Trigger finger treatments range from self-care at home to medical intervention. When treating a trigger finger, it is important to remember that prevention is the best place to start.
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What Causes Trigger Finger?
A trigger finger is caused by inflammation of the tendon sheath, which surrounds and protects the flexor tendons in your finger or thumb.
When these tendons become inflamed, they swell and make it difficult for them to move smoothly through their sheaths when you bend or straighten your fingers or thumbs. This can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and a clicking sensation in your fingers or thumb when you try to move them.
A trigger finger is a painful condition that makes your fingers or thumb catch or lock when you bend them. It can affect any finger or more than one finger at a time. You can also have it in both hands. You might hear it called stenosing tenosynovitis. When it affects your thumb, it’s called a trigger thumb.
The fingers most often affected are the ring finger and the thumb, but the condition can affect any finger. A developing trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls that finger can’t glide smoothly in the sheath that surrounds it.
How To Recognize Trigger Finger
The symptoms of the trigger finger vary depending on the severity of the condition and how long it has been left untreated. However, some common symptoms include pain when attempting to move your affected finger; swelling at the base of the affected finger; difficulty flexing your affected finger; feeling like there is something stuck inside your affected finger when you attempt to move it; locking of the affected joint while extending it; clicking sound when moving you’re affected joint; and numbness around the affected area. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.
How Is Trigger Finger Treated?
Treatment for the trigger finger depends on the severity of the condition. Milder cases are often treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
If these treatments do not work, then steroid injection may be used to reduce inflammation and allow for smoother movement of the tendon through its flexor tendon sheath. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to release the affected tendon from its sheath so it can move freely without pain or restriction.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Trigger Finger
If you believe you have been diagnosed trigger finger, then it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will likely ask about any medical conditions that may have contributed to the development of the trigger finger, such as diabetes or arthritis.
They will also examine your hand, including checking for tenderness and movement restrictions on the affected area. Based on this information, your doctor may recommend further testing, such as an X-ray or MRI scan, if needed.
Treatment options for trigger finger range from rest and anti-inflammatory medication to splinting and physical therapy exercises depending on severity. Surgery may also be recommended if other treatments fail to relieve symptoms.
Trigger finger surgery may also be recommended if other treatments don’t work or if there are signs of permanent damage due to the trigger finger. Additionally, preventative measures such as avoiding activities that strain your hands or wrists can help reduce the likelihood of developing this condition in the future.