How Hand Therapy helps Trigger finger & trigger thumb
Our program for managing a catching finger or thumb is based on the latest evidence.
A trigger finger is when your finger (or thumb) catches or locks and can be difficult to straighten. It is due to thickening of one or two finger (thumb) tendons as they pass through a tunnel (pulley) in the hand. Or can be that the pulley has thickened or a combination or tendon, tendon sheath and pulley swelling. The catching is the tendon getting caught as it passes through the tight tunnel.
Trigger finger (thumb) symptoms include; clicking / catching at the finger (thumb) joint(s) which may get worse as the day progresses, waking up with the finger bent and needing to force it open- which can get better as the day progresses. People often feel pain in one of the finger joints and when touched over the pulley in the hand. Sometimes a crunching feeling is present when opening and closing the effected finger. And in more progressed cases they may need to use their other hand to force the finger straight.
Trigger finger and trigger thumb is often seen when people have early Osteoarthritis. It can also occur from overuse, for example holding something for long periods of time (like a chef with a knife), or bending & straightening the fingers repetitively (as in pruning).
Hand Therapy can help trigger finger (thumb) in the earlier stages; before the triggering progresses. Splinting the finger during the day and differently at night can help to reduce triggering and decrease pain. Cortisone injection along with splinting has been proven to help in the earlier stages, however some people will require surgery to stop the triggering.