14 Effective Trigger Finger Exercises For Improved Flexibility And Comfort

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The medical term for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis. This condition occurs when a finger or thumb becomes stuck in a bent position and can be accompanied by painful sensations as well as snapping or locking of the joint during movement. Repetitive motions or forceful use of the affected appendage are common causes of trigger fingers.

Inflammation around the flexor tendons of the finger causes a condition where the tendons are unable to move freely in their sheaths. Normally, they glide smoothly through them; however, inflammation inhibits this ability, resulting in an unmistakable sensation of catching or locking.

14 Exercises To Help You With Trigger Finger Situation

Trigger Finger Exercises

  1. To perform Finger Lifts, first put your hand flat on a flat surface such as a table. Then, gradually raise every finger one by one and sustain the position for some seconds before lowering it back down. Do this process 10 times for each of your fingers.
  2. Perform thumb-finger touches by gently forming an “O” shape with your thumb and each fingertip. Repeat this action for each finger,  completing 5-10 repetitions.
  3. Spread your fingers exercise to stretch out your fingers as far apart as you can, maintain for a brief moment, and release. Perform the routine 10 times in repetition.
  4. To perform the Wrist Extensor Stretch, extend your arm and place your palm facing downwards. Apply gentle pressure on the back of your hand while holding for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Slide your Fingers: Rest your hand on a level surface and move each finger independently forward and backward. Repeat the activity ten times for every digit.
  6. Bend and straighten each finger towards your palm with the palm facing up. Do this motion 10 times for every finger.
  7. To perform the Wrist Flexor Stretch, start by extending your arm and turning your palm up. With gentle pressure, using your other hand, pull back on each finger to stretch both the wrist and palm area. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds but no more than 30 seconds before releasing it gradually.
  8. Slowly clench your hand into a fist and release it gently to prevent strain. Repeat this motion 10 times.
  9. To perform towel grips, grasp a towel with both hands and turn it in opposite directions as if you are squeezing out water. Complete the action for 10 repetitions. 
  10. Perform Fingers Walks by pressing your hand flat on a wall and moving your fingers up and down the surface as if walking. Engage in this exercise for half a minute.
  11. To create finger puppets, imitate puppet characters by slowly elevating each digit as if they are speaking. Perform this action 10 times per finger.
  12. Practice improving dexterity and strength by molding and manipulating soft clay or playdough using your fingers.
  13. To stretch a rubber band, wrap it around your fingers and thumb, then spread it by opening your hand. Maintain this position for several seconds before letting go. Duplicate the process 10 times.
  14. To relieve stiffness and enhance circulation, softly rub the base of the impacted finger and its corresponding palm region.

Also Check: How To Prevent Blisters On Hands? Practical Tips Explored!

Do These Exercises Really Help With Trigger Finger?

If you are going through a trigger finger situation. Then you must implement some gentle stretching and strengthening exercises in order to ease the pain and get relief from it. These exercises can be beneficial to make your finger flexible and also remove the stiffness that you experience due to the trigger finger.

Apart from doing specific exercises to ease the trigger finger issue. You must make sure that you give rest to your fingers and thumb. You must give them rest and not do any activities that can worsen the existing situation, and along with that. Must wear a sprint while sleeping so that the fingers will remain fixed in one position.

It is also recommended to administer medications such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These can make you feel better while easing the pain that you experience. So, finger exercises can help you to deal with the trigger finger effectively. It can lead to improvement in the range of motion in the thumb and fingers.

There are some people who find it comforting and relaxing to massage the area of the trigger finger because this helps reduce the symptoms and stiffness that come along with the situation. However, if you are also going to opt for the massaging approach. Then you must make sure that you do not apply too much force or pressure on the area. Always use gentle hands, as too much pressure on the area can cause you more pain than before. It is recommended that you visit the therapist so that you can get the correct massage and get rid of this existing situation.

When Should You See A Doctor?

Normally, these trigger finger situations get well if you give rest to your fingers, practice splinting, and administer over-the-counter pain relief medications. But if you are dealing with or experiencing severe pain and the symptoms don’t go away even after implementing the known ways or treatments. Then you must definitely go and see a doctor.

If there is swelling and inflammation in and around the tendon, then it is highly likely that the doctor will recommend some steroid injections as they are the best to give you relief. However, this may take several days to weeks. But you must follow the instructions of your doctor for the condition to get better. Apart from that, you may have to go through a surgical process if those steroids don’t work as expected or help you with the condition.

Read More: How Do You Relieve Lateral Foot Pain? Effective Strategies

Conclusion

A trigger finger is not a severe situation, and it can get better on its own within a few days or weeks. But there are some cases in which people experience severe pain, and hence visit to the doctor is recommended. Doing these exercises can help you a lot to ease the pain and improve the movement of the fingers. But giving it rest for a while can speed up the process of healing. Hence, if you don’t want to get steroids or surgery, then you must stay away from activities that can worsen your trigger finger condition.

References

  • Lee M, Jung YR, Lee YK. Trigger finger secondary to a neglected flexor tendon rupture. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jan;98(1):e13980. [PMC free article]
  • Leow MQH, Teo W, Low TL, Tay SC. Hand Assessment for Elderly People in the Community. Orthop Nurs. 2019 Jan/Feb;38(1):25-30. [PubMed]

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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