Trigger Finger Exercises Trigger Finger Exercises

7 Easy and Painstaking Trigger Finger Exercises

The sensation of stuck fingers with a bit of pain and suddenly the finger stretches straight from the curl. Did you face this frequently? It’s very often, and the most common problem, that is the Trigger Finger.

A trigger finger is a common condition. But most people do not know exactly how to treat this. This will not be a problem anymore. But why? Here is a complete guide on the best exercises for the trigger finger.

If you had faced this issue before, and looked around for a perfect remedy for this, but didn’t find any. Don’t worry anymore. This article will give you a piece of in-depth information on the trigger finger and how to cure it with simple exercises.

Trigger finger exercises effectively reduce and slowly eliminate and relieve the pain of the trigger finger. 

Trigger Finger (Thumb)

1. What is a Trigger Finger? 

The trigger finger is a condition related to the tendons of the hand that connects the muscles and bones responsible for the flexible movement of the fingers. In the trigger finger, the tendons get affected due to rapid movement or constant overuse of fingers.

1.1 Symptoms 

The symptoms will develop slowly as mild and gradually worse over time. The symptoms of Trigger Finger depend on the severity of the condition, so the symptoms may vary, but common ones are –

  • Painful snapping or clicking 
  • Finger stiffness 
  • Tenderness and bump at the base of the finger
  • Locked fingers
  • Clicking or popping sensation during movement of fingers
  • Triggering of the finger in the morning
  • Inability to flex fingers
  • Sensitivity to little pressure

Trigger Finger: Symptoms and Anatomy

1.2 Causes

The tendons in the fingers are responsible for the free movement of the fingers and thumb. A tendon sheath is a place where tendons move along. If inflamed or swollen, these tendons obstruct the smooth movement of tendons and, thus, the finger itself. This situation causes the fingers to lock or stay in the same uncomfortable position (bent or straight), known as a triggering or snapping sensation. 

The significant causes of trigger fingers are – 

  • Overuse of fingers and hand 
  • Repetitive hand movements 
  • Continuous gripping activities 
  • Medical conditions ( diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, previous injury, carpal tunnel syndrome) 
  • Forceful use of fingers 
  • Contact friction and vibration
trigger finger exercises
Photo by: Min An/ Pexels. Copyrights October 1st, 2018

1.3 Prevention

Some activities that help prevent the risk of trigger finger – 

  • Avoid activities that need repetitive gripping or pinching 
  • Avoid the usage of vibrating equipment
  • Avoid activities that need locking or catching of fingers
  • Avoid tight gripping and holding of objects 
  • Doing regular trigger finger exercises

1.4 Diagnosis & Treatment

Generally, the doctor diagnoses the trigger finger by looking at and gently pressing the swollen parts. Based on the physical examinations, sometimes you’re suggested to do an Ultrasound, MRI, or X-Ray. 

Based on diagnosis, severity, duration, and results, the proper treatment is suggested, and the treatment list includes – 

  • Splints during nights
  • NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  • Change in the activities
  • Hand therapy 
  • Trigger finger exercises and stretches
  • Rest to the affected area
  • Surgery
trigger finger exercises
Photo by: Liza Summer/ Pexels. Copyrights January 3rd, 2021

2. Trigger Finger Exercises

Trigger finger exercises help reduce pain and control the condition’s worsening. Generally, doctors and physicians suggest exercises, which are simple and easy, before suggesting any future treatments.

The main aim of the Trigger Finger Exercises is to reduce and mostly eliminate the swelling in the affected finger and muscles. 

Top 3 Finger Stiffness Exercises (Beginner)

2.1 Finger Curls / Finger Curl Exercise

  • Rest the back of your hands on a table or a flat surface.

  • Rest the elbow on a flat surface.

  • Now make sure that your palm is facing towards your body.

  • Clench your hand into a fist, but a loose one. 

  • Slowly uncurl the thumb facing to the normal position and fingers at the same time.

  • Focus on the affected finger.

  • Then, stretch your fingers until they are fully extended. 

