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Treatment For Trigger Finger

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 8/27/2010

The treatment for trigger finger depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may just need to rest for a few weeks and severe cases may require surgery. Learn what other treatments are used to correct this painful problem.

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    Trigger Finger

    Trigger Finger Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is a painful condition that causes a finger (or thumb) to catch or lock in a bent position. It is often caused by tendon inflammation. People who are more at risk of getting this problem include women, people between the ages of 40 and 60 years, people whose work or hobbies require repeated gripping actions (like musicians), and people who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and hypothyroidism. Treatment for trigger finger depends on the severity of the case.

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    Treatment

    For mild to moderate cases of trigger finger, the following may help:

    • Rest - Resting and limiting the use of the affected finger for 4 to 6 weeks can help cure the problem in many mild cases. Wearing a splint can help the finger rest by keeping it in an extended position.

    • Warm Soaks - Soaking your hand in warm water may help reduce the severity of the catching sensation. Soak in the morning and several times during the day.

    • Vitamin B6 - Taking vitamin B6 is often recommended by some naturopaths to treat trigger finger. There is some research that supports the use of vitamin B6 for repetitive motion injuries.

    • Evening Primrose Oil - Taking evening primrose oil for several months may be helpful in treating this problem.

    • Massage - Massaging the finger may help relieve pain.

    • Exercise - Performing finger exercises recommended by your health care provider can help maintain mobility.

    • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - Taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (for example, Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (for example, Naprosyn or Aleve) can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

    • Acupuncture - Undergoing acupuncture can help decrease inflammation, improve blood flow to the affected area, and stimulate the body's production of pain-killing endorphins.

    For more severe cases of trigger finger, the following may be necessary:

    • Corticosteroids - Injecting a steroid like cortisone into the tendon sheath can help reduce inflammation. This treatment may not be as effective in individuals with other medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release - Using this procedure is best when the affected finger is the index, middle, or ring finger. The doctor will numb the site with a local anesthetic and release the locked finger with the use of a needle.

    • Surgery - Having surgery is normally a last resort. It is usually done on an outpatient basis and requires only a small incision to release the tendon sheath and restore movement.

    It is best to consult with your health care provider to confirm diagnosis and to choose the best treatment for trigger finger that suits your condition.

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    Sources Used

    Mayo Clinic: Trigger finger Treatments and drugs - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trigger-finger/DS00155/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

    UT Medical Group, Inc.: Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis; Volar Flexor Tenosynovitis) - http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=70ff5260-81bd-4de1-9998-14fc98aa9133&chunkiid=100265

    Livestrong: Alternative Treatments for Trigger Thumb - http://www.livestrong.com/article/172780-alternative-treatments-for-trigger-thumb/

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    Photo Credit

    Image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trigger_finger.jpg