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[Pain Management NYC] Trigger Finger: How to Determine if You Suffer from It and How to Treat

Updated: Jun 26

new york pain management

You know that tingly feeling you sometimes feel in your fingers? Pain and stiffness in the fingers are common problems that many different things can cause. However, the most common cause of finger pain is the trigger finger, which is a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers.

Having a trigger finger is not only very painful but also debilitating. This is caused by a problem in your finger or hand. In some cases, trigger finger can also be caused when you work with your hands frequently or use them in ways that overstretch them. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's better to see a pain management NYC specialist, as they should be able to determine if you have a trigger finger and how to treat it.

This article is going to help you determine if you have this condition. It's also going to show you how to deal with the most common symptoms and how to treat this condition in the so you don't end up suffering in the long run.

What is trigger finger?

The medical term for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis. It occurs when there is inflammation of the tendon sheath, which is the protective covering around a tendon. When this sheath becomes inflamed, it can cause tendon movement to be difficult or painful.

Trigger finger is common among people who perform repetitive activities with their hands, such as musicians and athletes. It affects the fingers but usually affects the thumb or ring finger. Trigger finger causes your finger to get stuck in a bent position and then straighten with a snapping or popping sound. It usually affects only one finger at a time, but sometimes more than one digit can be affected at once. It can also develop for no apparent reason.

Trigger finger happens when tendons in the fingers become inflamed and swollen due to repeated use of the affected digit. The tendons in your fingers slide through a tunnel called the sheath as they move from their resting position to when they are used for activities such as gripping or grasping an object.

When you have trigger finger, this tendon sheath becomes inflamed and swollen, making it harder for the tendon to move through it smoothly. This causes locking or catching of your digit as well as pain and tenderness around the base of your finger joint.

What are the symptoms of trigger finger?

The main symptom of trigger finger is an inability to fully bend the affected digit without pain. You may also feel a catching sensation during the flexing motion and/or see a popping sound. In some cases, you may experience numbness or tingling in your hand or fingers.

Some people with trigger finger don't have symptoms at all, while others experience problems with their fingers locking or catching on various objects. Some people only have one or two fingers affected, while others have all four affected to varying degrees. Some people have mild symptoms, while others have severe symptoms such as locking the fingers that make it difficult to use them properly. Even work-related tasks like using tools or typing at work become impossible without treatment.

finger pain management

The most common symptoms of trigger finger include:

  • Swelling and tenderness around the affected joint

  • Pain when bending the affected finger

  • Difficulty straightening the affected finger

  • Stiffness of your affected finger

  • A clicking or popping noise when you bend the affected finger

  • A feeling like something is stuck in the joint when you try to bend your finger

If you have trigger finger symptoms that last longer than three months or keep coming back, it's time you should see a pain management specialist for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

What causes trigger finger?

When you suffer from trigger finger and hand pain, though, many things in your day-to-day life can be affected. From picking up objects to working out to typing, if you have trigger finger or hand pain, it's possible that something you do might cause it to flare up.

Because this can happen at any time, your routine may change, and so too might the way you sleep and so on. Unfortunately, this can be debilitating for many people who have it because they never know when their hands will hurt.

A number of factors can contribute to trigger finger, including:

  • An injury to your hand or wrist

  • Wear and tear on the joints due to aging

  • Tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon)

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints)

  • A repetitive motion injury from work (especially if it involves pushing against something)

  • Flexing your fingers while holding something heavy (such as a backpack) can also cause trigger finger symptoms.

  • Wearing a tight ring for too long

How to treat trigger finger?

Trigger finger is not a serious condition and usually goes away on its own without treatment. However, if you have severe pain or your finger doesn't improve with time and rest, it's important to see a pain specialist.

The good news is we now offer trigger finger release with real-time ultrasound guidance.

Trigger Finger Release (TFR) with real-time ultrasound guidance can alleviate the pain and inconvenience of trigger finger and quickly have you back doing the day-to-day activities you love. Minimal scarring and immediate motion of the finger are some of the notable benefits.

trigger finger release

If you are ready for long-term relief, then trigger finger release with UltraGuideTFRTM, and real-time ultrasound guidance may be right for you. Advantages of trigger finger release with real-time ultrasound guidance include:

  • Faster return to normal activities versus traditional open TFR surgery

  • Performed in a procedure room or office setting

  • Typically performed using local anesthesia

  • Small incision usually closed without sutures

  • Reduce or eliminate the need for opioids

  • Most patients experience immediate resolution of trigger finger mechanical symptoms


With so many factors at work, it is difficult to ascertain with any precision the prevalence of trigger finger. To learn how to best treat trigger finger and keep your hands functioning at their best, consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

My hope is that this article has helped you understand what causes trigger finger and discovered some of the most effective ways to deal with it. Of course, trigger finger can be a chronic condition, so expect it to take some time before it goes away completely: but with the right treatment methods and some patience, you'll be able to live with healthy hands again.

If you are struggling with pain and numbness in your hands from trigger finger or any other condition, call us today at (646) 725-4600 or visit our pain management NYC center for innovative treatments that can help you get back on track and live your life without pain.


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