Trigger Finger: Unusual Locking Of Tendons In Your Finger

When the motion of the tendon that opens and closes the finger is limited and locks the movement of your finger, it usually results in trigger finger.

A common problem, it causes pain and snapping of tendons.

Tendons are rope-like structures that are attached to the ends of fingers. When you contract your forearm muscles, the tendons help to clench the fingers into a fist.

When this movement is not smooth, you will feel the pain and snapping of the tendons.

Is there any specific cause?

No-one knows the exact cause of trigger finger, but it can occur in one or more fingers of your hand. Trigger finger results from the discrepancy between the size of the tendon and the entrance to the tendon sheath. The reason for the discrepancy can be any localized inflammation or nodular swelling on the tendon itself.

So, when this difference in the size of tendon and the tendon sheath reaches critical point, the tendon will experience resistance from the tendon sheath. Initially, you can feel this discomfort in the tendon as a snapping of the trigger finger when relaxing the fist.

If this condition worsens, your trigger finger may need some active force from other fingers to straighten, and at times may not straighten at all.

Is surgery the only option for trigger finger?

No, when you are in the initial stages of the condition, you don’t need surgery immediately. The treatment for trigger finger usually varies depending on its severity and duration.

For mild or infrequent symptoms, here are few effective approaches for the treatment of the snapping of tendons:

  1. Finger exercises: Your doctor may suggest that you practice a few gentle finger exercises with the affected fingers. Initially, this can help you to maintain mobility in your finger.
  2. Enough rest: Simply by resting the affected fingers or hand, you may notice improvement in four to six weeks. Change physical activities that require repeated gripping actions.
  3. Gentle massage: At times, you can feel some relief from the pain by gently massaging the affected fingers. But don’t worry, it won’t affect the inflammation.
  4. Warm water: Place your affected hand in warm water, particularly in the mornings. This can help you to reduce the severity of the snapping sensation during the day. If this method helps you, repeat it several times throughout the day.

If these methods don’t give you satisfactory relief from the pain, consult your doctor for further medical assistance.