Trigger finger, medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the tendons in the hand. It is caused by the inflammation of tendons, which makes it difficult for them to move smoothly through the tendon sheaths surrounding them.
As a result, moving the affected finger or thumb can cause discomfort and a clicking or snapping sensation. If left untreated, trigger finger can lead to stiffness in the fingers and difficulty in performing daily tasks.
Trigger finger is a condition that can affect anyone, but it is more commonly found in people who perform repetitive hand movements. Individuals such as musicians, factory workers, and those who use hand-held tools frequently are particularly susceptible. It is also more prevalent in women and people over the age of 40.
In some cases, trigger finger may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risk factors associated with this condition and to seek medical attention if symptoms arise.
Symptoms for trigger finger
The following are some of the common symptoms of the trigger finger.
The first symptom of the trigger finger is a popping or clicking sensation when moving the affected finger or thumb. This is caused by the thickening of the tendon that controls the finger's movement, which rubs against the surrounding tissue and causes the popping sound. A feeling of stiffness in the finger often accompanies this symptom.
The second symptom of the trigger finger is pain in the affected finger or thumb. The pain may be mild or severe and is often felt at the base of the finger or thumb. The pain may also be felt in the palm or the wrist.
Another symptom of the trigger finger is difficulty moving the affected finger or thumb. The finger or thumb may feel locked in a bent or straight position, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks like gripping objects or typing on a keyboard. Sometimes, the trigger finger can cause the affected finger or thumb to become swollen and tender to the touch.
Does the trigger finger go away on its own?
The short answer is that it depends on the severity of the condition. Sometimes, the trigger finger may resolve independently with rest and avoidance of repetitive finger movements. However, the condition may persist in other cases and require medical intervention.
The severity of the trigger finger can be classified into four stages based on the degree of finger stiffness and ease of movement. In the early stages, the finger may feel stiff in the morning and loosen up throughout the day. In the later stages, the finger may become locked in a bent position and require manual manipulation to straighten it out.
In the early stages of the trigger finger, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, and gentle stretching exercises may effectively reduce symptoms. However, in more advanced cases, treatment options may include corticosteroid injections, splinting, or surgery.
Home Remedies for Trigger Finger
Some people with trigger fingers may think that surgery is their best choice. However, this is only in some circumstances, as it can be more expensive and risky than alternative options like medication, rest, splinting, and massage.
Many individuals prefer to manage their trigger finger at home to avoid going under the surgeon's scalpel altogether! Here are some tips on how you can treat your condition yourself.
Here's what you can do if you have a trigger finger:
Hot and Cold Therapy
Just as one can run a company using heat and cold, you can treat trigger fingers by drawing upon two complementary approaches. Heat will soothe an injury, while cold numbs the pain. Both treatments can be done right at home or on the go with minimal equipment.
Using topical heat to soothe your injury when you have a trigger finger at home. Be careful of how much a herbal heating pad you use; start with just five minutes and then evaluate the gradients of warmth while sitting on a ball. Now put a cold pack on your hand and fingers to numb pain receptors. Typically this will last between 90 mins to 2 hrs, depending on your symptoms. Ask your physio healthcare professional for more details.
Sacksy Thyme Heat & Cold therapy pad is perfect for Trigger Finger:
The heat helps stretch blood vessels and allows more blood to reach the area. It speeds up healing time and takes away soreness. Hot therapy can be provided with a herbal heating pad, a warm soak, or a moist heated towel. Heat can be used for peripheral nerve damage, or your hand is numb or tingly.
Sacksy Thyme Hot therapy relief Microwavable heating pad for Trigger Finger
Cold therapy pack has been scientifically proven to shut down pain receptors. By introducing cold into an area, the blood vessels tighten around your skin, causing a decrease in inflammation which reduces swelling. The cold also shuts down the nerve's pain receptors and provides medication-free pain relief. Try cooling off with a cold pack or ice bath for additional treatment.
