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Trigger finger


Our ligaments and tendon protect and lubricate our finger joints. However if we have excessive or repeated activities of our joints for a prolonged period, the joints will be inflamed. When the fingers are inflamed, thickened tendon will impede tendon activity, and the movement of fingers will be affected. This causes pain and locking of the fingers in a flexed position. When they are forcibly straightened with the other hand they ‘click’ straight again .

Cause of trigger finger

Long-term repeated action such as typing, using mouse, or even using a smart phone will thickened the tendon of our fingers. Other than that, rheumatoid arthritis and infection also causes a rounded swelling (nodule) to form in the tendon

Signs / symptoms

Early finger activities will be slow, painful, achy, later this will lead to fingers hardening and cannot fully extended. The symptoms of trigger finger also include a clicking sensation when the finger is bent. Pain usually occurs when the finger or thumb is bent and straightened. Tenderness usually occurs over the area of the nodule, at the bottom of the finger or thumb.

Risk Factor

Occupation- If your hands do not get enough rest, continuous wrist pain, you have the opportunity to become a high-risk person. Career such as pianist, athletes are also a high risk group that suffer from trigger finger.

Other Factors- According to research from Goshtasby in 2010, people who previously had surgery on carpal tunnel syndrome also has a risk to develop trigger finger. Other cause of trigger fingers includes degeneration of finger joints and repetitive use of finger.

How does physiotherapist treat with my trigger fingers?

  • Physiotherapy treatment is most effective when triggering has been present for less than four months. Our physiotherapist may build a splint to hold and rest the inflamed area. We will have you do some hand exercises to encourage normal gliding of the tendon. Our physiotherapist will show you ways to change your activities to prevent triggering and to give the inflamed area a chance to heal. Our therapy sessions will apply heat, Shortwave, ultrasound, shock wave will help to reduce inflammation and restore range of motion . Our doctor may apply a special brace to get the finger or thumb to straighten it. This treatment is especially helpful for patients who can’t tolerate injections.

Finger stretching exercise:

Use your hands and hold the softball, maintain for 5 seconds, repeat for 10 times.

Stretching finger is important not only for your muscles but also for the tendons and ligaments in your affected finger. Keeping the connective tissue as flexible as possible is important in the treatment of trigger finger.

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