Finger Trigger : How to check if you have Finger Trigger?


A finger becomes locked in a bent posture as a result of a trigger finger. It could snap abruptly into place. The ring finger and the thumb are the digits that are most frequently impacted, however, any finger might be afflicted by the illness.

When the tendon controlling the affected finger cannot move freely inside the sheath that surrounds it, a trigger finger results. This can take place if a section of the tendon sheath expands or if the tendon develops a little bump.

Women over 50 are most likely to get the illness. You can be more prone to getting trigger fingers if you have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or hypothyroidism.

Surgery, steroid injections, or splinting are all possible treatments for trigger fingers.


Tendons are strong cords that connect muscle to bone. The sheath that surrounds each tendon serves as protection. A trigger finger happens when the inflamed and swollen tendon sheath of the afflicted finger develops. As a result, the tendon has a harder time getting through the sheath.

Most of the time, there is no known cause for why this discomfort and swelling started.

On the tendon, a tiny tissue lump may develop as a result of the ongoing irritation from the back-and-forth motion. A nodule is a term for this bump. The tendon's ability to glide smoothly may be further hindered by the nodule.

How to check if you have Finger Trigger?

If any of the following apply to you, see a doctor right away:

  • Pain in your finger prevents you from performing daily activities
  • Pain is getting worse or keeps returning
  • The pain does not go away after two weeks of home treatment
  • You have noticed tingling in your hand, or your hand is beginning to feel numb
  • You have diabetes. Having diabetes can make hand issues more serious.

Risk Factors

The following things increase your likelihood of getting a trigger finger:

Recurring grasping. Work and leisure activities that require a lot of repetitive hand motion and tight grasping might raise the risk of a trigger finger.

Certain health issues. The likelihood of developing trigger fingers is higher in those with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.


Trigger finger symptoms range from mild to severe and comprise:

  • Stiff fingers, especially in the morning.
  • There is a popping or clicking sound when the finger moves.
  • At the base of the afflicted finger, there may be tenderness or a lump in the palm.
  • A finger bending and snapping straight after catching or locking.
  • Bent finger stuck in place.
  • The trigger finger may impact any finger, even the thumb. Both hands might be involved, as could more than one finger at once. Often, mornings are the hardest for triggers.


When you can, rest your finger.

For up to 20 minutes every two to three hours, wrap an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) in a towel and apply it to your finger.

Use paracetamol to reduce the discomfort.

Stop or reduce pain-inducing activities, such as typing, using vibrating equipment at work, or playing an instrument.

Taking off any jewelry from the uncomfortable finger.

The sore finger should be strapped to the finger next to it. Use tape to loosely secure the two fingers by sandwiching a tiny piece of cotton wool or gauze between them.

Consider employing devices or equipment to facilitate challenging or unpleasant chores, such as opening jars or chopping vegetables.


Treatment for the trigger finger differs based on how severe and how long it has been there.


Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) or naproxen sodium are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to consider utilizing (Aleve). Some of these drugs can be put directly on the skin where the problem is happening as creams or patches.

Treatments that are conservative but non-invasive include:

Rest. Till your symptoms heal, stay away from occupations that call for constant gripping, repeated clutching, or continuous usage of vibrating handheld equipment. Padded gloves could provide some protection if you are unable to completely avoid these activities

A brace. The tendon can be given some rest by using a splint.

Stretching activities Your finger's mobility may be maintained with gentle workouts.

Techniques, both surgical and otherwise

If your symptoms are severe or if standard therapies have not worked, consult a doctor.

Your healthcare professional could advise:

Injection of steroids. A steroid injection near or into the tendon sheath may lessen inflammation and restore the tendon's ability to glide smoothly. An injection frequently lasts for longer than a year. Some individuals require many injections.

The use of a needle. A member of your care team numbs your palm before inserting a strong needle into the tissue around your injured tendon. The tissue obstructing the tendon's smooth mobility is broken apart by moving the needle and your finger. Results can be enhanced by using ultrasound guidance during the surgery.

Surgery. The restricted tendon sheath can be opened open by a surgeon using a little incision close to the base of the afflicted finger.

Complications of Finger Trigger

It can be more challenging to type, button a garment, or turn a lock with a trigger finger. Your ability to grip objects like a steering wheel or tools may also be compromised.

If you: experience excruciating pain, visit an urgent care facility.

If you experience any of the following, please get medical help right away:

  • Feel weak, dizzy, or sick to your stomach from the pain
  • Be unable to move your finger or handle objects
  • Have a finger that has changed form or color; or, following an accident, have lost sensation in half or all of your hand.

These might indicate a fractured finger.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023

Next review due: Mar 16, 2025

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