Trigger Finger and RSI?

I’ve just been dealing with a bad case of trigger finger – a condition where a finger becomes locked in a gripped position.

It’s happening (quite badly) on the middle finger of my right hand – so much so that I have to use my other hand to prise the stuck finger open again! I also have minor trigger symptoms on some of my other fingers. It’s not just an inconvenient condition, it can be quite painful too! Usually trigger finger cases can clear up with some rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication but this one has been with me for quite some time.

The trigger condition has been diagnosed as such by doctors, and has been treated twice with steroidal injections (to no avail). Surgery looks like the next option for me to relieve this condition, and is only a day patient procedure done under a local anaesthetic. I am however waiting for summer to pass before going ahead with the surgery, although going through with it will mean me taking 1-2 weeks off work to allow it to heal. This would be fine if I was employed with entitlement to sick pay, but being self employed means two weeks without pay! Not fair is it?

Interestingly enough this is a condition that I can remember happening mildly when I was younger (maybe as young as 12), where the middle finger of both hands would lock and click when I forced them open. These symptoms were not much of a problem to me back then, and they ceased completely when I reached my late teens.

However, the condition has over the last 10 years returned, and in the last 5 years has got much worse. The consultant that I have seen asked me what it is that I grip tightly, but I’m not aware of any one task I do with excessive gripping. It’s apparently a common symptom of over-gripping power tools or bicycle handlebars etc.

I personally feel like it has flared up due to the other RSI symptoms I have. The tendons in my arms, wrists, hands and fingers have taken some amount of abuse from computers over the years.

According to one summation from RSI Relief –

Most clinicians believe that the disorder is caused by the tendon sheath because it becomes thickened or swollen and pinches the tendon and prevents it from gliding smoothly. But common sense reveals that the history of patients suffering with Trigger Finger have one common denominator, overuse, excessive use and/or abuse of the hands from work and recreational activities.

The only ‘abuse’ I can think of over my history is keyboard and mouse related. Other than a bit of cycling, kayaking etc I have rarely abused my hands in any other way, and certainly am not aware of any excessive gripping.

To me it is one more aspect to my life dealing with a long term RSI condition(s).

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