8 Best Exercises to Relieve Your Trigger Finger

Do you experience popping or clicking when you move your finger? Is there tenderness or pain in your affected knuckle? This finger stiffness or pain could be due to trigger finger. Stenosing tenosynovitis or trigger finger refers to the narrowing of the sheath that is around the tendon in your affected finger. If your job requires repetitive gripping or you have a health condition, such as diabetes or arthritis, you are more likely to develop trigger finger at some stage in life. Some exercises will help bring flexibility and mobility back to your finger and relieve pain and stiffness.

Trigger Finger Exercises You Can Try

You do not need strengthening exercise because trigger finger is not caused by lack of strength in your finger, but it is an issue related to the tendon surrounding the joint. Exercises for trigger finger require a tender touch because you are not working on a healthy joint. Simply putting your finger in warm water and rotating it lightly is enough to warm up the tendons. You can also massage your finger to help regain its range of motion. Moreover, it is equally important to avoid repetitive gripping of objects until the issue has been resolved. Here are some specific trigger finger exercises that may help improve your condition.

1. Extensor Stretch

Place your hand with affected finger on a flat surface and hold your affected finger with your other hand. While making sure your other fingers are flat on the table, lift your affected finger up and maintain this position for a few seconds. Make sure to raise it enough to feel a light stretch. This will help bring mobility back to your injured finger. 

2. Finger Stretch

Straighten your fingers and join them together. Stretch your affected finger apart enough to feel a light stretch. Hold it for a few seconds and return to the normal position. Also, try to stretch your finger backwards and forwards and maintain this position for a few seconds. This will help condition the muscles and reduce swelling.

3. Tennis Ball Squeeze

Get a tennis ball, hold it in your hand and squeeze it hard. Hold it for about 5 seconds and release. Do it 5-10 times daily to see effects.

4. Finger Spring

Wear a rubber band around the outer surface of your fingers – be sure to include your thumb in it. Stretch your fingers with the rubber band around it. Repeat 15 times and do 2 sets of this exercise.

5. Tendon Glide

This is one of the most effective trigger finger exercisesif performed correctly. With your thumb pointing away from your palm, extend your fingers outward. Make sure that your thumb is perpendicular to your palm. Now flex your fingers toward your thumb with only half an inch of distance between your thumb and finger. Slowly curl your fingers into your palm with your thumb along the outside of your index finger. Make a fist by curling your fingers. Open your hand very slowly and lift your fingers into an upright position. Keep your knuckles bend and thumb extended away from the palm. Repeat several times.

6. Finger Abduction One

Place your hand with affected finger on a table or another flat surface. Join your affected finger with the next finger and use your other hand to press on the affected finger. Now, separate the affected finger from the adjoining finger while applying some resistance. Perform this exercise daily to improve the blood circulation to the affected finger.

7. Finger Abduction Two

Separate your affected finger from the adjoining finger to make a V shape. Use the thumb and the index finger of your other hand and push the two separated fingers against other fingers. Now press both fingers lightly to join them together. Do it regularly for better effects.

8. Towel Grab

Hold a towel in half and put it on a table. Place your hand with affected finger on the towel with your palm facing downwards. Grab the towel and scrunch it while applying pressure on your fist. Maintain this position for a while and then straighten your fingers slowly. Release the towel and repeat it 8-10 times.

Other Treatment Options for Trigger Finger

While trigger finger exercisesdefinitely help, you may get good results by combining other treatment options with the exercises.

1. Rest

Give your fingers plenty of rest from repeated grasping and gripping. It is also important to avoid operating any vibrating hand-help machinery.

2. Ice or Heat

Applying heat or ice pack may help relieve pain. Using warm-water soaks in the morning have worked for many.

3. Wear a Splint

Wear a splint at night to ensure your finger stays in an extended position. Be sure to wear it up to six weeks. Split will keep you away from curling your fingers at night and provide your tendon with enough rest.

4. Medications

Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such a naproxen or ibuprofen to alleviate pain. However, these medications will not help a lot with swelling.

5. Steroid Injection

Your doctor may give you an injection into the tendon sheath of your affected finger to reduce inflammation. This will allow your tendon to glide smoothly. It has 90% of success rate if you are not a diabetic. It is 50 % effective in people with diabetes. You may need a second injection for better effects.

6. Percutaneous Release

Your doctor will numb your palm and insert a needle into the tissue around the tendon of your affected finger. He will move your finger and the needle simultaneously to help eliminate the constriction that is preventing you to move your finger. Your doctor will perform the procedure under ultrasound control to see the needle under your skin.

7. Surgery

In rare cases, you require a surgery. Your surgeon will cut open the constricted section of tendon sheath through a small incision near your affected finger. It is an operating room procedure. 

 
 
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