Trigger finger occurs when your finger or thumb moves into a bent position. In severe cases, it can lock into this position. This problem occurs when the covering of the tendon in the affected finger narrows. You are more prone to trigger finger if you perform repetitive tasks that involve gripping or have certain medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. You can treat this condition without surgery but in some cases, this might be your only option. Treatments will depend on the severity and your doctor can suggest an appropriate course of action.
Rest your finger for four to six weeks. You cannot completely avoid using your hands but you might need to modify your usual routine, like performing motions that require repetitive gripping, to avoid overusing the affected finger. Your doctor can advise you about appropriate and inappropriate activities based on your circumstances.
Consider splinting the finger. This will straighten out the finger and help the joint and tendon heal. It also prevents you from curling your finger while you sleep.
Do finger exercises. Your doctor will show you specific exercises that will promote healing. Do them as instructed. You do not want to aggravate the injury
Avoid activities that require repetitive gripping, repeated grasping or extended use of vibrating machinery for a minimum of three to four weeks.
Gently massage the finger to relieve pain.
Use over-counter NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Motrin, Advil or Aleve to treat pain and inflammation of the tendon sheath.
Talk to your doctor about options for pain relief if home treatments are not providing sufficient relief. He can give you a steroid injection which quickly acts on pain and inflammation. This treatment is not as effective if you have certain medical conditions like arthritis or diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about procedures that can treat your trigger finger. Percutaneous trigger finger release involves using a needle to release the finger; it is most effective for the ring, middle and index fingers. If you do not improve with other treatments, surgical repair of the tendon might be necessary.