Trigger thumb is a condition that causes the thumb to catch or lock in a bent position. It is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis.
It occurs when the tendon or the sheath that surrounds the tendon becomes inflamed. The tendons are the cord-like structures that attach your muscles to your bones.
The inflammation makes it difficult for the tendons to slide through the sheath surrounding them. This can cause the affected tendon to lock. It can be painful and make moving the affected finger or thumb hard.
The condition can be caused by repetitive motion, such as using a computer mouse. This condition is more common in women and people with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
In this article, we will discuss the possible causes of trigger thumb and ways to treat them.
Symptoms Of Trigger Thumb:
The main symptom of the trigger thumb is pain and tenderness in the thumb. If you think you may have a trigger thumb, it’s important to see a doctor so they can diagnose and treat the condition. In the meantime, here are some of the most common symptoms of trigger thumb.
Poping Pain In Thumb:
When you have a trigger thumb, you may feel a “popping” sensation when your thumb is bent or straightened.
Because of the swollen sheath surrounding the thumb, the tendons cannot glide smoothly through it. This can cause the tendons to catch and pull on the bone, which results in pain with a popping sensation.
Bump At The Base Of Thumb:
Trigger thumb can also be characterized by the formation of a bump or nodule at the base of the palm.
This is due to inflammation of the tunnel structure sheath that covers the tendon. The condition can be quite painful and can limit the range of motion of the affected finger.
Trigger thumb causes your thumb to stick in a bent position. This is caused by a problem with the tendon that attaches the muscle to the bone.
The tendon is unable to slide smoothly through the sheath that surrounds it. This causes the thumb to get locked in a bent position.
Causes Of Trigger Thumb:
There are several potential causes of trigger thumb. It might be caused due to carpel tunnel surgery. It is more common in women as compared to men. Other causes of trigger thumb are as follows:
This condition can be caused by repetitive motion, such as using the mouse, which puts strain on the tendons in the thumb.
Over time, this strain can cause the tendons to become inflamed, resulting in the characteristic symptoms of trigger thumb.
High blood glucose level causes the build-up of cross-links between collagen molecules in the tendon sheaths around the flexor tendons. This leads to the trigger thumb.
This occurs because the body isn’t properly using the sugar or doesn’t make the hormone insulin, which results in the build-up of collagen in the tendon sheaths, resulting in a reduced range of motion and pain.
Arthritis is a condition that can cause joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can result in a trigger thumb.
If a nodule (a small, hard lump) forms in the tendon, it can become trapped in the tendon sheath (the protective covering around the tendon). This can cause the affected finger or thumb to stay bent.
Treatment Of Trigger Thumb:
Treatment of the trigger thumb is aimed at relieving the pain and swelling. Treatment may also be aimed at preventing the condition from getting worse.
There are a few different ways that doctors treat trigger thumb, but one of the most common is by using a night splint.
This splint is worn at night and helps keep the thumb in a straight position. The splint will hold the thumb in the correct position and allow it to heal properly.
Several exercises can be used in the treatment of the trigger thumb. One helpful exercise is to place a small rubber band around the thumb and index finger and then open and close the hand.
This helps to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the thumb and can reduce pain and improve function.
Gentle stretching exercises can help ease some of the stiffness associated with the trigger thumb.
Surgical treatment for the trigger thumb is performed to release the tightness in the tendon by cutting through the sheath to make space for the tendon. This is either done by using a needle without incision or through open surgery.
How Long Does It Take For Trigger Thumb To Heal?
The healing time is based on the assumption that the individual will receive the necessary medical treatment and follow the prescribed rehabilitation protocol.
Of course, variables can always impact the healing process, such as injury severity, age, health, and so forth.
However, it is safe to say that the trigger thumb will take approximately six weeks to heal completely.
In case of surgery, If you have undergone open surgery, you may experience soreness in your palm directly after the procedure. However, this discomfort should dissipate within two weeks.
If you can do your job without using the hand, you may be able to return to work 1 or 2 days after surgery.
This depends upon the type of surgery you have and how your body responds to the surgery. Discussing this with your doctor before returning to work is always best.
How To Prevent Trigger Thumb?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent trigger thumb; taking good care of your wrist and hands may decrease your chances of developing the condition. This means ensuring you don’t overuse or put them in compromising positions.
Another is to avoid activities that put a lot of stress on your hands, such as gripping devices too tightly.
Stretching the thumb and hand regularly can help prevent the trigger thumb’s development by keeping the tissues flexible and strong. This is especially important for people with jobs requiring repetitive thumb motion.
Ergonomic mice can also be used to prevent trigger thumbs. Ergonomic mouses are designed to reduce the stress on the hand and wrist.
This can help to reduce the risk of developing trigger thumb or at least help to lessen the severity of the condition.
In conclusion, any repetitive motion can put you at risk of developing the trigger thumb condition, and using a computer mouse is no exception. Other factors that contribute to trigger thumb are diabetes and arthritis.
This condition can be characterized by popping pain in hand, a bump at the base of thumb, and a bent thumb.
If you experience any pain or stiffness in your thumb, it’s important to take a break from the activity causing it and see a doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
The treatment generally includes splinting and exercises, and surgery in some cases. With proper treatment, most people with trigger thumb can find relief and avoid any long-term damage.