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  1. #1
    Rock n' Roller
    Reputation: snowgypsy's Avatar
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    Trigger Finger...icks

    Looked for previous posts about this in the forum and didn't find any...let me know if I missed a good thread!

    Though I haven't been diagnosed by my doc yet, my PT is pretty positive I've developed trigger finger from Mountain biking. It started about two weeks ago. Essentially, after a ride, my left hand (and pinkie finger in particular) become locked in position. The joints won't move. I have to physically adjust them with my other hand. She explained that the tendons in my left hand swell and then get stuck in the sheath that covers them, locking several fingers into position and causing a lot of pain when I attempt to use them for anything other than mountain biking. During the day, I can adjust them and can consciously stretch them out, but at night they fall back into that curled position and lock up.

    It's not unbearable (though painful) and it's an awkward and silly injury in my mind after having so many knee problems to get worked up over. But my PT seemed pretty concerned (it was just in my pinkie finger and now it's starting to show up in other fingers as well), recommended cortisone shots and even surgery if it continues to get worse.

    Is there something, anything, that I can do on my own (new gloves? new handlebars? soaking my hands in something?) to correct this on my own without the threat of surgery or more steroids? I've already have 4 shots of cortisone in my knee this year alone and I'm not pumping anymore of that stuff into my body.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tweasol's Avatar
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    I wish I could help you man. I feel the EXACT same way about my MCP joint in my thumb - pure frustration. Doc basically told me it's extremely unlikely it will ever heal 100% and I should just stay off of it. That's out of the question, so lately its just been perpetually sore. I hope he's wrong and it heals.

    Best of luck with your recovery!

  3. #3
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    I have had this problem in both hands and the same time. Basically too much inflammation in the body that is aggravated by overuse. I changed my diet to include more omega 3 fats. Mostly a mix of nuts and more veggies. That helped a lot.

    As far as the bike goes I backed off and learned to touch the bike much easier. Things that you can look at on the bike. Cockpit fit is a big one. Too long of a cockpit or saddle position off can lead to more hand pressure. Having handle bars with the wrong backsweep or upsweep can lead to uneven hand pressure. Having the brake levers and shifters in the wrong position can lead to increased pressure from bent wrists. larger diameter grips may also relieve some of the aggravation as well.

    It's important to get after it quickly and not just keep riding. If this is a very recent development then the idea of backing way off or even stopping mountain biking for enough time to let things settle down is certainly a wise option (I'm not wise)

    My trigger finger is getting better with time. Enough so to have allowed me to plow ahead right up to the next body crisis.

  4. #4
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    About a year ago I experienced the exact same thing. On a morning ride I shared my frustration (the thought of me not being able to ride due to my fingers locking up) with a couple friends and one of them whom got the same issue from playing the base, told me to get a stress ball. For about a month I was sqeezing on the stress ball grabbing it between thumb and index finger, then middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Each finger for about 15 - 20 seconds for 5 minutes at a time then changed hands. I did this 3 to 4 times per day sometimes for longer periods, in the evenings and on weekends while relaxing. The pain went away and the fingers returned to normal. I still use the stress ball from time to time and my hands could not be happier. Not sure whether this will help you in your healing process but thought of sharing it anyhow.
    When in doubt, Accelerate!

  5. #5
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    Snowgypsy,

    Very sorry to hear about your trigger finger issue. It's frustrating! I know, I had the same thing about 12 years ago. Give a solid try at an anti-inflammatory diet, and some good PT. Unfortunately, surgery was the only thing that fixed my trigger finger issues... I hope you have better luck. I've been good for riding now for a decade (since surgery) but the fingers aren't quite as good as before, ie can't play piano anymore and I was pretty good at that... but I can ride!!

    I know a few other people who have had "trigger finger release" surgery with much success! Good luck!!

  6. #6
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    I'm 53 and have had this off and on for 30 years or so. Right now I cannot close both hands completely and both ring fingers will not open on their own.

    Remember you have never been as old as you are right now.

    I have learned for me to avoid trigger finger do not do the following..

    box
    play tennis to excess
    dirt bike
    play the drums
    pick plumbing/hvac for a job if one has a 4yr edumacation
    wire rebar together for a full summer
    do all repairs at the home
    cut and split wood for 30 years
    just got done trenching for 3" pvc pipe at 18 inches down for 20 feet with pointed shovel..hence the present issue
    and the most probable reason for my finger issues...internet porn..at least it aggravates it real bad..the wife says tfb..
    lean forward

  7. #7
    Junior flyer
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    Yep, been dealing with this since early last year. I tried bigger grips (I really like Odi Rogue's), carbon bars on my carbon frame, taping the offending fingers (clear athletic tape) before every ride, and riding "lightly"--resting my hands as much as possible. All that has helped it from getting worse.

    But the biggest change was this summer: tilting my saddle back a bit to take the weight off my hands. My fingers have actually been getting better, even though I've been riding quite a bit, learning how to jump, and riding steep downhill trails almost every time out.

    Unfortunately, I broke my pinkie finger this week (garbage can-related road ride), so know I get to see how rest helps my trigger fingers... Good luck!
    Why?

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