What Is Trigger Finger, The Causes & Simple Ways To Prevent It
The moniker “trigger finger” comes from the way your finger bends and straightens with a snap, similar to how a trigger is pulled and released. This condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis in which one of your fingers is locked in a bent position, limiting your movement and resulting in pain, as well as, tenderness.
A trigger finger occurs when the protective sheath, which your tendons glide through, becomes narrow, causing constriction around the tendon and resulting in it becoming irritated and swollen. This makes it difficult for your finger to straighten and can even hinder your ability to perform daily tasks. Thus, it is important to go for a trigger finger treatment in Singapore as early as possible to prevent your condition from worsening.
However, if you have no idea what causes a trigger finger, here are some of the common causes and how you can prevent them.
Common causes of trigger finger
1. Repetitive gripping actions
Those who have jobs or hobbies that involve repetitive gripping actions, such as golfing, are at higher risk of developing a trigger finger as the repeated movements can cause the tendons to get inflamed.
2. Holding your smartphone the wrong way/spending too much time on it
The average smartphone user spends hours on their phone every day, with little downtime in between. This can lead to a “texting thumb”, also known as trigger finger, due to repetitive stress put on the finger and holding the smartphone wrongly. The same symptoms can also affect the little finger.
3. Medical conditions
A trigger finger is also more common in those with existing medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism.
4. Your age and sex
A trigger finger is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, however, it can happen to anyone regardless of age. The condition is also more common in women than men.
How to prevent a trigger finger
The next time you find yourself wondering “why does the joint in my finger hurt?”, you may want to try these tips in preventing the symptoms of a trigger finger from exacerbating.
1. Give your hands adequate rest
Avoid activities where repetitive gripping is required or let your hands rest until your symptoms improve. Do not use handheld vibrating devices for long periods of time. If you cannot avoid these activities entirely, it is recommended that you wear padded gloves to provide some form of protection.
2. Do stretching exercises
Doing simple stretching exercises can help to alleviate pain and stiffness. It is recommended that you do them three to five times a day to prevent your symptoms from worsening. Here are some examples:
- Bend your fingertip – hold your finger below the top joint and bend the tip while keeping the rest of your fingers still.
- Curl your fingers – position your palm to let it face your body and clench your hand loosely before slowly uncurling your fingers and thumb till they are fully extended, repeat the steps a few times.
3. Hold your phone the ergonomically correct way
Minimising the strain on your wrists and fingers is the key to preventing a trigger finger if you spend a lot of time on your smartphone. Here are some ways to hold your phone the ergonomically correct way:
- Straighten your wrists as much as possible while holding your smartphone.
- Try placing your phone on the table while texting to avoid putting too much stress on your thumbs and wrist.
- Keep your elbow straight to allow blood flow to your fingers.
- Avoid unnatural positions that will put your fingers in an awkward position while using your smartphone.
All these aside, it is still best to visit a hand specialist in Singapore if your symptoms persist and you find that it is becoming harder for you to perform daily activities.
Reach out to our hand specialist, Dr Jacqueline, at Advanced Hand Centre today to find out about the treatment options available for your condition.