checks for tenderness over the flexor tendon sheath in the palm and examines the affected finger or thumb’s tendon sheath for thickening or swelling. The severity of the condition is assessed by inquiring about symptoms, examining the hand and fingers, and feeling for clicking and stiffness.

Common Signs of Trigger Finger

  1. Soreness at the base of the finger or where the thumb meets the palm may worsen after tightly or repeatedly gripping or grasping objects.
  2. Stiffness when bending the finger or thumb.
  3. Popping or snapping sounds during everyday movements.
  4. Difficulty straightening the finger or thumb after it has been bent.

When to Seek Help

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s time to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment:

  1. Continuous pain or discomfort in the affected finger or thumb.
  2. Stiffness or limited range of motion in the affected finger or thumb.
  3. Popping or snapping sounds during everyday activities.
  4. The affected finger or thumb has difficulty straightening after bending.
  5. Nodules or swelling on the tendon itself.

Possible Causes

Trigger finger can occur due to repetitive or forceful use of the fingers or thumb, or an underlying medical condition. Common in those with jobs or hobbies involving repetitive strenuous activities, such as farmers, musicians, and industrial or factory workers.

Treatment Options

  1. Gentle massage: By applying gentle pressure and using a circular motion, one can massage the affected finger, surrounding area, and knuckle.
  2. Stretches and exercises: Performing specific exercises to strengthen the tendons and reduce stiffness.
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage pain and inflammation.
  4. Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist to improve flexibility and strength in the affected hand.
  5. Steroid injections: Injecting a steroid medication into the affected area to reduce inflammation and pain.
  6. Surgery: In severe cases, an orthopedic surgeon may use a needle for percutaneous release, either loosening the trapped tendon or cutting through the sheath to create more room for the tendon.

How can the trigger finger be prevented?

To prevent trigger finger, it is recommended to:

  1. Avoid Overuse: Refrain from overusing your hands, fingers, and thumbs. Take regular rest breaks and avoid repetitive or forceful hand movements.
  2. Proper Technique: To minimize the risk of developing a trigger finger, learn and practice proper posture and technique for sports, work, and repetitive hand movements.
  3. Use Appropriate Hand Tools: When engaging in activities that involve hand movements, ensure that you use the appropriate hand tools to minimize strain on your fingers and thumbs.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of developing a Signs Of Trigger Finger and maintain the health of your hands and fingers.

In a Nutshell,

Trigger finger is a common condition that can affect your ability to perform everyday activities. By recognizing the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment, you can manage and alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition.  

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