7 Exercises to Help Ditch Your Trigger Finger Pain At Home

Trigger finger and trigger thumb are two conditions that go hand-in-hand (literally). This condition, at best, is mildly irritating and, at worst, is extremely painful and debilitating. Trigger finger occurs when your finger’s tendon sheath (the sleeve around the tendon) becomes irritated, causing inflammation. This inflammation impedes your finger’s natural gliding motion when you try to bend it. This results in many common symptoms including finger stiffness, a popping or clicking sensation, tenderness or even a visible bump at the base of your finger, and finger locking in a bent position.

In most cases, many different at home treatments can remedy the catching of the digit in a bent position and the pain upon release. Some include anti-inflammatory medication, hot and cold therapy, wearing a trigger finger brace, and stretches or exercises to help alleviate your symptoms.

trigger finger splint to help treat trigger thumb

Sometimes, a trigger finger or thumb brace is not enough to take care of the condition and trigger finger surgery is necessary. Alongside surgery, trigger finger therapy exercises will be needed to get the digit back to optimal functioning. Below are a few common trigger finger treatment exercises as well as some trigger finger stretches.

7 Exercises for Trigger Finger

    1. Finger Lifts:

      One of the main factors of trigger finger is thought to be repetitive gripping motions from hobbies or jobs such as driving, playing tennis, etc. One exercise for trigger finger that can help to strengthen your tendons is to lay the hand palm-down on a flat surface and then to lift each finger one by one (focusing on even strength) with special emphasis on the injured digit. You should raise each finger slowly and deliberately then hold each finger/thumb in the lifted position for a second or two before resting it.

finger roll stretch to help ditch trigger finger

    1. Rubber Band Stretch:

      Another extensor trigger finger exercise involves drawing the thumb and fingers together, wrapping a rubber band around them and then opening and closing the hand against this resistance.

stretch a rubber band around your fingers and pull them apart to relieve trigger finger pain

    1. Finger-Thumb Circle Stretch

      The next exercise involves placing your injured finger to your thumb, essentially creating a circle shape (like the "OK" emoji). Hold this for about five seconds then repeat 10 times.

flicking your finger will stretch the tendon an prevent trigger finger and thumb

    1. Tennis Ball Exercise:

      This exercise incorporates grabbing a tennis ball or a stress ball. Hold it in the palm of your hand and squeeze the ball for about five seconds then release. Repeat 5-10 times every day.

tennis ball stretch to reduce pain from trigger finger and thumb

    1. Finger Spread:

      Trigger finger exercises that work on the abduction muscles can also be helpful for trigger finger treatment. One simple exercise involves spreading the fingers wide, then drawing them together in a fist and repeating the process.

make a fist with your hand to relieve trigger finger and release the tendon

    1. Fingers to Palm Stretch:

      For another such exercise, begin with the fingers extended straight, lower them to touch the top of the palm, and then extend them again to the upright position. Bend them again to touch the middle of the palm, unbend and extend, and finally lower them to touch the bottom part of the palm and wrap up by straightening the fingers. This is one of the most useful exercises to help relieve your pain. 

exercise to roll your fingers down to your palm to stretch your tendons and relieve trigger finger

    1. Finger "V" Stretch:

      The final exercise has you hold the injured finger and the one next to it extended out. Then spread them apart from one another so they form a “V.” Place your thumb and index finger of your other hand inside of the split fingers and apply pressure to slowly spread the fingers apart further, until you feel a stretch. (But do not stretch them so far that it hurts). Repeat 5 times.

Scissor stretch for trigger finger to help fix locked tendon

In addition to these exercises, it’s recommended to massage the joint or area that is affected by trigger finger. Massaging will help to circulate the blood flow around your fingers and help ease inflammation. Try massaging your hand for a couple minutes every day before and even after you do the exercises above.

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