I Think I Have a Trigger Thumb – What Can I Do About It?

treating trigger thumb with an oval-8 finger splint

Trigger Thumb is inflammation of the tendon(s) that flex or bend your thumb. The tendons act as cords that pull your fingers down into a fist and then relax as you straighten the fingers. Think of the tendon as a line on a fishing rod and the pulleys as the eyelets that keep the line in contact with the rod as it bends and straightens. A knot in the line may make the line catch as it is pulled through the eyelet. If the knot keeps getting larger or the pulley gets tighter, eventually it will be too large to slide back in the other direction and the line will be stuck. That’s what happens to the tendons. They simply get too large to move back and forth through the pulleys. That’s why its important when treating trigger thumb, to start earlier rather than later.

Causes and Symptoms of Trigger Thumb

Possible causes of trigger thumb are rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes or an injury to the base of your thumb. More often than not, the cause is unknown.

Symptoms include:

  • A “popping” pain when you bend or straighten the end of your thumb
  • Your thumb sticks in a bent position and in severe cases has to be pulled straight
  • You feel tenderness when you press on the base of your thumb

Check out our video  “How To Treat Trigger Thumb with an Oval-8 Splint” – View Video

Treatment Options

Trigger Thumb is an inflammatory condition. The earlier treatment is started, the better chance that the triggering can be relieved.  Icing and anti-inflammatory medicines are important and should be started as soon as possible.  With Trigger Thumb, it’s very important to prevent the tendon from moving to the point where it snaps or clicks.

Using a splint or brace can help limit motion and allow your thumb to rest. This can be done with a finger splint, such as an Oval-8 Finger Splint.

Oval-8 finger splint for trigger thumbIt’s important to wear your splint until your symptoms are completely gone. Continuing to use a splint at night after an injection or surgery can also be very helpful to prevent clenching your thumb into a fist at night.

If your problem is severe and has progressed to the point where your thumb locks in a bent position, a steroid injection may be needed to reduce the inflammation. If your problem persists, surgery may be recommended to restore motion.

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 How to Treat Trigger Thumb with an Oval-8 Finger Splint

Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.

 

9 comments on “I Think I Have a Trigger Thumb – What Can I Do About It?

    1. Hi Consuelo,
      To determine what size Oval-8 you’ll need, use a flexible measuring tape to measure around the joint of the affected finger. You may also visit your local jeweler and ask to have a ring sizer to measure the affected finger joint. If you don’t have a measuring tape – the printable sizing guide can be used to measure your finger. For more information on Oval-8 Sizing please refer to our Oval-8 Guide https://www.ohmyarthritis.com/Learn/E-Book-Oval-8-Finger-Splint-Guide/. The Guide includes more detailed information about Oval-8’s, including the sizing chart.

      Since swelling or temperature changes can affect your finger size, choosing only one size does not always guarantee that size will be 100% correct. We suggest choosing an Oval-8 Graduated Set of 3 sizes to get the right fit. This will give you the extra splints needed for swelling and other changes in your finger size. Please contact our customer service team at service@ohmyarthritis.com if we can be of further assistance.

  1. Hi
    I will get the oval 8 but wha is your best recommendation for pain, I rub ultra tiger balm, very good I got ArcticBlast, very spensive not good! I take turmeric too. Now I’m thinking in Starr with collagen/ gelatin and glucosamine
    What about soaking the thumb in epsom salt
    Any real good inflammation help??

  2. MY LEFT THUMB IS IN CONSTANT ON, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT. I ALREADY HAVE 2 TRIGGER FINGERS ON THE SAME HAND. MY MIDDLE FINGER AND THE FINGER NEXT TO MY BABY FINGER 🙁 pain all day and night…i am going to make an DR. APPOINTMENT TOMORROW…THANKS FO YOUR ADVICE….I WILL SEE IF MY ORTHO dR. HS THIS ITEM FIRST BEFORE I BUY YOUR PRODUCT.

  3. One day after carrying gas cans, I noticed my thumb was sore. It has clicked every time I bent it ever since. It’s been about 4 months now and I haven’t thought about going to the doctor for it but it is getting very irritating for me now!

    1. Hi Alyssa,
      I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with your thumb. Please know that while we can provide information on certain health conditions, we are not medical professionals and therefore are not able to diagnosis your thumb problem. It’s best to consult with your healthcare provider who can examine your thumb and give you recommendations for treatment.

      With that said it sounds as you may be experiencing “Trigger Thumb”. You can find additional information about Trigger Thumb on our website at http://www.ohmyarthritis.com/Learn/About-Health-Conditions/Trigger-Finger.html along with information about the Oval-8 Finger Splint. The Oval-8 Finger Splint is a light weight, comfortable splint that can help stop triggering without messy tape or straps. I hope you find relief soon.

  4. Hi, I have been having pain in my right thumb so much that I try not to use it. It hurTs from the middle joint down to my wrist. When I try to move it ,it will pop at the middle joint and the pain is bad.would a split help ?

    1. I am very sorry to hear you are having pain in your thumb. Please know that while we can provide information on certain health conditions, we are not medical professionals and therefore are not able to provide you with a diagnosis. Your best course of action is to consult with your healthcare professional or a specialist who can diagnose your thumb problem and give you recommendations for treatment.

      Depending on your diagnosis, a splint may be helpful. Please know that while choosing an appropriate splint to rest your thumb and taking an anti-inflammatory drug may be helpful to relieve your symptoms, it is important to be properly treated by your healthcare provider to prevent worsening of your condition.

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