Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is an irritating, potentially very painful condition in which any finger or thumb of the hand becomes momentarily “stuck,” or causes a sudden “popping” sensation when you attempt to fully straighten it.
But what causes a trigger finger? Is it a hereditary condition passed down from parents to children? Or, is it dependent upon a person’s daily activities, like their job?
What Causes My Finger to Pop?
The flexor tendons in your fingers are what connect the muscle to bone. When you fully extend a properly functioning finger, the flexor tendon glides through the tendon sheath easily without popping.
The problem arises when there is swelling of the flexor tendon, making it very difficult to glide through the tendon sheath tunnel. The tendon gets temporarily “stuck” at the tunnel opening, before it forces through, “popping” or shooting the finger straight out. Sometimes it is the tendon sheath tunnel that swells and causes the popping though this is rare.
What Makes A Person Prone To Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger, though fairly common, is seen more in women than men. Additionally, adults between the ages of 52 and 62 make up the majority of trigger finger sufferers.
There is evidence that trigger finger can be caused by diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes, and kidney or renal failure. However, your job could just as likely to cause wear and tear on your flexor tendons, which can eventually lead to trigger finger. Most scientific research states the trigger finger is usually caused by multiple factors.
The occupations that are at higher risk for trigger finger usually involve force and repetition, force and posture, vibration, or highly repetitive work. Some of these jobs include:
- Construction and manual labor occupations, which often involve repetitive lifting, use of a jackhammer, and pushing or pulling heavy objects with great force.
- Assembly line occupations and other manufacturing or factory jobs, which require standing in a certain posture while making repetitive movements for extended periods of time.
- Administrative and other office positions that include repetitive typing and mouse clicking duties.
Protecting your hands from the damaging effects of trigger finger starts with prevention, though there are several effective options available for treatment. At the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, our hand and wrist physicians are highly knowledgeable when it comes to a variety of conditions, like trigger finger and trigger thumb. They can assess the severity of your trigger finger with an experienced eye, and recommend a treatment based on your unique case. The doctors at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas in Houston care for hands all across the city, and can care for yours, too! Make your appointment today!