The hand is one of the most complex and most important parts of the human body that provides immense strength and precise motor control. As it is composed of a complex network of ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles, it can tremendously affect a person when one of these aspects isn’t working properly. Trigger finger, also known as trigger thumb, or trigger digit is a fairly common disorder among people between forty and sixty years of age. The disorder is more common among women and people with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the symptoms of trigger finger?
There are several common symptoms that may help one detect that something is wrong and make them suspect they indeed suffer from trigger finger. These symptoms can progress from the mild ones to severe and definitely affect one’s ability to perform simple everyday tasks.
One of the first symptoms is a mild discomfort at the base of the thumb or a finger, right on the spot where a finger joins the palm. Usually, this area becomes sensitive to pressure and you may feel a small lump, also known as a module, at the base of the finger.
As the state progresses, patients usually report they feel a clicking sensation when moving the finger, which may or may not be painful. At this stage, swelling may occur, and all of this can result in the stiffness of the affected finger. Most commonly, the stiffness and clicking or triggering happen after a period of inactivity or in the morning when hands naturally swell a little.
The most painful of all is the aforementioned clicking and snapping of the finger, and in some cases, the thumb or the finger locks completely in a straight or bent position, and, as the trigger finger condition gets worse, these fingers must be gently bent or straightened with the other hand.
Trigger finger in children
With children, trigger finger symptoms may be harder to identify as practice has shown that they rarely report any pain. Therefore, parents should pay special attention to the way children perform daily activities.
They may notice a child’s thumb or finger is locked in a fixed (flexed) position. Most commonly the finger can be straightened with the help of an adult, but sometimes it may stay locked for longer. If you notice that your child has difficulties in daily tasks or that it tends to pull on its fingers to release them, it may be time to visit the doctor. Usually they simply “grow out” of this phase, however, it’s always better to thoroughly check the child to confirm that there isn’t a bigger underlying problem at hand.