Advanced Hand Rehab

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger - is a painful condition that causes the fingers or thumb to catch or lock when bent. In the thumb its called trigger thumb.  It will straighten with a visible, sudden “snap,” and if it is severe, the finger may not fully straighten. Triggering is more pronounced in the morning and after firmly grasping an object. It is caused by binding “knot” in the palm that prevents smooth tendon motion.

Trigger finger happens when tendons in the finger or thumb become inflamed. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles and bones. Together, the tendons and muscles in the hands and arms bend and straighten the fingers and thumbs.

A tendon usually glides easily through the tissue that covers it (called a sheath) because of a lubricating membrane surrounding the joint called the synovium. Sometimes a tendon may become inflamed and swollen. Prolonged irritation of the tendon sheath can produce scarring and thickening that impede the tendon's motion. When this happens, bending the finger or thumb can pull the inflamed tendon through a narrowed tendon sheath, making it snap or pop.


Certified Hand Therapy Treatment Plan: Treatments may include warm soaks, paraffin wax, ultrasound, iontophoresis, and/or splint fabrication to keep the knuckle joint straight, allowing the tendon to rest.

After your initial prescription for therapy is completed, your physician and therapist will decide if you need to continue therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.

This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.

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