Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis or stenosing tenovaginosis, is a condition that affects one or more of the hand’s tendons, making it difficult to bend the affected finger or thumb.
It usually affects the thumb, ring finger or little finger. One or more fingers can be affected, and the problem may develop in both hands. It’s more common in the dominant hand, i.e. your right hand or left hand depending on which of yours is dominant.
Symptoms of trigger finger can include pain at the base of the affected digit when moved or pressed on, plus stiffness or clicking when you move the finger or thumb, especially first thing in the morning.
If trigger finger gets worse, the digit may get stuck in a bent position and then suddenly pop straight. Eventually, it may not fully bend or straighten.
Repetitive use of a finger or thumb can lead to trigger finger. Tendons join bone to muscle and move the bone when the muscle contracts. The tendons are covered by a protective sheath which produces a small amount of fluid to keep the tendons lubricated. This allows them to move freely and smoothly within the sheath when the fingers are bent and straightened.
Trigger finger occurs if there’s a problem with the tendon or sheath, such as inflammation and swelling. As a result the tendon can no longer slide easily through the sheath and can bunch up to form a small lump (nodule). This makes bending the affected finger or thumb difficult.
Shockwave Therapy is incredibly effective for hand pain. We will isolate the area that needs to be treated, then using our focussed shockwave equipment we will start sending gentle impulses to the area. The shockwave treatment will bring new blood vessels into the damaged tendons and healing begins to occur, allowing the finger tendons will glide through their protective sheath without catching, Discomfort will be kept to a minimum and gradually the impulses will become more intense, although little pain will be felt and if it is it will gradually dissipate over a few days.
Generally, shockwave for Trigger Finger will resolve after three to four sessions, depending on your condition and how long you may have suffered with it, while early diagnosis can reduce the number of sessions needed. Sometimes it may take several weeks for the full effects to be felt. The alternative is invasive surgery or painful injections.
It is important that you work with your physical therapist to ensure that you have an exercise regime and massage to ensure full recovery.
“Significant reductions in pain scores and functional improvement were found between baseline and all follow-up assessments.” Radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the treatment of finger tenosynovitis (trigger digit).
“We conclude that extracorporeal shock wave therapy could be a non-invasive option for treating trigger finger, especially for those patients who wish to avoid steroid injections.” Extracorporeal shock wave therapy versus corticosteroid injection in the treatment of trigger finger: a randomized controlled study.