Trigger finger also called stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition referring to a defect of a tendon in the hand causing a finger to jerk or snap straight upon opening of the hand. The patient will often notice a locking of the finger joint in a bent position before is straightens quickly. Trigger finger is the most common entrapment tendonitis in the hand and occurs mostly in female and diabetic patients and those with carpal tunnel syndrome (Tingling and numbness in the hand caused by a pinched nerve). Trigger finger is caused by inflammation of the tendon which has difficulty gliding in the tendon sheath. A nodule which can be felt (palpated) by the doctor is often present within the tendon and carpal tunnel syndrome has a high concordance with trigger finger of over 60% of patients.
Trigger finger usually presents more in females between the ages of 40-50 in the dominant hand although in children under the age of 8, males and females have been found to be equally affected. The most common finger entrapped is the ring finger and the thumb at the metacarpophalangeal joint (knuckles).
Signs and Symptoms of trigger finger include:
a) Finger stiffness particularly in the morning
b) Clicking/popping sensation in finger or hand
c) Tenderness/bump on the palm of the patient’s affected finger
d) Locking in a certain position
Diagnosis of trigger finger
The diagnosis of trigger finger is made by the doctor upon observation and completing a physical examination of your hand. The doctor will ask the patient to open and close hand checking for pain areas and the smoothness of the movements when running through the range of motion. If a palpable lump is found, this will generally move with the hand in the direction of the finger flexing and extending.
Treatment of trigger finger
Conservative care using rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are generally prescribed, as well as splints and corticosteroid injections when the injury is starting to affect activities of daily living. If conservative care hasn’t worked, Cold Laser Therapy may be used in the treatment of trigger finger. Cold laser therapy also known as low-level laser therapy can be used in the treatment of many tendonitis injuries and is proven to actively contribute to the treatment of trigger finger. It’s very recent technology incorporates a high signal frequency laser to pass through the skins surface and affect the underlying soft tissues. Its non-invasive nature and non-ionising technology allows patients to feel the effects of the treatment without sustaining any complications. Cold laser therapy cures trigger finger by reducing the inflammation of the tendon within the hand, by increasing the amount of oxygen and blood supply to the area so the tendon doesn’t have to sustain anymore entrapment.
Treatment of trigger finger with low-level laser therapy consists of sessions 2-3 times a week lasting approximately 20 minutes each, with 5 minutes allocated to each location moving over the injured area. Here at Lakeside Laser in Joondalup, we have multiple low level laser emitters which can be placed on either side of the hand for a faster and more effective treatment to get you back to normal mobility in the quickest time possible.
Lakeside Laser in Perth is located on 3/45 Central Walk in Joondalup and has clients from all over Perth including, Leederville, Wembley Downs, Bayswater, Kinross, Yanchep, Bassendean, Kinglsey, Burswood, Hilary’s, Ellenbrook and Mullaloo. If you would like to talk with one of our experienced laser technicians or to book an appointment please give us a call 9300 0095 or check out our website www.lakesidelaser.com.au.