Hand perils – trigger finger
Hi everyone, our hands are a very important tool. Sometimes we can experience pain and stiffness particularly at the joints and the around the base of the thumb. Pain in the hands can be caused by several things including, joint arthritis, trigger finger/thumb, sprains and carpal tunnel.
Today I will look at trigger finger or thumb and why it occurs. Trigger finger has a few common symptoms:
- a lingering soreness in the base of your thumb or another finger
- a bump, lump or nodule around near the palm of the affected finger or thumb
- tenderness around the base of your finger/thumb
- a clicking or snapping noise with movement
- catching or locking in a bent position which suddenly pops straight
- stiffness in your finger
It is caused by inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendon in the hands. The inflammation impedes the movement of the tendon and can also can a bump to develop which further restricts movement.
Trigger finger occurs more commonly with people who have occupations or hobbies that involve repetitive hand use including prolonged gripping. It is also more common in women than men, and those who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
What can you do to help?
- Identifying and avoiding or changing the activities that are aggravating the problem. Avoid activities that involve repetitive or prolonged gripping. Changing things up can be helpful. For instance, if you are a keen gardener and use secateurs try increasing the width of the grip or add padded gloves
- Stretches can help stretch the muscles and tendons which can become tight with the pain and scarred tissue (see below)
- Splinting at night to keep the affected finger straight.
- Pain relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can help the pain – please consult your doctor regarding medication.
Finger and Thumb Tendon Gliding Exercise
- Start in a seated position and place your arm on a table, holding the forearm up and your hand and fingers straight.
- Bend your knuckles, keeping the middle and end joints of your fingers straight.
- From this position, bend the middle joints of your fingers, keeping the tips of your fingers straight.
- From here, curl your fingers into a fist before straightening your knuckles while keeping the middle and end joints of your fingers bent.
- Return to the start position with your fingers straight.
- Keep your wrist straight throughout the exercise.
Finger Extension – prayer position
- Sit upright in a chair.
- Bring your palms together in front of you and close to your chest.
- Gradually lower your hands, keeping the palms of your hands together.
Hold this position in a stretch.
Hope this helps