Identifying Trigger Finger, its Causes and Treatments

Do you sometimes experience stiffness in one or more fingers, especially in the morning? If yes, then you will likely benefit by treating for trigger finger. You may also discover a popping sensation when moving your fingers, or your finger may catch in a bent position. When your finger locks, it may suddenly straighten with a pop, or you may fail to straighten it. Most people experience trigger finger or its symptoms in the morning.  

In this article written by Singapore General Hospital in, the symptoms and signs of trigger finger are discussed in detail. The writer also discusses steps to take once you discover you have trigger finger.

Prevalence and Solutions of Trigger Finger

One of the very common conditions encountered by clinicians in their outpatient setting is trigger finger. As prevalent as 2% in the general population, the prevalence approaches 20% in diabetic patients.

Recognised as a pathological condition of the flexor tendons, it was first described by the French physician Notta in 1850.2 Saldana later refined this in 2001 as a pathologic disproportion between the volume of the flexor tendon sheath and its contents. Read more here

Although the cause of trigger finger is not truly known, people with diabetes are reported to suffer from trigger finger. It is also prevalent between people aged 40 to 60. Trigger finger occurs in various stages. While some patients can straighten their finger with a little difficulty, some struggle a lot more with trigger finger.

Treatment depends on the severity of the trigger finger. For example, if the finger catches and straightens quickly, occupational therapy and splinting are the preferred treatments to take. If the finger locks and you struggle to straighten it, you may need medical intervention.  

In the following article by Steven D. Waldman, the clinical aspects of trigger finger are further discussed, including conditions that may lead to trigger finger.

Activities that May Lead to Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is caused by inflammation and swelling of the tendon of the flexor digitorum superficialis resulting from compression by the head of the metacarpal bone. Sesamoid bones in this region may also compress and cause trauma to the tendon.

Trauma is usually the result of repetitive motion or pressure on the tendon as it passes over these bony prominences. If the inflammation and swelling become chronic, the tendon sheath may thicken, resulting in constriction. Read more here

Although some reports show that a significant number of people with other ailments, such as diabetes, are more likely to get trigger finger, some of the physical activities you are involved in may contribute to the trauma of the tendon. Some people with trigger finger, especially when it affects the thumb, is caused by repetitive behavior such as texting, playing video games, or card playing.

In this next article, William C. Sheil Jr. discusses possible home remedies and the risk factors of trigger finger.

Home Remedies and Risk Factors of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a “snapping” or “locking” condition of any of the digits of the hand when opening or closing. Stenosing tenosynovitis is the medical term for trigger finger.

Local swelling from inflammation or scarring of the tendon sheath (tenosynovium) around the flexor tendons causes trigger finger. These tendons normally pull the affected digit inward toward the palm (flexion). When they are inflamed, they tend to catch where they normally slide through the tendon sheath. Read more here

Trigger finger is usually unexpected. However, some high strength activities, when done repetitively, could lead to trigger finger. Gardening, clipping, and pruning are some of the activities that may lead to trigger finger. This, however, does not mean everyone who undertakes these activities will have trigger finger. They are simply at a higher risk of getting it. Trigger finger is also associated with underlying conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis which occurs in the older ages.


Some of the home remedies include massaging the finer before using cold packs, resting, and using over the counter pain and anti-inflammatory drugs. Understanding some of the symptoms and solutions of trigger finger will help you monitor and quickly identify trigger finger.