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What Causes Trigger Finger And How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Vishwas Virmani 93% (25884 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida  •  22 years experience
What Causes Trigger Finger And How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Trigger finger is a common injury that occurs to people. To understand this condition, you need to have a little background about the way the finger muscles work. The finger muscles are protected by a layer of bones, which are called pulleys. These pulleys form a hollow tube like structure so that the ligaments can pass through it.

These ligaments function smoothly due to a coating of tenosynovium. This tenosynovium is slippery in nature and causes frictional movements, which is why we are able to move our fingers and grasp objects.

Causes of Trigger Finger:

Trigger finger is a condition, which develops when the ligaments develop a sort of nodule. This nodule also causes inflammation in the pulleys. This inflammation would cause constant irritation and pain to the person who has developed a trigger finger or a trigger thumb. There are several reasons as to why such a nodule develops. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Grasping a steering wheel for a long time. That is the reason this condition develops a lot in drivers.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis, although this is mostly restricted to people who are middle aged.

  3. Gripping pistols and guns repeatedly.

  4. Infections or swelling in the tenosynovium.

How To Treat Trigger Finger?

Trigger Finger can be treated with the help of physiotherapy. When you visit a physiotherapist, the first thing the therapist would do is note down your medical history and symptoms for your current trigger finger. The physical examination is conducted, which often reveals and confirms that the condition is nothing but trigger finger. Therapists usually make sure of this condition by hearing a clicking noise when the nodule snaps under the tendons.

There are two probable ways to treat this condition:

  1. Non-Surgical- These methods involve various exercises to ease out the tension in the pulleys. It might also involve showing you different ways of grasping objects without disturbing the inflammation so that it causes less pain. At times, mild electric current is pushed through the tendons to ease out the inflammation. If these methods fail to rectify your trigger finger, then surgical method is prescribed.

  2. Surgical- This involves a small incision in your hands to remove the tendon pulley, which is obstructing the smooth functioning of your fingers. The surgery is performed in a day and the patient is discharged the same day. However, proper rest should be taken till the wound heals and the stitches dry completely.

These are some of the ways in which trigger finger is treated. It is quite common and thus can be treated effectively as well. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.

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