What is Trigger Finger / Trigger Thumb
Trigger finger or trigger thumb is an often painful condition in which a finger or thumb sticks in the flexed position. This catching occurs at the base of the finger/thumb when the flexor tendon becomes inflamed and swollen and can't move through the guiding pulley smoothly. Trigger finger occurs most often in your dominent hand (if you're right-handed, your right hand would probably be affected) and is more noticable in the morning when the finger has stiffened overnight. It's called "trigger" because the finger/thumb snaps out of the bent position similar to a trigger being released.
Flexor tendons of the wrist and hand run through the inner wrist and along the palm of the hand connecting the flexor muscles in the forearm to the finger bones. The muscles pull on the tendons which cause the fingers to bend, or flex. The flexor tendons run through a series of pulleys that form tunnels along the fingers and thumb. They work similar to a line guided along a fishing rod, with the pulleys holding the tendons close to the finger bones. These tendons are made up of tissue called collagen and elastin, making them both tough and flexible.
Flexor tendons run through tendon sheaths (casings) to allow for easier movement. Between each tendon and shealth lies a synovium, or synovial membrane, that lubricates the tendon allowing for smooth gliding through the sheath. When the tendons become irritated and inflamed, their ability to glide within these compartments is restricted. This causes wrist and hand pain during movement and tenderness when direct pressure is applied. When the flexor tendons are inflamed it is referred to as flexor tendinitis, also spelled tendonitis.
Tendinitis usually begins with tiny tears in the tendon fibers which can tear apart in much the same way a rope becomes frayed. Once a tendon becomes frayed, an inflammatory response is triggered; over time an inflamed tendon can become thick, bumpy and irregular making it more difficult to glide during hand movements. This can cause the finger or thumb to catch or stick when the finger is flexed making it difficult to straighten or bend.
As flexor tendinitis worsens, a bump (nodule) may also form on the tendon. This nodule can become too large to easily move through the pulley that holds the tendon to the bone. When you flex your finger, the tendon tries to move through the pulley but the nodule catches at the front of the joint causing the finger to stick at the base of the finger. When the tendon catches, more inflammation and swelling occurs creating a cycle of tendon damage and locking finger movements. Unfortunately, with tendinitis and recurring damage scar tissue builds on the tendon or in the sheath. This tissue is tough and fibrous and can join the tendon to the inside of the sheath, causing pain and limiting movement. Scar tissue build up also thickens the tendon and sheath causing difficulties as it tries to move through the pulley.
What's the Difference Between Tendonitis, Tendonosis and Tenosynovitis?
Tendonitis (sometimes spelled tendinitis and pronounced 'tendinitus') is a condition where your tendon is irritated or inflammed. Usually this irritation, swelling and inflammation happens because of some kind of damage or micro-tearing to the tendon. This can happen from overuse of the tendon or an accident of some kind.
Wrist tendonitis (flexor tendonitis) can cause trigger finger by swelling up the tendon tissue that runs through the tendon sheath. As we mentioned above, this swelling and inflammation can result in the permanent flexed position of your finger.
Tendinosis is basically like tendonitis but it's not caused by an injury. Tendinosis is caused by chronic degeneration (wearing away) of tendon fibers over time. This is a natural thing that happens to our tissue as we age.
Where tendonitis is damage or micro-tearing to your tendon, tenosynovitis is damage or micro-tearing to the sheath covering your tendon. As we mentioned before, this sheath is a protective lining for your tendon and is made up of synovium. If this sheath is injured it can also swell up to limit movement of your flexor tendons in that run through this sheath. This can also cause problems for you and result in symptoms of trigger finger.
It's possible for you to have tendonitis / tendinosis AND tenosynovitis at the same time creating a more complicated trigger finger injury.
What Causes of Trigger Finger?
If tendons are stressed enough from excessive or unconditioned use, the sheath lining can become inflamed and movements may be painful as the tendons glide through the inflamed sheath.
Activities with frequent finger movement, such as typing and sewing, can also cause overuse of the tendons resulting in finger pain.
Some people are predisposed to flexor tendinitis if their body has a tendency to collect fluid around the tendons and joints. This can occur with conditions such as rheumatoid arhtritis, diabetes, and gout.
What are the Symptoms of Trigger Finger?
If you are suffering from tendinitis in the flexor tendons you may experience one or all of the following symptoms:
- Initially you may experience soreness at the base of the thumb or finger
- A popping or clicking feeling when you move the affected thumb or finger
- Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the finger, particularly in the morning
- Locking of the finger when bent that suddenly pops out straight or cannot be straightened
- Swelling and tenderness where the tendon inserts at the finger
- The middle knuckle may catch as well since the flexor tendon also controls the joint
- Pain when bending your finger against resistance
Will Sugery Fix Your Trigger Finger / Trigger Thumb?
