Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Trigger finger is most common in people between the ages of forty and sixty.
Trigger finger occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position.
- Finger stiffness, particularly in the morning
- A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger
- Tenderness or a bump (nodule) in the palm at the base of the affected finger
- Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight
- Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten
Conservative noninvasive treatments may include:
- Rest. For at least three to four weeks, avoid activities that require repetitive gripping, repeated grasping or the prolonged use of vibrating hand-held machinery.
- Ice or heat. Some people experience improvement by icing the palm several times a day. Others see more benefit with warm-water soaks, particularly first thing in the morning.
- A splint. Your doctor may have you wear a splint at night to keep the affected finger in an extended position for up to six weeks. The splint helps rest the tendon. Splinting also helps prevent you from curling your fingers into a fist while sleeping, which can make it painful to move your fingers in the morning.
- Stretching exercises. Your doctor may also suggest gentle exercises to help maintain mobility in your finger.
A splint for trigger finger alleviates the locking, popping, clicking, soreness, stiffness, bending, curling (triggering), and pain that irritated tendons elicit in the finger or thumb.