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Physical Therapy For Trigger Finger

How to Heal Trigger Finger with 4 Exercises That Work! (Real Patient)

If youve ever had at least one finger that hurts or doesnt work properly, you know how frustrating this can be. Even doing simple, everyday tasks can be challenging as well as painful. One of the most common finger problems is a condition known as trigger finger. Heres what you need to know about trigger finger and how physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat it.

How Can Physiotherapy And Chiropractic Help With Trigger Finger

Trigger finger can be tricky to treat, because if you, your Physiotherapist, or Chiropractor do not have the right expectations or an effective protocol in place, you may not find rehabilitation very successful, resulting in unnecessary injections or surgery. Effective treatment includes taping to correcting finger alignment, prescribing and wearing an appropriate splint , activity modification, self-massage, use of thermal modalities, and a set of exercises to promote proper mobility of the finger.

Fingertip And Middle Joint Bends

For the fingertip, hold the finger just beneath the top joint with your opposite hand. Bend the fingertip while holding the rest of the finger steady, then return to position. For the middle joint, hold the finger just below the joint and fold the finger forward, then return to position. Stretch both joints by holding the finger just below the knuckle joint and bending both joints at once. You dont have to keep the finger straight in either bend. Perform these stretches at least two times a day.

If youre having problems with trigger finger or any other kind of pain in your hands or wrists, reach out to us at The Hand and Wrist Institute today. We can assess your issues and develop a treatment program to get you pain free as soon as possible.

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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy And Trigger Finger

The recent interventional study of Vahdatpour et al.13 recruited 19 subjects with trigger finger disorder. Each patient was treated with ESWT in three sessions with a 1-week interval. The treatment protocol for each session consisted in two parts: radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy with 1000 shocks, at an energy flux density of 2.1 bar and a frequency of 15 Hz, followed by focused shock wave therapy with 500 shocks, at an energy flux density of 0.1 bar and a frequency of 4 Hz. Focused shock waves were used directly on the nodule and the maximum tenderness site, while radial shock wave therapy was used on the peripheral tissues of the nodule. Evaluation of pain severity, severity of triggering, and functional impact of triggering was carried out using the Visual Analogue Scale , Trigger Finger Score suggested by Quinnell, Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire , respectively, before intervention, immediately after intervention, and in 6 and 18 weeks after intervention. There were statistically significant differences with regard to reduction of the pain severity, severity of triggering, and functional impact of triggering before intervention, immediately after intervention, and in 6 and 18 weeks after intervention.

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Welcome to CorePhysio’s patient resource about Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb.

Trigger finger and trigger thumb are conditions affecting the movement of the tendons as they bend the fingers or thumb toward the palm of the hand. This movement is called flexion.

This article will help you understand:

  • how trigger finger and trigger thumb develop
  • how doctors diagnose the condition
  • what can be done for the problem

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Other Considerations And Warnings

  • The disorder can occur on any of your fingers.
  • While some cases are mild, others are extremely painful.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible for a hot, inflamed finger joint since this can suggest an infection.
  • Sometimes, trigger finger is a complication from having surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. This is typical during the six months following surgery.

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Welcome to Hicksville Physical Therapy’s patient resource about Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb.

Trigger finger and trigger thumb are conditions affecting the movement of the tendons as they bend the fingers or thumb toward the palm of the hand. This movement is called flexion.

This article will help you understand:

  • how trigger finger and trigger thumb develop
  • how doctors diagnose the condition
  • what can be done for the problem

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What Causes Trigger Finger

There is no consensus as to the exact cause of trigger finger, however, there are some activities that can increase your likelihood of developing it such as repetitive movements and:

  • Hobbies: That require gripping or holding a small tool for long periods of time, or repetitive hand use like playing an instrument, writing by hand, gaming or rocking climbing
  • Occupation: Jobs that require extensive or forceful hand use like long-distance truck driving, farming, and industrial workers
  • Chronic conditions: Having diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout can increase your chances of developing trigger finger
  • Gender: Trigger finger is more common in women
  • Age: Trigger finger is more common in people aged 40 to 60 years
  • Surgery: Trigger finger is a known complication from from carpal tunnel syndrome surgery

Treat Your Trigger Finger Today

Top 3 Trigger Thumb Exercises

The physicians and physical therapists at New York Bone & Joint Specialists are experts in treating painful conditions of the joints, including your hands and fingers. Our first priority is ensuring quality of life to your patients with conservative treatments and surgery when necessary. Contact us today for a consultation.

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Can I Prevent Trigger Thumb From Occurring

If you fall into any of the conditions listed above and are concerned you may develop trigger thumb there are precautions you can take. Of course, avoiding overusing your fingers and thumbs is the main form of prevention. However, the exercises listed above are great because they will assist in the strengthening of your thumbs tendons. The stronger your tendons the less likely you will develop the condition.

