Trigger Finger; Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Tips

When the pulleys that assist bend your fingers get too thick, it can cause trigger finger, which causes pain and a popping or catching sensation.

Our hands are perhaps the most complex organs in our body. Their anatomy and function is so sophisticated that no other organism on the planet has an equivalent. However, with this complex function come a number of diseases that can compromise it. Our hands are formed of skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves and blood vessels, all of the which have their specific diseases that result in certain disorders and manifestations.

What is a Trigger Finger and What Causes It?

One of the most common hand pain and disability’s is trigger finger. Our fingers move owing to the presence of tendons and muscles, and those tendons either flex our fingers -form a fist- or extend them.

These movements need smooth sliding of tendons within sheaths of tissues. If the tendon becomes thick, sliding becomes less smooth and your finger may get stuck when you flex your fingers then extend them.

A single finger is usually affected, commonly the ring finger or the thumb. If you force your finger to extend using your other hand for example, it will extend with pain and an audible “click”.

We don’t know for sure the exact reason behind trigger finger, but it is highly suggested that it results from repetitive inflammation of the sheath. This occurs in people who work with their hands like welders and those who use metal shears and scissors. Diabetics also tend to develop the condition more than non-diabetics. Other diseases associated with trigger fingers include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis

Written by Greg M. Wilcox

With a background in medical research, I'm dedicated to unraveling the complexities of health and nutrition in a way that's easy to understand and implement. From debunking myths to sharing science-backed insights, my goal is to guide you on a journey towards optimal well-being.