Trigger Finger is a type of tendinitis which develops in the tendons that bend the fingers. It is also known as Flexor Tendinitis. When the flexor tendons which bend the fingers become aggravated, they can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. It interferes with the normal movement of the tendon that causes the finger to click, catch (“triggering”) or lock in position. A finger or fingers will hardly bend and once bended, locks on its joint and is painful as it slowly straightens back.
Causes of tendon swelling are the following:
- Cuts on the arm, hand or fingers
- Certain sports and job related activities
- Rock climbing
- Strenuous house chores like hand washing clothes, massive house cleaning as the wrist is usually held in a hyper extended position as the palm exerts the pressure.
- Particular health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, weakens the flexor tendons and make them more likely to tear.
I suffered from trigger finger injury two years ago on my right thumb, I hardly can bend it, it hurts and a pop snaps when I try to unbend it. It is much more painful in the morning after a night’s sleep. I cannot straighten it up at once. I can hardly hold and grip, I felt numbness on my thumb and it was swollen too.
After consulting a doctor I was diagnosed with flexor tendonitis. I was advised to ice the swollen area for 5 to 15 minutes and was prescribed with a pain and anti-inflammatory medicine and a massaging gel for relief. Recently, my right forefinger and right thumb again swelled. This time my hand was already injected with methyl prednisolone because I really can’t bear the pain. I was informed by the doctor that a maximum of two shots can only be injected to my fingers because more may lead to complications, such as tendon rupture. I was also advise to refrain doing house chores which involve constant grip and repetitive squeezing like washing clothes as these activities put much stress on the irritated tendon.
I again wear a finger splint to keep the two fingers straight especially at night. The splint will limit the bending of the fingers and will help recover flexibility, strength and muscle imbalance, and control physical activities. I am still lucky that my fingers were not yet candidates for surgery.
Here is an educational view about Flexor Tendonitis.
video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85n5Bv0n77Y&feature=player_embedded#!