Trigger finger is a chronic medical condition that involves reduced motility in the fingers or digits of the hand, commonly resulting in stiffness, locking and oddly bent fingers that are accompanied by chronic pain. The most common causes are due to repetitive strain injury (RSI) to the digits from excessive movement, which causes swelling in the tendons that can result in this condition. It is the swinging tendons that cause the locking position of the fingers. Tendons consist of tissue bands that are rigid by their couture, and that connect to bones and muscles. This unique anatomical makeup is what enables the body to create trajectory with the limbs using an interconnected and sophisticated tendon, joint, ligament, muscle and bone architecture. Finger tendons should be able to easily rotate and slide between the surrounding tissues (commonly called the “sheath”) with synovium lubrication. When the tendons become inflamed or irritated, this will result in swelling. Swollen tendons are hindered from mobility in the sheath and the connective tissues surrounding it. When this motility is hampered, the common symptoms of trigger finger surface. Now that you know what causes this undesirable disorder, how do you identify the associated symptoms to know when they warrant a trip to see the hand doctor?
Stiffness in Finger Resulting in Discomfort
If your fingers frequently become stiff and ache or throb, these are generally early warning signs that your tendons are enduring too much. Stiffness is almost always associated with inflammation, and in this case inflammation of the tendons. While some finger and hand stiffness comes with age or arthritic conditions, excessive prominence should be examined by a physician.
Noticeable Noise When Moving Finger
The most telltale sign of trigger finger symptoms is the clicking or popping sound that a stiff finger makes when trying to move that digit. When the tendons swell, they will struggle to obediently perform in the sheath. These results in a popping or clicking sound as the tendons are forced to expand and contract.
Tender and Sensitive Joints
Sensitive joints are common with old age and can be further instigated by weather patterns and pressure in the air. When experiencing these symptoms, do not just write them off as age telling you that your hands and fingers hurt. Get an examination to be sure that the tendons have not been compromised.
Finger Locks Up or Stays Bent
The sure sign that you should seek medical advice are locked fingers that remain bent in the same position. This is typically the result of fully inflated tendons and connective tissues. The tendons have become so inflamed, in fact, that they are barely able to pass through the sheath. Such symptoms should involve an immediate trip to see your hand doctor.
Unable to Fully Extend Finger
The ability to extend any digit on the hand fully is a classic sign of trigger finger symptoms. Fingers can remain curved or bent or barely able to be extended. If you suffer from this chronic disorder, your doctor can advise you on what methods that you can undertake to procure a viable medical solution.