What is trigger finger? Trigger finger, trigger thumb, or trigger digit (medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis) is a problem of your finger or thumb getting stuck in a bent position and to straighten it you have to snap or push it up – like pulling and releasing a trigger of a gun. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position and is unable to straighten.
Symptoms: One of the first symptoms may be soreness or swelling at the finger or thumb. The most common symptom is a painful clicking or snapping when bending or straightening your finger. Trigger finger is more common in women than in men and tends to occur most frequently in people who are between 40 and 60 years of age.
Cause: It may be caused by highly repetitive or forceful use of the finger and thumb. The problem arises due to the inflammation of the tendon. Medical conditions like arthritis and diabetes may also give rise to this problem.
Medical treatment: The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen or may give you steroid injection. If your condition does not respond to these treatments, surgery may be recommended.
Case Presentation: Yoke is a 61-year-old female from Kuala Lumpur. She had a problem of trigger finger over the past seven to eight years ago. About three years ago she underwent an operation to correct the problem. The surgery helped her for some months but the problem recurred after that. Yoke came to see us on 31 October 2011. She underwent five sessions of e-therapy and her problem was resolved.
Listen to our conversation.
Gist of our conversation:
Session 1 – Detox #2: She had good sleep. The tightness of her fingers had loosen up.
Session 2 – Detox # 3: Her sleep was not good. The tightness in fingers had reduced.
Session 3 – Trigger Finger #127: She had less sound sleep. The tightness of her fingers was reduced further. Left hand fingers had returned to normal.
Session 4 – Trigger Finger #127: The problems in both hands were almost resolved. Only one finger in her right hand was still tight.
Session 5 – Rigger Finger #127: All problems resolved. The “stubborn” finger of her right hand could be straightened without any more pain. She could now open up both hands showing the palms fully.
My Own Experience with Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb
Over the years, I did suffer from trigger finger. In the middle of the night, unintentionally one finger was bent and snapped closed. It would not straighten up. I was awakened by this. I had to massage the base of the finger and then push up the bent finger. Sometimes it worked but sometime it did not because it needed more massaging. The problem persisted for some weeks. I did not do anything but learnt how to live with it. Fortunately the problem went away by itself. It comes back again once a while.
My problem became serious sometime in August when we were about to go to USA visiting our children. My thumb became swollen and could not bend. And when it was bent I could not straighten it. Of course it was painful and I had to massage it. Massaging helped a bit but did not cure it. I realized that the cause of this “bad” thumb was due to the over use of my thumb – for years I have been using my right thumb to pry open the lid of the herbal containers in our centre. During August I over used my thumb because I needed to prepare many herbal teas before going for our holiday. Now, I learn not to use my thumb any more for this. Instead, I use the fingers of my right hand to open the container.
During our stay in the US for three weeks, I had to endure the pain and discomfort of a trigger thumb. On certain days the thumb became more swollen – probably due to increased inflammation after eating certain food.
When I came back from the US, I started to read about trigger finger. I wrote Program #127 (Trigger Finger) for my e-machine and began to use it. After a week, the problem was resolved. Based on this experience, with much confidence, I was able to help the above lady.