1. What is causing the pain and how did I get it?
Trigger finger is an overuse condition that affects the tendon of the thumbs and finger. Day to day repetitive activities such as typing, doing housework and manual task can place a lot of stress to the tendon of the fingers.
It is a condition where there is an inflammation of the tendons of the thumb or fingers. It usually starts with swelling and stiffness of the fingers in the morning. After that, it may progress to clicking and locking of the thumb or fingers when they are actively straightened or bent. It may be associated with pain. The tendon develops a nodule at the area of inflammation, or the tendon’s lining thickens around it. This forms a “lump” that can be felt at the palm or fingers.
2. How can physiotherapy help?
A splint may be prescribed for a period of time to allow the affected fingers or thumb to rest (Figure 2). It will help the swelling of the tendon to go down as well as prevent worsening of the symptoms. Your Occupational Therapist will educate you more on appropriate activity modification for your daily activities.
b) Activity modification
Activity modification can help to prevent or minimize symptoms at home and at work. Here are a few methods you can adopt in your daily activities.
- Minimizing repetition: Avoid repetitive movements over extended periods of time.
- Pacing your activities: Give your hands a break by resting in between tasks. You may do this by alternating between easy and hard tasks, switch hands or, if possible, to rotate work activities.
- Watching your grip: Modify the handles of your utensils or tools to reduce the force of your grip.
After using the splint, your Occupational Therapist will advise you to start thumb or finger exercises and slowly returning to daily activities.
3. How can we help?
Complete the above exercises as recommended by your Occupational Therapist. Perform them slowly and according to the prescribed frequency by the Occupational Therapist.
Finger Injury Treatment
At BMJ Therapy – Physiotherapy Singapore, we offer a comprehensive finger injury treatment for finger injuries. Other than offering quick pain relief, we ensure that our patients will recover speedily and learn how to self-heal along the way.
4. How long will it take to recover? (ie prognosis)
Symptoms should gradually disappears after 3 – 4 weeks. If your symptoms are severe or persist after trying non-surgical therapy, injection or surgery may be the most appropriate option.