How to Prevent and Treat Trigger Finger

Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, affects over 200,000 people in the U.S every year, not to mention innumerable amounts of undiagnosed cases that go unreported. Most of the time, trigger finger affects the ring finger and the thumb, but it can sometimes occur in the other fingers as well. Some symptoms of trigger finger include an inability to bend or straighten your finger, or noticeable finger discomfort.

So why does trigger finger occur? The flexor tendons in your hands are what allow you to bend your fingers. Those tendons are surrounded by tendon sheaths which keep the tendons near the bone where they are supposed to be. Every day we spend so much time clicking, typing, and tapping that we are basically using our fingers and hands at every point of the day. If your hands are always feeling sore, it’s most likely they are inflamed. This inflammation narrows the space within the sheath around the tendon, thus causing trigger finger. 

Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and gout often coincide with trigger finger occurrences, although there is no clear answer to what causes it. That being said, these types of ailments pose potential risk factors for a number of other ailments and illnesses. 

If you find you begin experiencing pain in your fingers and/or hands, you should first go to your doctor for medical advice on how to treat your individual case. If you are diagnosed with trigger finger, your doctor may prescribe a number of potential treatments for the condition. 

When it comes to trigger finger, the goal is to stop inflammation so that the tendons can move in a fluid motion.

The best thing that you can do, that doesn’t involve medicine or any type of prescribed treatment, is to simply rest. Chances are that you are probably just overworking that individual finger, and you need to give your body some time to recover. Wearing a splint to bed is also a great way to make sure that you are doing this every night. The VariGrip can be used to help perform some light finger exercises, and doing these exercises should improve your strength and dexterity, as well as your range of motion.

One of the best ways to stop inflammation is to take anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. Using these over the counter drugs has proved to treat and gradually decrease inflammation after a consistent period of use. People often look over how useful these over the counter medications are. Some pharmacies even make sure that they provide organically made medicines and treatments to their customers, rather than mass-market medications made with less oversight (although FDA approved.) 

Another treatment that doctors recommend if anti-inflammation medicine doesn’t work is steroid injections. Cortisone (the anti-inflammatory agent) is injected directly into the base of the finger/affected digit in order to reduce inflammation and allow the tendons to move freely within the tendon sheaths. The inflammation should subside after 1-2 treatments.

If the inflammation does not subside after 1-2 treatments, you should consider getting surgical treatment to permanently fix the problem. The goal of the procedure is to remove the tension of the inflamed tendon so that it can move freely. They go in through the base of the fingers by making a small incision. Before making the incision they’ll numb your hand so that you can’t feel the pain. The doctors will then manually go in and alleviate the tension.

Using the VariGrip is also a great way to prevent trigger finger, as well as a number of other hand-related ailments. You use your hands every day, so why not take care of them? These types of hand injuries are very preventable with a small amount of exercise and a little bit of conscientiousness.