What is trigger finger? Trigger finger is a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers or thumb. Tendons control the movements of the fingers and thumb. When you bend or straighten your finger, the tendon slides through a snug tunnel, called the tendon sheath. The tendon can become irritated as it slides through this tendon sheath. As it becomes more and more irritated, the tendon may thicken and nodules may form, making its passage through the tunnel more difficult. This may lead to locking or catching of the finger when trying to straighten it.
What are the symptoms? A tender lump in your palm, swelling, catching or popping sensation in your finger or thumb, pain when bending or straightening finger. These symptoms may be worse after inactivity, such as when you wake up in the morning.
What causes trigger finger? Trigger fingers may occur after activities that strain the hand, especially activities/work with repetitive gripping actions.
Who is at risk? More common in women than men, occurs more between 40-60 yrs of age, more common with people who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatments: Physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, splinting, steroid injections into tendon sheath, surgical options if conservative measures fail.
- With your thumb pointing away from your palm, extend your fingers outward.
- Flex your fingers toward your thumb with only half an inch of distance between your thumb and finger.
- Slowly curl your fingers into your palm with your thumb along the outside of your index finger and make a fist.
- Open your hand very slowly and lift your fingers into an upright position. Keep your knuckles bent and thumb extended away from the palm.
- Repeat several times.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
- Hold a tennis ball in your hand and squeeze it hard.
- Hold it for about 5 seconds and release. Perform 5-10 times daily.