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Written by Tan Pei Yee, Pharmacist

What is Trigger Finger?

 

Throughout the day, holding or grasping an object, typing on computers or smartphones, flipping books are the simple motion that can be easily done by using our fingers. However, these tasks might become complicated when the fingers are affected by certain painful condition, which is called trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. This occurs when the tendons that flex your finger are inflamed, leading to finger stiffness and pain, thus the finger will be difficult to bend and straighten. It can also be caused by a repeated movement or forceful use of your fingers or thumbs.  It can affect more than one finger at one time and on both hands.

What Are the Risk Factors for Trigger Finger?

Things that make you more likely to get trigger finger include:

  • Age: It usually shows up between ages 40 and 60.
  • Sex: It’s more common in women than men.
  • Health conditions: Diabetesgout, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause trigger finger.
  • Job: It’s common among farmers, industrial workers, musicians, and anyone else who repeats finger and thumb movements.

Symptoms

When trigger finger happens, you might experience or notice:

  • Finger tenderness and soreness
  • A clicking or popping sound when you move your finger
  • A bump or lump at the base of finger near the palm

The symptoms are usually mild in the beginning and become more severe over the time. It tends to be more pronounced especially in the morning, as the finger starts to relax and move more easily as the day goes on.

 

What to do if you have trigger finger?

 

  • Take a break from repetitive activities for 4-6 weeks
  • Wear a brace or splint to keep your finger still and rest
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling
  • Perform targeted exercises and stretches which can help to alleviate your symptoms and enhance your finger flexibility
  • May need some medications to reduce the finger inflammation

If you are having trigger finger, do not worry and you can always seek for doctor’s advice to get the most suitable treatment for yourself. Depends on the severity of symptoms, recovery may take a few weeks or months.

References:

WebMD. 2020. Trigger Finger (Trigger Thumb): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Surgery. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/trigger-finger#1> [Accessed 24 March 2020].

Healthline. 2020. Swollen Thumb Joint Or Knuckle Causes, Remedies, And Treatments. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/swollen-thumb#swelling-in-thumb-joint> [Accessed 24 March 2020].

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