Trigger fingers occur when the flexor tendons of your fingers which pass through the palm of your hand develop a swelling or inflammation. This swelling limits the ability of the tendon to slide freely under the surrounding tendons. As a result, you can flex the affected finger but then when you try to extend the finger, it “triggers” or sticks and requires increased force until it suddenly snaps open. Patients at risk for trigger finger include those with diabetes, a family history of trigger fingers or if you have hypothyroidism among other problems. If you use your hands a lot throughout the day for gripping and lifting etc, you are also at increased risk for this problem.
First things first. If you have diabetes or hypothyroidism or other “endocrine” problems, make sure you get a tune up. Are you taking good care of your health needs and maximizing your health through lifestyle and medications? In addition, it is important to adjust your work and recreational activities to help reduce any chronic irritation to the tendons. We can also consider injections to help reduce swelling and pain. Finally, in cases that fail to respond to conservative care, surgery can remove any swollen tissue and allow more normal “sliding” of the tendons and improvement of your symptoms.
If you are having pain, swelling or numbness in your hand or triggering of your fingers, schedule a visit to see a trusted healthcare resource.
To learn more about trigger fingers or to schedule a consultation, contact us.