  • Hold for 2-3 seconds and curl your thumb and fingers into a loose fist. 

  • Do it 10-15 times a day. 

Finger curls are the most performable exercises for the trigger finger, as they can be done anytime. It is best for the thumb and other fingers to relax from the stiffness and inflammation. 

Trigger finger exercise
Photo by: Ketut Subiyanto/ Pexels. Copyrights June 23rd, 2020

2.2 Side-by-Side Wrist Bend

  • Place your forearm on a table or flat surface, arms facing downwards, in a relaxed position. 

  • Bring both arms and wrists into a straight position.

  • Slowly bend your wrists to the right by moving your hands towards your body. 

  • Hold for a few seconds. 

  • Straighten the wrists and relax the arms.

  • Repeat the same by bending your wrists to the left. 

  • Perform it 10-15 times on each side, 2-3 sets daily. 

The side-by-side wrist bend exercise is best among the trigger finger exercises for strengthening the wrist, fingers, and hand muscles. It improves flexibility and motion in the wrist. 

2.3 Ball Squeeze or Palm Press Exercise

  • Sit in a relaxed position, and hold a hand exercise ball or a small ball or small objects.

  • Squeeze the ball slowly and gradually tighten the grip i.e., squeeze tightly – feel the finger muscles contract. 

  • Hold for a few seconds there and then release. 

  • Repeat 10-15 times and 2-3 days a day. 

Trigger Finger Exercises
Image by Anete Lusina, from Pexels Copyrights December 31st, 2020

The ball squeeze exercise of trigger finger exercises is good for strengthening the muscles in the fingers, palms, wrists, hands, and hands as it improves blood circulation in the area. 

2.4 Clenched Wrist Bend Exercise

  • Place your forearm loosely on a desk or flat surface, palm dealing downwards.

  • Try that your thumb facing upwards.

  • Slowly bend the wrist upwards and make a loose fist.

  • Now tighten the fist a bit. 

  • Make the first move toward your body. 

  • Hold for a few seconds. 

  • Slowly straighten the fingers, and relax the finger, wrists, and hands.

  • Repeat 10-15 times, 2-3 times a day. 

Clenched wrist bend trigger finger exercises are best to reduce inflammation at the base of fingers and give flexible movement in the wrist. 

Trigger finger exercise
Photo by: Marta Wave/ Pexels. Copyrights January 10th, 2021

2.5 Bent Finger Exercise

  • Relax your arms. 

  • Hold the affected hand straight and spread the fingers. 

  • Now slowly bend one finger at a time towards the palm, gently using the other hand. 

  • Hold in the same position for a few seconds. 

  • Then slowly straighten your fingers to the initial position. 

  • Relax them to a normal position. 

  • Repeat it with all the fingers 5-10 times, 2 -3 times daily.   

The bent finger is among the beneficial trigger finger exercises in improving the range or flexibility of the fingers and overall hand functions. 

2.6 Finger Extensor Stretch for Affected Finger

  • Sit or stand comfortably. 

  • Rest the affected hand on a flat surface or a table or a solid surface. 

  • Hold the affected finger, and use your opposite hand. 

  • Now raise a finger gently and slowly. See that all the other fingers are at rest. 

  • Move the finger as up as you can until you don’t feel the pain. 

  • Hold in that position for a few seconds. 

  • Now release and set it to be in a normal position. 

  • Repeat it 5-10 times, 2-3 times a day, with all the fingers. 

Finger extensor stretch is one of the best trigger finger exercises for the improvement of fingers and for reducing inflammation in the tendons. 

Trigger finger exercise
Photo by: Kevin Malik/ Pexels. Copyrights August 1st, 2021

2.7 Hand Clenches

  • Be in your comfortable position (either sitting or standing).

  • Keep your hand straight on a flat surface, palm facing downwards. 

  • Let the thumb face upwards. 

  • Keep the wrist straight.

  • Slowly and loosely clench your hand into a fist.

  • Hold it for 2-3 seconds.

  • Now relax by unclenching the fist by slowly straightening all the fingers.

