Got itchy Trigger finger? Here are the causes and ways to treat it
Stenosing tenosynovitis which is more commonly recognized as “trigger finger” or “trigger thumb”, is a condition that involves the pulleys and tendons in the hand that control the movement of bending the fingers.
These tendons work like long ropes joining the muscles of the forearm with the bones of the fingers and thumb. In the finger, the pulleys are sequences of rings that create a channel through which the tendons must move smoothly.
These pulleys hold the tendons nearby against the bone. The tendons and the tunnel have a smooth lining that allows easy gliding of the tendon through the pulleys. Trigger finger happens when the pulley at the base of the finger turns too thick and tightens around the tendon. This makes it hard for the tendon to move liberally through the pulley.
1 What causes trigger finger?
Trigger finger can be instigated by a repetitive movement or powerful use of the finger or thumb. Also illnesses such as Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes also can cause trigger finger.
It can also happen when you grasp something, like a power tool, with a strong grip for a long time. Local strain to the palm/base of the finger may be a factor on occasion.
2 Symptoms of trigger finger
The most common signs of Trigger finger are the feeling of discomfort at the base of the finger or thumb, in the place where they join the palm. This area is regularly tender to pressure. Another symptom is when there is an excruciatingly painful clicking or snapping when the finger is bent or straightened.
In many cases, the finger locks in a bent or straight spot as the ailment gets worse and the only way to straighten it is by gently using the other hand to bring back the finger into its original position.
3 Treatment Method 1: Using a Splint
Use an aluminium flexion finger splint as it uses a rigid aluminium frame to keep the finger in place as it heals and gets better. You can put the splint yourself. The method is to place the splint on the palm side of the finger with the foam of the splint pressing against the skin. Male sure it fits into the shape of your finger.
You can also lightly press the splint into a somewhat curved shape so it is a comfortable fit for your finger. Secure the splint with its bands or straps, and if nothing is there, use medical tape and wrap it tightly.
Leave the splint for 2-3 weeks and make sure you don’t get it wet. Cover it with plastic when you take shower. Avoid sports and activities that require constant use of the finger, and if you must use the finger, protect it adequately.
4 Treatment Method 2: Medicines
There are two ways to treat trigger finger and manage the pain by using medicines and avoiding the surgery. First is to use over the counter painkillers and second is to use cortisone injections.
You can use NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs which are easily available and are generally sold without a prescription. These drugs include some commonly known painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium which help in easing the pain caused by the stiffening of the tendon as well as decreasing tenderness and swelling.
Another option is to consult your doctor and get injected with cortisone. Cortisone is a natural hormone discharged by the body and has effective anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it very useful for treating trigger finger.
Talk to your doctor about a cortisone injection only if the pain from the trigger finger doesn’t go away from using the painkillers.
5 Treatment Method 3: Surgery
If your trigger finger still continues even after a lengthy dosage of NSAIDs and numerous cortisone injections, the last and sure fire option is to have a surgery.
The surgical process repairs trigger finger by cutting the tendon sheath. As and when the sheath restores, it becomes moveable and flexible enough to put up with the nodule on the tendon.
The surgery is done under local anaesthetic and is completed with minutes.