Trigger finger arthritis, commonly known as Stenosing tenosynovitis, is subject to a misconception. People assume that it simply involves the index or pointer finger as this finger is used to pull the trigger of a gun. In reality, this kind of arthritis can affect any finger of your hand.
To simply explain the condition, it can be said that it is the snapping or popping of a finger when it is opened or closed. The snapping is perhaps how the name was generated. Most often, affected fingers include the index finger, ring finger and middle finger. You can hear sound of the snapping when attempts to flex the finger is made. Patients face discomfort when they try to make a grip.
At times, the trigger finger cannot stretch back into original position as it locks in the position. You have to use the other hand to extend the finger back in position. This motion is accompanied by a snap sound as well. It is also quite painful, which may lead you to a doctor’s chamber.
The popping of any finger is basically the biggest sign of trigger finger. The condition is generally worse during morning hours upon waking up. As the trigger finger arthritis worsens, the popping happens more regularly. Sometimes, the swollen part of tendon or bump may lock and get stuck there.
Causes of Trigger Finger
Before looking at cures and remedies, it is important to understand what causes trigger finger. It is the inflammation of the tendon which pulls your finger to a closed position after bending. Reasons for inflammation is usually scarring in same tendon. Oftentimes, this is paired with other symptoms such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by overuse or wear and tear. Therefore, prolonged use of fingers can lead to micro-injuries. These later swell and cause trigger finger.
In simple terms, it is caused by repeated movement or any kind of forceful use of the thumb or fingers. Diabetes and gout can also be causes of this medical condition. In fact, the simple act of grasping something like a power tool firmly for a long time can instigate Stenosing tenosynovitis.
It is common amid industrial workers, farmers or musicians who repeat finger movements. It has also been seen that smokers get trigger thumb because they use the lighter too often. Studies suggest that it is more usually seen amid women than men. Individuals over between the age of 40 to 60 years are more prone to it.
How to Treat Trigger Finger
Transverse Friction Massage
Transverse friction massage can be performed across the adhesion on affected finger to reduce its size.
Immediately after the massage, it is ideal to do some passive and active finger stretches. This can help thin the tendon and relieve you from symptoms.
Some active strengthening exercises are also essential for the extensor muscle, which belongs to the opposing muscle group. The extensor muscle extends the fingers and wrist. This will help to maintain the length of tendon you stretched.
Hydrotherapy means you have to ice the affected area for 1 to 2 minutes while it is in a stretched position. This too will help maintain length of the tendon. Another advantage of hydrotherapy is that is removes swelling and toxins which are produced as a result of massaging, stretching and strengthening exercises.
Endoscopic treatment for trigger finger
Trigger finger occurs when a finger or thumb gets stuck in a bent position, as if you were squeezing a trigger. Another effective treatment is endoscopic treatment which can offer immediate relief without causing much discomfort.