As a singer-songwriter, I've been playing guitar and keyboards since I was about ten. I always knew there was a day when my arthritis and gout would come to play a detrimental role in my ability to play these instruments.

The fingers are slowing but surely bending in ways they shouldn't and the pain makes it dificult to play, especially the more difficult passages in my songs.

In fact, the act of typing these posts somethimes is a bit too much to bear. I was doing some research on WEB MD, because I know this isn't unique to me and I thought I would share some of the information and a link to their few article. I hope it helps you find some relief if you suffer a similar health concern.

Trigger finger and thumb are painful conditions that cause the fingers or thumb to catch or lock in a bent position. The problems often stem from inflammation of tendons that are located within a protective covering called the tendon sheath.

The affected tendons are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect the muscles of the forearm to your finger and thumb bones. Together, the tendons and muscles allow you to bend and extend your fingers and thumb, for example, as in making a fist.

A tendon usually glides quite easily through the tissue that covers it (also called a sheath) because of a lubricating membrane surrounding the joint called the synovium. Occasionally a tendon may become inflamed and swollen. When this happens, bending the finger or thumb may pull the inflamed portion through a narrowed tendon sheath, making it snap or pop.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger may be caused by highly repetitive or forceful use of the finger and thumb. Medical conditions that cause changes in tissues -- such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or diabetes -- also may result in trigger finger. Prolonged, strenuous grasping, such as with power tools, also may aggravate the condition.
Who Gets Trigger Finger?

Farmers, industrial workers, and musicians are frequently affected by trigger finger since they rely on their fingers or thumbs for multiple repetitive movements. Trigger finger is more common in women than in men and tends to occur most frequently in people who are between 40 and 60 years of age.

{via WEB MD: More here}