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Trigger Finger in New Jersey

Trigger finger is caused by an inflammation of the tendons in your fingers and thumb. With proper treatment from Performance Rehabilitation in Totowa and Lafayette Township, the residents of New Jersey regain complete use of their fingers and thumb.

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition that causes the thumb or fingers to lock or catch when bent, resulting in pain. When the condition occurs in the thumb, it is known as trigger thumb. The name of the condition derives from the fact that the finger may become straightened with a snapping sensation, like a trigger being released.

Trigger finger occurs when finger or thumb tendons become inflamed. A tendon is a thick band of tissue connecting bones and muscles. The tendons and muscles work together to make the arms and hands bend and to straighten the thumbs and fingers. Normally, a tendon easily glides through its covering tissue or sheath because of the synovium — a membrane that surrounds and lubricates the joint. Sometimes a tendon grows inflamed and swollen. When this occurs, moving the thumb or finger may wrench the swollen tendon through a narrow sheath, resulting in snapping or popping.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

The condition may be the result of repetitive movements or forceful finger or thumb usage. Gout, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can also be the cause of trigger finger. Grasping something, such as a tennis racket or a power tool, or using a strong grip over a long period of time can also cause trigger finger.

Who Gets Trigger Finger?

Musicians, industrial workers, farmers and athletes often develop trigger finger due to the repetitive finger and thumb movements involved in these activities. Smokers have even been known to develop trigger finger from repetitive lighter use. The condition is more typically seen among women than men and occurs most often in those who are in the 40 to 60 year age range.

What are the Symptoms of Trigger Finger?

An early sign of trigger finger is discomfort at the base of the thumb or finger. The most frequently reported symptom is a painful snapping or clicking when straightening or bending the finger. This locking sensation often worsens following rest to the finger or thumb. It normally grows looser with movement.

Trigger finger symptoms can progress from mild to severe, such as:

  • Stiffness in the fingers, especially in the morning
  • A clicking or popping sensation when moving a finger
  • Finger locking or catching when in a bent posture
  • Finger catching when in a bent posture
  • Tenderness or a bump at the base of the finger

Trigger finger is most often seen in the middle finger or thumb. Multiple fingers may be affected simultaneously, and the condition may be present in both hands simultaneously. Trigger finger is normally more apparent in the morning when grasping an object firmly or straightening a thumb or finger.

How is Trigger Finger Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of trigger finger is made using a physical examination of the fingers and hands. The finger may also be swollen with a bump near the joint of the palm of the hand. At times, the finger can be locked into a bent position or remain stiff. Lab tests or x-rays are not needed to diagnose trigger finger. Your physician will diagnostically inject and treat trigger finger with medication and then often prescribe physical therapy.

If you experience popping or stiffness in one or more finger joints, contact Performance Rehabilitation, located in Lafayette Township and Totowa in New Jersey, to make an appointment with our physician. We will review your symptoms and recommend treatments for trigger finger.