Trigger Finger (tenosynovitis)

Trigger Finger is a condition where a finger becomes locked in a flexed position.

What causes Trigger Finger?

Trigger Finger is caused by swelling of the sheath which surrounds a tendon that moves a finger. Increased friction due to the swelling restricts the movement of the finger. The precise cause of the swelling is not clear but it is thought to be related to overuse or repetitive strain.

What can I do about it?

  • Contrast bath: Hot and cold water can reduce swelling (3 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold repeated three times)
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: Reduces swelling in the tendon sheath (synovial sheath)
  • Steroid injection: Effective, but should only be used as a last resort

Similar issues

  • RSI: Repetitive use can lead to premature wear and tear in muscles and tendons. More about RSI.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis can both affect the joint cartilage of the fingers.
  • Tendonitis: Microtears in the tendons causes them to swell and may restrict movement. More about tendonitis
  • DeQuervain's: A type of tenosynovitis in the tendons on the back of the thumb.


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