Consult a doctor before undertaking trigger finger exercises.
You should consult a medical professional before starting any trigger finger exercises or treatment program so you do not cause more damage or delay the healing of the affected finger.
Your doctor may suggest that you perform gentle finger exercises which can help you to maintain mobility in your finger.
Exercises can be done to maintain range of motion and, to regain strength in your fingers if your condition requires surgery.
Unlike a strengthening exercise of a healthy joint, trigger finger exercises require a tender touch.
This injury is not a result of a lack of strength in the finger; it is a tendon issue that stops finger mobility. Placing the finger in warm water and rotating it is a great way to warm up the tendons and to help stretch the finger, regaining some of the range of motion.
Move your finger in slow, gentle circles and, gently massage the finger. Your goal is to gradually increase the range of motion in the finger and to increase the blood supply to the affected area.
Trigger finger exercises include massage will will help. Until the problem is resolved, repetitive gripping of objects may only worsen the problem. Between trigger finger exercises, splint the finger and give it lots of rest. You may also need to take anti-inflammatory medicine to ease any pain.
Because the mobility is locked as a result of specific tendon tightening, releasing the tension and then exercising the opposite action will help to elongate the finger. Massaging your trigger finger can help loosen up tight muscles and tendons that make moving your digit difficult. You’ll feel a nodule in your finger where the tendon sheath has narrowed. Manipulating this nodule provides a warm friction that can relieve some of your pain. Work across, in a transverse motion, as you massage your affected finger with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand.
A transverse friction massage helps to break down the sheath and allows the finger to extend. This should be immediately followed by stretching the finger, either actively or passively to lengthen the tendon.
Trigger finger exercises should be specific to the motion opposite of gripping–extending the finger. This builds muscles to compensate for the gripping imbalance.
When the finger is warm, gradually flex and extend the finger. Do several repetitions over the course of two minutes. Do not continue if there is pain. Repeat these passive stretches throughout the day instead of working in one marathon session. Your objective is to gradually return the finger to its normal position without further inflaming the tendons or the tendon sheath.
1. Stretch finger/s towards palm with other hand and hold position.
2. Extend finger using other hand and hold position.
Passive trigger finger exercises may also be helpful.
Gliding techniques that force tendons and muscle to contract by stimulating a point can help elongate and realign the tendon.
This is a method used in Active Release Techniques (ART) for trigger finger, chiropractic methods and some physiotherapists. It also works deep into the tissue to break up any toxic scars similar to a friction massage.
Trigger finger exercises – Active Stretching
Use your other hand to gently pull and push the affected finger into the correct, natural position. Do not apply force, just easy pressure. Again, the objective is to restore a full range of movement over time without incurring further irritation or tissue damage.
Flexing your fingers can maintain the flexibility in your fingers and eliminate some of the stiffness you feel. Mild cases of trigger finger may resolve themselves solely with rest from gripping and other repetitive movements. Exercising your fingers keeps them fluid during the rest and recovery process. Close your fingers as far as you can into a fist, then extend all of your fingers into a straightened position. You may need to manually straighten out your trigger finger as much as it will go without pain. Work gently and don’t force it.
Loosen the muscles in all of your fingers, including the area affected by stenosing tenosynovitis, through finger-thumb touches. One by one touch each finger tip to the pad of your thumb. You may be prescribed this or similar exercises post-surgery as well as a form of non-surgical treatment. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says trigger fingers that are especially rigid and stiff before surgery may benefit from trigger finger exercises and stretches afterward to loosen the tendons and muscles.
The above trigger finger exercises are just guidelines. Your therapist may change or add trigger finger exercises as per appropriate.
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