Trigger finger is a common problem that causes a locking sensation and pain in one or more fingers, more frequently in the middle, thumb, and ring finger. The tendons in your fingers connecting your muscles to your bones pass through a series of tunnels along the finger known as tendon sheaths or pulleys.
In a “normal” thumb or finger, the tendon is able to glide through these passageways smoothly thanks to a slick lining on the inner part of the sheath. But sometimes, certain activities irritate the tendon sheath located at the base of the finger or thumb, causing inflammation that thickens and thus narrows the passageway-trigger finger.
This inflammation can cause a variety of symptoms including finger stiffness, popping or clicking sensation, tenderness, a visible bump, and your fingers locking in a bent position for extended period of time.
Thankfully this condition isn’t as serious as it sounds! Trigger finger can be treated by many different remedies, even with conservative at-home treatments. These remedies may include:
- Ice and cold therapy
- Massaging the hand or finger
- Trigger finger or thumb splints
- Cortisone shots (not conservative)
- (not conservative-more serious cases)
What Could Be Causing My Trigger Finger or Thumb Pain?
The cause of trigger finger at times is still a mystery, but there are some underlying factors connecting to the arise of trigger finger. There are different elements that may put you at a higher risk of developing this condition. Answer the questions below to determine which factor may have contributed to your trigger finger or thumb pain:
Q: Are you a female?
Females are more likely to develop trigger finger compared to men.
Q: Are you between the ages of 40-60?
Trigger finger is related to overtime use of your joints, tendons, and muscles. The aging process may weaken your tendons, making you more prone to developing this condition./p>
Q: Have you injured your hand before?
You are more likely to develop trigger finger if you’ve already had a previous injury to that area.
Q: Do you have diabetes?
Individuals that have diabetes tend to have joint issues relating to the stiffening or thickening of connective tissues.
Q: Do you have rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis directly relates to the joints in your fingers and is a disease that causes inflammation in these areas. Your chances increase greatly if you’re susceptible to inflammation.
Q: What kind of job do you have?
It is believed that occupations or hobbies are one of the main causes of having trigger finger or thumb. If your job requires repeated and constant gripping, your chance of trigger finger increases. Such jobs or hobbies may include farmers, industrial workers, musicians, and playing tennis or racquetball.
Q: Do you have gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis which causes your joints to become inflamed or swollen. Trigger finger basically is a result of your tendon becoming inflamed, similar in gout arthritis.
Q: Do you have Dupuytren's contracture or carpal tunnel syndrome?
These other conditions tend to go hand-in-hand with trigger finger. If you have one of these conditions, the chances of developing one of the other conditions increases. Sometimes these conditions may occur at the same time or after one another.