Putting an End to Trigger Finger

June 22, 2017


Trigger finger limits finger movement. When you try to straighten your finger, it will lock or catch before popping out straight. Trigger finger can be painful and annoying. It affects your normal range of motion and ability to perform your daily activities. There is treatment for trigger finger that can fix the problem without requiring surgery!



Trigger finger is a condition involving the tendons of your fingers and thumb. Tendons are tissues that connect muscles to bone. When muscles contract, tendons pull on bones. This is what causes some parts of the body to move. Flexor tendons control the movements of the fingers and thumb. When you bend or straighten your finger, the flexor tendon slides through a snug tunnel, called the tendon sheath, that keeps the tendon in place next to the bones. The flexor tendon can become irritated as it slides through the tendon sheath tunnel.


As the tendon becomes more and more irritated, it may thicken and nodules may form, making its passage through the tunnel more difficult. If you have trigger finger, the tendon becomes momentarily stuck at the mouth of the tendon sheath tunnel when you try to straighten your finger. You may feel a pop as the tendon slips through the tight area and your finger will suddenly shoot straight out.



The cause is unknown, however, certain factors place people at greater risk. Trigger finger occurs more frequently in women than men. People between the ages of 40 and 60 are at greatest risk. It is common in those with diabetes and/or rheumatoid arthritis. Activities that strain the hand can also contribute.



Symptoms of trigger finger may include:

  • a tender lump in your palm

  • swelling

  • a catching or popping sensation in your finger or thumb joint

  • pain when bending or straightening your finger

Stiffness and catching may be worse after inactivity, such as when you wake in the morning. They may loosen as you move them. Sometimes when the tendon breaks free, it may feel like your finger joint is dislocating. Sometimes more than one finger is affected.


At Blanda Orthopedics & Physical Therapy, we can put an end to your trigger finger. We see other conditions involving the hand and wrist as well. Please call for an appointment.


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