If enjoy weight lifting as a hobby or part of your fitness routine, you might have experienced a condition known as trigger finger. This condition is caused by repetitive movements and forceful movements of the thumb or fingers — both of which are involved in weight lifting.
What is Trigger Finger?
This painful condition causes your thumb or fingers to essentially “lock” when bent. It occurs when your flexor tendons, which are tough bands of strong tissue that connect your bones and muscles, become inflamed or thickened. Prolonged use can produce irritation and cause the tendon to swell, become inflamed, and thicker than normal. When this happens, it impedes your tendon’s movement.
What are the Symptoms of Trigger Finger?
There are tell-tale signs that you have developed trigger finger from weight lifting. These are:
- Soreness at the base of the thumb or finger (this is one of the first signs).
- Pain at the base of the thumb or finger.
- Clicking, snapping, or popping noise when straightening or bending your finger.
- Locking of the finger or thumb in either a straight or bent position.
As the condition becomes more advanced, you may need to straighten the associated finger with your other hand.
How Does Florida Hand Center Diagnose Trigger Finger?
Your Florida Hand Center physician uses several methods to conduct an orthopedic evaluation.
- Obtains your medical history. To find out whether your pain is acute or chronic, your doctor will ask you questions about when your discomfort began and what activities you’ve been doing that may have lead to the condition.
- Conducts a physical exam. To attempt to reproduce your symptoms, your orthopedic specialist examines your hands, fingers, and thumb by putting pressure on the tendons of your knuckles. Your doctor will ask you to move your fingers and/or thumb when he touches your muscles. In some cases, your tendons may be so thick, that your doctor can feel an abnormal thickening or bump.
- Orders tests. To determine if you have arthritis or an injury and to evaluate your joints and bones, your might need to be given an x-ray. Usually, in the case of this type of condition, more advanced studies, such as ultrasound or s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are not necessary.
How is My Trigger Finger Treated?
Usually, the first step to treat this condition is to rest the affected finger. That means you’ll likely have to take a break from weight lifting until your finger or thumb heals. Your Florida Hand Center doctor may decide to place a splint on your hand to keep your joint stable and limit its movements.
You might need to take medications, like naproxen or ibuprofen to fight inflammation. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection into the tendon sheath. Lastly, if your trigger finger doesn’t improve, you might be advised to have surgery.
If you think you might have trigger finger, call the Florida Hand Center at 941-625-3782 for evaluation and treatment.