Surgery will only ever be required to treat trigger finger / trigger thumb if conservative, non-invasive treatment methods have been used first for 6 to 12 months. Trigger finger surgery entails cutting the pulley at the base of the finger and the shealth to allow the tendon to glide easily again. At present the results of finger tendon surgery are far from ideal, as excess scar tissue (adhesions)can form between the sheath and the tendon, restricting mobility and leading to a loss of function. If surgery is required, including ultrasound therapy as part of your rehabilitation program will vastly improve the range of motion in your finger or thumb.
Dealing with Trigger Finger -
What You Can Do!
The good news is that most cases of trigger finger will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
Step 1 - Reduce Regular Activities & Rest Your Finger
Allowing your finger to rest is always recommended following injury. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible.
To treat trigger finger, the goal is to reduce swelling and scar tissue on the affected flexor tendon and its sheath to stop the tendon from catching. Cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ treatments are the most effective non-surgical method to treat the pain, swelling, inflammation, and scar tissue build up caused by trigger finger.
Using these conservative treatment tools can get you back to a life without pain and eliminate any further risk of re-injury.
Step 2 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with Cold Compression
The 2nd step for conservative treatment of your trigger finger injury is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal wrist injuries. This is why for years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling, chronic pain from injury and after any re-injury.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice available.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
A Wrist Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your finger in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your hand keeping the cold right over your trigger finger injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold! The cushioned gel will wrap around your hand and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your hand or have to hold a hard block of ice on your finger!
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to the tendons in your fingers, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal trigger finger injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your injury right when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Wrist Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Cold Compression Therapy = the Freezie Wrap®
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with a Freezie Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation in your finger under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start dealing with your trigger finger injury and pain head on.
Use a Cold Compression Wrist Freezie Wrap®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your finger starting to get tender, painful or swollen again.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your hand.
Step 3 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation in your finger has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in your hand is recommended.
Promoting blood flow to your fingers to help your body heal itself is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, your recovery from any soft tissue injury will be delayed... sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your finger while it's injured can be difficult. Traditional methods require you to move in order to promote blood flow - but that same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and tendon injury much worse. In some cases your finger won't be able to move at all! Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring your finger.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move without re-injuring your finger?
This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) comes in! Using BFST® will help with your recovery and heal your trigger finger more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your soft tissue, improve elasticity and speed up the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to your tissue is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of a Wrist Inferno Wrap®. The Wrist Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming up tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach the tissue in your hand on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and you might even get burned!
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating the damaged tissue in your wrist by increasing the blood flow right in your soft tissue.
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The Inferno Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you will find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Our Wrist Inferno Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it's to us! Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product for heating treatment. Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use the BFST® Wrist Inferno Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before any repetitive tasks to warm up the soft tissue in your finger to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your finger has stiffened up, the tissue is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your finger to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility.
Our Trigger Finger Therapy Formula
is Proven to Work!
It may seem hard to believe, but our Wrist Freezie Wrap® and Wrist Inferno Wrap® home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your trigger finger injury by maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Here at AidMyCTS we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidMyCTS has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 - Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, we encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
- Guarantee #2 - You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any product form us. AidMyCTS Advisers and Product Specialists are available 7 days a week by toll free phone 1.866.237.9608 or email to answer your questions or concerns.
- Guarantee #3 - Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
- Guarantee #4 - All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
- Guarantee #5 - You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.
In our testing we discovered that the fit of our wrap will differ with our customers with smaller or larger hands/wrists to provide full treatment coverage. If you find your wrap doesn't cover your trigger finger where you need to treat, then try using it without the loop around your thumb, wrapping the wrap around your hand in a different way, or shifting the wrap around until it covers your fingers where you need the treatment most. You will find the best coverage for your trigger finger may be wearing the wraps differently than how they are pictured on our website.
Continue the healing process by resting your hand. Limit the activities that may be aggravate your trigger finger injury. Without proper rest and limitation on activities, being active as if your hand is healthy can lead to re-injury. Our hands give us the ability to perform both large and small complex motor skills - like picking up a heavy object or doing fine, detailed work. We often need both of these skills to perform everyday tasks like working on a computer, cleaning, putting away groceries, gardening, or playing sports. To get back to doing the things you love you need to give your body proper care and attention. Why risk having to limit or give up your favorite weekend activity, your exercise routine, or even your job due to a trigger finger injury?
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, a Wrist Freezie Wrap® and Wrist Inferno Wrap®, will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Wrist Freezie Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidMyCTS Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your trigger finger injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Trigger Finger Treatments
Learn more about how the Wrist Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Wrist Inferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.