Trigger Finger _ If you grip things a lot (rock climbing, bouldering, barbell/kettlebell training, paddling sports, manual labor-intensive work, etc), you may have encountered an annoying finger pain called trigger finger. _ What is Trigger Finger? Aka "stenosing tenosynovitis", trigger finger is basically when one of your finger tendons gets stuck in a tendon sheath. It's characterized mainly by pain, locking up or clicking when the fingers flex. _ People with TF develop a physical restriction (feels like a bump) upon the tendon itself due to inflammation from overusage. This bump may have difficulty passing through a ligamentous structure called your A1 pulley, which basically acts like anchor to prevent your finger tendons from "bowstringing" whenever you bend your finger. The locking phenomenon occurs when this bump on your tendon has difficulty passing through the A1 pulley resulting in irritation, inflammation, pain and difficulty bending/extending the finger. _ What to Do? As with most overuse injuries, resting from the incriminating activity will help. Splinting the finger into extension at nighttime has been shown (albeit with low level evidence) to improve certain outcome measures like pain, range of motion, strength, etc. During the day, an effective strategy can be to place some tape on your PIP joint (or middle knuckle) for some tactile feedback to temporarily limit finger flexion. And in cases where conservative management is unsuccessful, one can get a corticosteroid shot or even a surgical pulley release. - Self Treatment: See a physical therapist or MD before trying any self-treatments learned through social media, including this account! Swipe left to see some passive ROM exercises I have my patients do in the early stages to promote some gliding of the tendons without contracting them. In the sub-acute stages when pain and inflammation are under more control and ROM has improved, active finger flexion exercises with the wrist in various positions can strengthen the tendons and nourish the articular cartilage of the finger joints. In some cases, if tolerable I will have patients perform active ROM exercises in some of these positions.
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