Excessive phone use can cause trigger finger. What is it?
In the digital age dominated by smartphones, tablets, and touch screens, our daily routines have undergone a significant transformation. This shift has given rise to a phenomenon known as trigger finger, which is now considered one of the most common causes of hand pain, affecting approximately 2 percent of the global population.
Trigger finger is characterized by a finger that was once agile and nimble but is now often stuck in a bent position, releasing with an audible snap. It typically results from repetitive actions on digital devices and is marked by sensations of fingers or thumbs locking or catching during bending and straightening movements, accompanied by symptoms like thumb pain and stiffness.
Symptoms of trigger finger can vary in intensity, with finger stiffness, popping or clicking sensations when moving the finger, the feeling of a lump near the base of the affected finger, occasional finger locking, and prolonged bent positions.
The continuous tapping and scrolling on touchscreens can strain finger tendons, causing inflammation and triggering this condition, as explained by physiotherapist Dr. Sunil Rajpal from Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre. To treat trigger finger, physiotherapists recommend finger exercises to strengthen the affected tendons and promote prevention. Additionally, adopting ergonomic accessories and maintaining good posture are crucial for reducing the risk of technology-induced trigger finger. In more severe cases, rest, splinting, steroid injections, or other interventions may be necessary.