Your hands are complex structures. This complexity gives your hands the flexibility to do many things. However, it can also leave them prone to medical conditions that can affect your daily life, such as trigger finger, a condition that can leave your hand unusable. Read on to learn about the most common causes of trigger finger.
The Symptoms Of Trigger Finger
Trigger finger is a hand condition where one or more of your fingers becomes difficult to move. Left untreated, it may get locked in a curled position, hence the name “trigger finger.” Other symptoms include:
- Unusual warmth
- A clicking or popping feeling when you move the finger
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s best to consult a hand specialist for treatment. Leaving trigger finger untreated may make it more difficult to address in the future.
Treating Trigger Finger
Treatment for trigger finger is generally successful. Conservative methods include:
- Pain medication (although it does not directly treat trigger finger, only the pain)
- Therapy and stretching exercises
More severe cases of trigger finger may require surgery to help release the tendon. A trigger specialist can perform this surgery safely and effectively, so you can return to your life with ease and comfort.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
Your body has several band-like tissues called tendons, which attach your muscles to your bones. Tendons and muscles work together to straighten and flex your fingers. The tendons slide through tendon sheaths, tunnels of tissue keeping the tendons next to the bones of your fingers. In simple terms, your tendons are critical for movement.
When one of the tendons in your fingers swells, you develop trigger finger. Swelling and inflammation typically occur due to the constant friction between the tendons and fibrous sheaths. This inflammation gets in the way of the gliding motion of the tendon within its sheath. Trigger finger can affect any of your fingers; it is also possible for more than one finger to be affected at a time.
Without proper treatment, the irritation in your tendons can lead to scarring and the formation of bumps, making movement significantly more difficult.
Other Risk Factors
The exact reason why our tendons swell is not yet fully understood. A person may develop trigger finger for no immediately clear reason. Trigger finger can affect anyone, but specific factors can increase your risk of contracting the disease. It’s a good idea to be aware of these factors, so you can either control them or plan around them. Here are some risk factors that can lead to trigger finger.
Trigger finger is generally more common in women than in men. The risk is higher for elderly women, possibly due to the natural decline in estrogen coming with menopause.
You are more likely to develop trigger finger as you age; people older than 40 are at a higher risk for trigger finger. Your hands generally perform several repetitive movements throughout your lifetime. The older you are, the more of these movements you’ve done, which may increase your risk of trigger finger.
You may also develop trigger finger if you have any of these health conditions:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Underactive thyroid
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- De Quervain’s disease
These conditions can worsen the inflammation in your hand and delay healing.
Occupation And Hobbies
People involved in activities that require repetitive motion, forceful or intense finger use, or gripping or grasping are more prone to develop trigger finger. Some of occupations and hobbies that require such movements include:
- Industrial workers
- Office workers that type on a computer frequently
Constant use of power tools that vibrate your hands can also cause trigger finger, as the vibrations may irritate your tissues.
Expert Trigger Specialist In Clinton Township, Michigan
If you think you are at risk of trigger finger, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Trigger finger is a progressive condition, meaning that it gets worse the longer you delay treatment. Waiting too long can leave you incapable of doing tasks like holding, typing, and driving.
Our providers at Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, MI, are always ready to address your concerns. Our board-certified surgeons have several years of experience treating hand disorders.
We aim to help you manage your condition early on to prevent them from becoming worse. We are committed to providing reliable treatment options for your trigger finger.