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The Sacksythyme Cold Therapy Pad provides instant relief to trigger finger by applying cold therapy to the affected area. Its unique design reduces inflammation and swelling, easing pain and discomfort. Made of medical-grade materials, it's safe and easy to use.
Essential oils for trigger finger
Essential oils effectively relieve the trigger finger's symptoms and reduce inflammation.
Peppermint oil is one of the most commonly used essential oils for trigger fingers. Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the affected area. It also has a cooling effect that can help relieve pain and stiffness. To use peppermint oil for the trigger finger, add a few drops to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and massage the affected area. Lavender oil is another essential oil that can be used for trigger fingers.
Lavender oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area. It also has a calming effect that can help relieve stress and tension, which can contribute to triggering fingers. To use lavender oil for the trigger finger, add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage the affected area.
Eucalyptus oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great option for treating trigger fingers. It can help reduce inflammation and swelling.
Trigger fingers occur when the tendons in your finger become strained and inflamed, which restricts your range of motion. Rest is a commonly overlooked treatment option that shouldn't be! If possible, avoid the activities that aggravate your affected finger – you need to let time do its work while allowing the inflammation to subside and letting your tendon heal.
To help it along, taking four-to-six weeks off from doing things such as typing at work or playing a musical instrument may benefit you when you return to more strenuous tasks to free up some space on other joints.
One of the best ways to avoid many more common hand ailments is to give your hands a little attention daily. Massaging your fingers daily can often be quite effective, especially when combined with other hand therapy methods.
The simple act of rubbing their hands together for a few minutes releases dead skin cells and increases oxygenated blood flow, which is essential for tissue health. It helps the body break down nutrients to increase flexibility and overall well-being. One should avoid massaging if their hands or fingers have been swollen.
Using light, sweeping motions will loosen up tight muscles without applying too much pressure to the area. It is a typical massage technique popular among massage therapists, and it's easy to see why! This type of massage doesn't involve vigorous or concentrated rubbing, so gentle and soothing. You can practice this on a friend or family member, even if they're not your average weightlifter!
Exercise will help you maintain hand strength and flexibility. Multiple options are available to try and increase your range of motion, but you need to find something that works for you. Your physical therapist or occupational therapist will provide you with a list of recommended exercises. They can guide you through the process of how much time it's recommended to spend on each one in your exercise program. You must follow all their instructions so as not to hurt yourself unnecessarily.
A splint will help keep your finger, or a specific part, immobile and relatively pain-free. Rest should be an essential component in the recovery process from the trigger finger to give your body time to heal. A splint can help while you rest your affected finger without immobilizing your hand!
Finger splints are like regular bandages that prevent you from using a specific finger or palm. They can either only cover your finger joints or go over your fingers and around your knuckles. They have Velcro straps on the back that allow for flexibility; finger splints help keep a broken finger still to heal better and avoid re-injury. It also reminds you not to use the injured area of your hand not to hurt yourself again.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
If you have a trigger finger, a bothersome condition that occurs when your tendons become inflamed and swollen, how do you treat it? Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen reduce the pain and inflammation associated with trigger fingers.
They effectively treat the condition and come with few side effects when taken in small doses, but be careful not to overuse them! Since these medications contain prostaglandins that can cause pregnant women to go into labor prematurely and affect other organs if taken too frequently, it is essential to talk to a doctor before trying them.
Medical vs. Home Treatment
Managing your trigger finger may seem easy; however, several factors can affect that decision. It's essential to weigh your options with the help of a professional doctor to determine what's best for you! It can be exhausting, but you will eventually find that treatment with a combination of medical and home remedies is the best option for determining how to move forward after looking at all possibilities. These treatments come with their own set of side effects and other relevant factors you need to consider.
Taking Precautions with Home Remedies for Trigger Finger
Trigger finger home remedies may help treat people with less severe cases. They feature nonsurgical treatment options such as trying specific medication, resting, and applying cold or hot applications and compresses.
Always talk with your physician about which course of treatment is best for you, depending on how severe your case of trigger finger is. We hope you can return to your favorite activities as quickly as possible, whatever treatment system you choose.