Causes Of Trigger Finger

When the tendon of an affected sheath becomes inflamed and irritated, trigger finger develops. As a result, the tendon doesnt glide properly through the sheath. When the tendon sheath continues to be irritated, scarring can occur and bumps can form that cause even more disruption in the motion of the tendon.

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Causes And Symptoms Of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger can develop when the tendon or the tendon sheath becomes inflamed. This inflammation narrows the opening through which the tendon runs, restricting its movement. Left untreated, this prolonged inflammation can lead to scarring and the formation of nodules on the tendon which further limits finger movement and can result in the finger remaining fixed in a bent state.

Trigger finger can develop in any finger, but it most commonly occurs in the pointer finger, thumb and little finger, and it also is more common on the dominant hand because it is used more frequently. The exact cause of its development is unknown, but repetitive hand tasks and jobs that require a lot of gripping can contribute to the condition. Older individuals and those with certain medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are also more prone to trigger finger.

Symptoms of trigger finger include:

  • A clicking or snapping sensation when moving the finger
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning
  • A visible bend in the finger when its at rest
  • A bump on the palm side of the hand at the base of the affected finger
  • Loss of grip strength
  • Difficulty performing fine motor tasks

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Trigger Finger

Trigger Thumb: 4 Exercises to Relieve Symptoms of Trigger Thumb

There are 5 different classification levels for Trigger Finger, which vary in degrees of severity. At Rebalance Sports Medicine, your Physiotherapist and Chiropractor will be able to assess your trigger finger and identify the correct classification, to help inform your prognosis. Generally speaking, it takes roughly 8 weeks for a patient to drop down a classification level and up to 4 months of wearing a splint .

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Finger Abduction Version Two

This abduction is the opposite of Version One. Instead of bringing the fingers together, spread them apart in a V and encircle them with your finger and thumb from your other hand, then apply pressure to push the fingers closer together. Repeat five times for one session, then do the stretch three times throughout the day.

What Is Trigger Thumb

As youve just heard in the video, trigger thumb is a common and debilitating condition. The tendons in your thumb and fingers are covered in a tunnel-like structure of tissues that are called sheaths. If you have trigger thumb, your tendons have become inflamed. Because of this inflammation or swelling, your tendons are no longer properly gliding through your sheaths. When this happens, the base of your fingers may lock up, click, or pop. Essentially, your fingers get stuck in a non-relaxed position. This has the potential to be a very painful and frustrating condition, as you lose the full function of your thumbs. This condition can happen to all of your fingers including your thumbs, index, middle, ring, and pinky.

To better understand whats happening if you have trigger thumb check out the graphic of your thumbs anatomy below:

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Why Choose Physical Therapy For Trigger Finger

Treatment for trigger finger differs depending on your conditions severity. Surgery is only recommended for cases where conservative methods fail to work.

Your doctor will first advise you to rest and limit activity using your finger. You can use a splint for this purpose. However, rest should be partnered with physical therapy to increase your hands mobility and strength.

Here are some physical therapy methods that can help relieve trigger finger symptoms:

How Do I Know If The Pain At The Base Of My Thumb Is From Trigger Thumb

Physical Therapy Exercises Trigger Finger/Thumb

People often describe the pain they are experiencing in their thumbs as:

  • Having a sore thumb

  • Thumb tendon pain

  • Thumb locking pain

However, there are conditions outside of trigger thumb that may occur to your thumb joint and be described in a similar way. To help you decipher which thumb condition you have read the most likely problems and their most common symptoms:

  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is the form of arthritis that most commonly affects the thumb or basal joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage of your thumb begins to wear away. Pain due to osteoarthritis of the thumb is most often described as a swelling of the joint and discomfort when using the thumb.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Your carpal tunnel is the narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrists. The median nerve runs through this passageway along with tendons to the fingers and thumbs. When this is pinched or compressed you have carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common symptoms are described as numbness, soreness, tingling, and all around pain in the hand.
  • Ganglion Cysts – Ganglion cysts are very common lumps that occur in a persons hand or wrist. The cause for the cyst is usually unknown. However, they may be forming because of joint irritation or mechanical changes. The most common symptom is the obvious formation of a nodule in the hand area adjacent to joints or tendons. The cysts resemble a water balloon and are filled with a clear fluid or gel.

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Post Trigger Finger Surgery Physical Therapy Exercises

Around the ten days to two week period after a trigger finger or trigger thumb release surgery takes place you will need to begin doing physical therapy exercises to regain full mobility of the finger. The exercises are pretty simple and are as follows:

Exercise 1 Using your other hand, hold your finger between the palm of your hand and your first knuckle. Then practice bending your finger. Only the two segments of your finger should be moving. Finally, move up and hold the middle section of the finger firm. Bend only the tip of the finger. Do this for 10 repetitions, 3 times a day.

