Trigger Thumb

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Trigger thumb is a common repetitive strain injury that can cause significant impairment in hand strength, dexterity, and daily functioning. The condition is characterized by pain and catching in the thumb, and it can result in difficulty performing everyday tasks. Although there are many organic causes of trigger thumb, environmental factors (e.g., workplace conditions and job demands) usually play a significant role.

Trigger thumb (or tenosynovitis, as it is also known) is the result of a degenerative process in the tendon that runs through the thumb. Specifically, the flexor pollicis longus tendon deteriorates, which in turn leads to swelling in the tendon. This inflammation and irritation impedes the movement of the tendon at the metacarpophalangeal joint. Essentially, the tendon in the thumb gets trapped which produces the painful catching or clicking that is commonly associated with trigger thumb.

The condition is more common in women than men, and it is more likely in people suffering from other chronic illnesses. Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, for example, are common correlates of trigger thumb. However, movement also play a role in the manifestation of the malady. Repetitive strain on the hands through heavy lifting, typing, and long hours at a steering wheel can lead to trigger finger as well.

There are numerous treatment options for reducing pain and impairment associated with triggering. Often rest and over-the-counter medications are enough to bring temporary relief. Individuals looking for long-term treatment for trigger thumb, however, are advised to consider exercises that promote the integrity of the muscles and tendons in the hand and forearm. Take a moment to visit www.repetitive-strain.com to learn more about these exercises and how they can effectively stop painful triggering.

 


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