  • Do it 10-15 times and 2-3 times a day. 

Hand clenches are one of the easiest trigger finger exercises that help in the stretching and strengthening of the tendons connected from the fingers to the wrist and hand. 

3. How do the Trigger Finger Exercises Help?

Trigger finger exercises
Photo by: Kate/ Pexels. Copyrights February 23rd, 2023
  • Trigger finger exercises and stretches help alleviate pain and symptoms of the trigger finger.

  • They also improve and increase the flexibility and range of motion of the affected finger.

  • No side effects or aftereffects until you do the trigger finger exercises correctly. So, trigger finger exercises are better options than all other treatments and therapies. 

  • The trigger finger exercises are gentle stretches and strengthening exercises that help in easing stiffness in the triggered finger.

  • Boosts blood circulation in the affected area and promotes the healing process. 

  • Helps maintain strength in the affected fingers and, wrist & hand.  

  • Prevents the contraction of the muscles in the fingers, thus reducing the rupture of tendons and inflammation of muscles. 

4. Precautions & Warmup

  • Choose the trigger finger exercises for your wrist, hand, and fingers carefully, as too much preself-massagece might put you at risk. 

  • Never forget self-massage (apply pressure, a little)before starting and finding the Trigger finger exercises.

    Trigger Finger Exercises
    Image by Rene Asmcconditions, from Pexels Copyrights  September 29th, 2022
  • Never do any exercise in painful conditions.

  • Be consistent and perform the trigger finger exercises in the correct motion to enjoy positive results. 

  • Every movement of trigger finger exercises should be gentler as the fingers are very delicate. 

  • Always choose a painless and comfortable height and perform Trigger Finger Exercises in a relaxed position. 

  • Warm up your hand to maximize the efforts without much force on the fingers and muscles.

  • Always start the exercises with low resistance and gradually increase the resistance as you see the improvement. 

  • If you have medical conditions, ask for advice from your doctor. 

  • Regularly update yourself with knowledge of trigger finger and trigger finger exercises. 

5. When to Visit The Doctor?

  • You should see the difference against the persistent pain with consistent efforts in doing trigger finger exercises. If you don’t observe any changes even after a few weeks, visit your doctor for advice. 

  • If you have medical conditions, before starting any exercise, take advice from your doctor. 

  • If you feel constant pain in the muscles while doing trigger finger exercises, visit a doctor immediately. 

Trigger Finger: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments | Dr. Brian White

6. Conclusion

The easy, precise, and painstaking trigger finger exercises are suitable to adopt, not just for people with trigger fingers but for all. They have great relaxing power, releasing stress in fingers and hands, thus reducing future risk. Activate the fingers with trigger finger exercises. 

7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can trigger fingers be cured with exercise?                                                     

A1. Trigger finger usually gets better with rest, splinting, and OTC medications. Gentle stretching exercises can help ease stiffness and increase the range of movement in the affected hand. Anyone who experiences severe or persistent pain from a trigger finger should speak to a doctor.

Q2. What is the major cause of the trigger finger?                                                 

A2. The main cause of the trigger finger is swelling and inflammation around the tendon. Without treatment, the finger may become locked in the bent position. People who have hobbies or jobs that require repetitive gripping or squeezing are more likely to develop trigger fingers, as are people with diabetes.

Q3. Is trigger finger a form of arthritis?                                                                   

A3. If your thumb or finger gets stuck in a bent position, you probably have a condition called trigger finger. While it can be preceded by a hand injury or strain, the trigger finger is most commonly associated with arthritis.

Q4. How long does the trigger finger usually last?                                                 

A4. It will probably take about 6 weeks for your finger to heal completely. After it heals, your finger may move easily without pain.

Q5. Is heat or ice better for trigger fingers?                                                             

A5. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and heat relaxes the muscles. Heat therapy should only be implemented 48 hours after the initial onset of the condition. Using heat sooner can increase inflammation, which causes additional damage. As such, cold therapy should be used for the first 48 hours.


You can also learn about Trx Exercises and Balancing exercises for seniors

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by somya909