Exercise 2 Place your hand on a flat surface. Taking your other hand, bend the finger backwards to stretch it out. Hold for about 10 seconds, then rest for a couple of minutes and repeat for 5 repetitions 3 times a day.

Exercise 3 Practice bending each knuckle on the hand. Start with your hand wide open. Next bend the tips of your finger. This kind of looks like you are pretending you are hanging on a ledge just by your fingertips. Now clinch your hand into a fist. Next open your hand like you are hanging on a ledge by your fingertips. Then straighten out your hand completely. Repeat the process for 10 repetitions, 3 times daily.

Exercise 4 Open the hand straight and close then close into a fist. Do this 10 repetitions, 3 times daily.

Do these exercises for three weeks to a month or until you feel regular range of motion has returned.

Physiotherapy Management On Trigger Finger

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger is a common finger aliment, thought to be caused by inflammation and subsequent narrowing of the retinacular sheath, which causes pain, clicking, catching, and loss of motion of the affected finger. Although it can occur in anyone, it is seen more frequently in the diabetic population and in women, typically in the fifth to the sixth decade of life.

Causes of a trigger finger

Several causes of trigger finger such as repetitive finger movements and local trauma are possibilities. Stress and degenerative force also account for an increased incidence of trigger finger in the dominant hand.

Symptoms of trigger finger may include :

  • Pain and tenderness at the base of the affected finger or thumb
  • Catching or locking of the digit in a bent position
  • Popping or clicking when the finger is straightened.
  • A nodule at the base of the affected finger or thumb
  • Stiffness of the affected finger or thumb, particularly happens first thing in the morning. Over time it may be difficult to straighten the finger or thumb and it may stay in a bent position.


The classic presentation of popping and locking of a trigger finger is typically all that is needed for diagnosis. Diagnosis of trigger finger can be confirmed by a physiotherapist or doctor, who will assess your finger and hand thoroughly.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy treatments may include :

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Physical Therapy As A Treatment Option For Trigger Finger

The ability to bend a finger is something we often dont think about, especially with how much we use our hands daily. However, a condition called trigger finger makes it difficult and painful for you to perform simple movements such as simply bending a finger. It also causes a catching sensation or stiffness, which is a hassle since you use your fingers for so many daily activities.

Luckily, conservative treatments such as physical therapy can remedy your condition. Read on to find out how a trigger finger specialist can help and where to find the best provider in Clinton Township, Michigan.

Treating Trigger Finger: Physical Therapy And Surgery

Pin on Bort Wrist, Finger, Thumb Pain Treatment, Carpal Tunnel ...

One of the most effective ways to treat trigger finger is through physical therapy, which can effectively increase flexibility and strength in the finger and hand. Your physical therapist may also massage the finger gently to break up any scar tissue on the tendon, which can alleviate pain and improve your range of motion.

If conservative methods fail to restore mobility, surgery may be your next step. In a percutaneous release procedure, a needle inserted into the finger tendon loosens it so the finger can move smoothly again. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis. After surgery, you must keep the finger dry by covering it with plastic wrap when showering. Youll wear a bandage for a few days. Once the bandage is removed, you should move your finger as much as possible to speed up the healing process.

Its important to remember that surgery is only recommended when other conservative techniques are unsuccessful and your quality of life is significantly impaired by trigger finger. In most cases, trigger finger resolves without surgery and you can return to normal activities without pain or stiffness.

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Physical Therapy For Trigger Finger Information Exercises And More

You feel a catching sensation when you bend your finger.

The pain and loss of finger movement have made it difficult to complete daily activities.

You could be feeling symptoms of trigger finger.

In this guide, we will talk about the signs and symptoms of trigger finger, and what treatment options can help relieve your symptoms.

Surgical Rehabilitation For Trigger Finger

If trigger finger persists after two cortisone injections, and is not helped by ice, stretching or anti-inflammatories, surgery may be recommended. During surgery for trigger finger, the tendon sheath is released, and/or inflamed or scarred tissue is removed. Although the finger can be moved right after surgery, the palm of hand, which is where the incision is made, may be sore. To lessen swelling and pain, lifting the hand above the heart on a frequent basis may be recommended.

In cases in which the finger/thumb is difficult to straighten after surgery, wearing a brace to straighten it may be helpful. Additional rehabilitative physical therapy may include the following:

  • Exercises to increase range of motion
  • Heat treatments
  • Soft-tissue massage

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Welcome to Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Clinic’s patient resource about Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb.

Trigger finger and trigger thumb are conditions affecting the movement of the tendons as they bend the fingers or thumb toward the palm of the hand. This movement is called flexion.

This article will help you understand:

  • how trigger finger and trigger thumb develop
  • how doctors diagnose the condition
  • what can be done for the problem


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