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What You Need to Know About Trigger Finger

Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger is a condition which makes finger movements difficult. Most often, the finger will get stuck in a bent position before it snaps out straight. Trigger finger is a result of inflammation of the tendons in the fingers and/or thumb. The affected tendons are composed of fibrous tissue bands that connect the muscles of the forearm to the bones in your fingers and thumb. These tendons and muscles work in conjunction to allow you the bending movement in your hands.

Though direct causes of trigger finger are unknown, several factors can contribute to the development or agitation of it. Trigger finger is a result of inflammation in and around the tendons in your hands. The tendons are protected by a sheath, which is near a lubricating membrane that when inflamed, can get stuck in the sheath causing pain and discomfort. The pain often arises after activities which may place additional strain on the hands. Trigger finger is most common in the age group 40-60 and also more so in women than men. Certain conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can also predispose an individual to the condition.

According to The Mayo Clinic, the symptoms include:

  • Finger stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger
  • Tenderness or a bump (nodule) at the base of the affected finger
  • Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight
  • Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten

Obtaining a diagnosis is generally fairly easy and involves a physical examination. After diagnosis the first step is to put a splint on the affected appendage to restrict movement. If the condition does not improve the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery is the final option if none of the aforementioned proves successful. Joint supplements and omega fatty acids may help treat or even prevent conditions like trigger finger.

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