Trigger finger is a condition that develops when inflammation accumulates within a tendon of a finger and causes it to involuntarily flex. If serious, the affected finger is fixed in a flexed position and sometimes produces a snapping sound when forced to straighten.
People performing repetitive gripping face a high risk of developing trigger finger. Conditions such as arthritis and diabetes are more likely to develop trigger finger. Women with ages 40-60 are susceptible as well. The condition usually affects the thumb, middle finger and ring finger.
Symptoms of trigger finger
- A clicking sound can be heard when moving the finger
- A tender nodule can be felt at the base of the affected finger
- Difficulty in making the affected finger straight
- Take plenty of rest, avoid performing repetitive gripping of the hand and flexing the thumb or forefinger.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected finger for at least 10-15 minutes every hour until the swelling is lessened. Wrap the pack with a towel and apply on the affected tendon. The cold lessens the swelling and pain.
- Compress the ice pack against the finger or hand using a bandage or elastic support to control the inflammation. Avoid wrapping it too tight to avoid disrupting the blood circulation in the area and worsen the condition.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin to lessen pain and inflammation of the affected finger.
- Perform gentle stretching for the trigger finger.
- In a bathtub filled with warm water, mix a cup of Epsom salt until it is totally dissolved and then soak the body including the hand for at least 10-15 minutes after stretching to lessen tension and pain.
- Seek the help of the physical therapist for hand.
- Wear a finger splint at night to prevent unnecessary movements and keep the finger in an extended position while sleeping. Splint the affected finger for at least 6 weeks. During the day, remove the splint to perform light stretches or gentle massages to prevent making the area stiff.