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7 Trigger Finger Exercises for Pain, Stiffness, and More

A trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls that finger can’t glide smoothly in the surrounding sheath. This condition is usually the result of inflammation or irritation in the tendons that control the movement of your fingers. The condition can be painful and limit your ability to perform everyday tasks.

In this blog, we’ll explore seven trigger finger exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine to manage your condition effectively.

  1. Finger Flexor Stretch

The finger flexor stretch is an excellent exercise to alleviate stiffness and improve the flexibility of your fingers. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Start by extending your affected hand in front of you with your palm facing down.

Step 2: Use your unaffected hand to push your fingers back toward your forearm.

Step 3: Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Step 4: Release and repeat the stretch 3-5 times for each finger.

This exercise helps to increase the flexibility of the finger tendons, making it easier to move your fingers without triggering pain.

  1. Tendon Gliding Exercises

Tendon gliding exercises stretch and flex the tendons in your fingers. They help to reduce adhesions, improve finger mobility, and minimize discomfort. Here are the steps to perform these exercises:

  • Exercise 1: Straight Fist

Step 1: Begin with your hand in a relaxed, straight fist.

Step 2: Slowly open your hand and spread your fingers wide apart.

Step 3: Close your hand back into a fist.

Step 4: Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

  • Exercise 2: Hook Fist

Step 1: Start with your hand in a straight fist.

Step 2: Bend your fingers at the middle joints while keeping the knuckles straight.

Step 3: Return to a straight fist.

Step 4: Perform this movement 10-15 times.

  • Exercise 3: Full Fist

Step 1: Begin with your hand in a straight fist.

Step 2: Bend all your finger joints to make a full fist.

Step 3: Return to a straight fist.

Step 4: Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

  1. Thumb and Finger Stretches

These stretches help improve the range of motion in your thumb and fingers, reducing pain and stiffness. Here’s how to do them:

Step 1: Hold your affected hand up with your palm facing you.

Step 2: Use your unaffected hand to gently push the thumb of your affected hand back towards your wrist.

Step 3: Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds.

Step 4: Release and repeat the stretch 3-5 times for each finger and thumb.

  1. Ball Squeezes

Squeezing a stress ball or a soft rubber ball can help strengthen the muscles and tendons in your hand and fingers. It’s an effective exercise for improving grip strength and reducing pain associated with the trigger finger. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Hold a stress or rubber ball in your affected hand.

Step 2: Squeeze the ball as hard as possible without causing pain.

Step 3: Hold the squeeze for 5 seconds.

Step 4: Release and relax your hand.

Step 5: Repeat this exercise 10-15 times with each hand.

  1. Tendon Tapping

It is an exercise that can help stimulate blood flow to the affected finger tendons and promote healing. Here’s how to perform this exercise:

Step 1: Lay your affected hand on a flat surface with your fingers extended.

Step 2: Use the fingers of your unaffected hand to tap the affected finger’s tendon area gently.

Step 3: Tap for about 1-2 minutes.

Step 4: Repeat this exercise 2-3 times a day.

Tendon tapping can increase circulation and alleviate stiffness and discomfort in the affected finger.

  1. Range of Motion Exercise

Range of motion exercises helps to restore flexibility and agility in your affected finger. These movements should be done gently to avoid overexertion. Here are two range-of-motion exercises:

  • Finger Stretching

Step 1: Extend your affected hand with your fingers straight.

Step 2: Gradually bend your affected finger joints as much as possible without causing pain.

Step 3: Hold the bent position for a few seconds.

Step 4: Straighten your fingers again.

Step 5: Repeat this exercise 10-15 times for each finger.

  1. Table Slides

Table slides are simple exercises that help to reduce friction between the affected tendons and the surrounding tissues. They encourage smooth finger movement and can be particularly effective for managing the trigger finger. Here’s how to perform table slides:

Step 1: Sit at a table with your affected hand in front of you, palm facing down.

Step 2: Use your unaffected hand to gently slide your affected fingers back and forth on the table.

Step 3: Perform this sliding motion for 2-3 minutes.

Step 4: Repeat this exercise 2-3 times a day.

Final Words

Trigger finger can be painful and frustrating, but with the right exercises and consistent effort, you can manage your symptoms effectively. Otherwise, you can also use a hand gripper that will focus on increasing flexibility, reducing stiffness, and improving the range of motion in your fingers and hands. Remember to perform these exercises gently and consistently to achieve the best results.

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