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The Evolution of the Trigger Finger
By: IHI
10.01.14 Wednesday
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First of all…what in the world is Trigger Finger? It isn’t just for the gun enthusiast! Trigger finger is when one of your fingers becomes stuck in a bent position. It isn’t something that just happens overnight. Trigger finger develops over weeks and months and is most commonly found in people who do repetitive activities. Basically, it’s another one of those pesky overuse injuries. Here’s the evolution of how it eventually manifests itself.
  1. You may experience some stiffness in a finger
  2. From there, it may or may not begin the chorus of snapping, popping and clicking as you bend it and carry on with your life…still not aware of what is happening to that finger.
  3. It will then start feeling tender and sore to move
  4. Eventually, the joint will seem to ‘catch’ and be hard to straighten out until finally, it becomes locked completely.
Inside of your finger, there is swelling that narrows the area around the tendons. The fluid that keeps things gliding along is decreased. The tendons get squeezed to the point that they can no longer move smoothly in the space provided them. Treatment for trigger finger all depends on the severity of the situation. Like anything, early intervention is key, which is why knowing how it evolves is important to your health. Catching the early signs means easy treatment. Treatment can be as simple as some specialized exercises, or splints to keep it immobilized while resting the affected finger. This allows the inflammation and swelling to calm down. In some cases, you may need to take over the counter medications, or have the doctor inject the space with steroids. If all else fails, you may need surgical intervention to release the finger. Taking steps early on will help you prevent trigger finger or at least start the healing process before it becomes complicated.
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