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Best Exercises For Trigger Finger

Find relief from trigger finger with a curated selection of exercises targeting finger mobility and flexibility.

  • 29 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read

Stenosing Tenosynovitis, referred to as Trigger finger, is a finger and thumb condition resulting in pain, stiffness, and a clicking sensation when moving. This condition develops when the tendons of the affected finger become inflamed or irritated, causing challenges in finger extension or flexion. Although severe cases may require medical treatments like splinting, medication or surgery, exercises can significantly reduce discomfort and regain mobility for individuals with trigger fingers. Let’s delve into some of the most effective exercises for trigger fingers.


List of the best exercises for trigger finger

  • Finger tendon gliding
  • Rubber band stretch
  • Thumb flexor stretch
  • Ball squeeze
  • Active finger extension


1.    Finger tendon gliding

Finger tendon gliding exercises provide an excellent way to maintain the flexibility and strength of the tendons and ligaments in the affected finger. Begin by straightening your affected finger gently. Then, slowly bend the finger at the middle joint while keeping the rest of the finger straight. Gradually bend the tip of the finger, followed by the base joint.


Reverse the motion, starting with the base joint, followed by the middle and tip joints. Perform this exercise slowly and calmly, aiming for 10 repetitions per session. It helps to improve tendon gliding, reduce adhesions, and enhance overall finger mobility.


2.    Rubber band stretch

A simple yet viable activity includes utilising a rubber band to develop finger strength and flexibility further. Place a rubber band around your thumb and fingertips on the impacted hand. Gently spread your fingers apart against the resistance of the rubber band and then release. Repeat this motion about 10-15 times. This exercise helps to enhance the strength of the muscles and tendons responsible for finger movement and can help reduce the symptoms of the trigger finger.


3.    Thumb flexor stretch

The trigger finger can often affect the thumb, causing discomfort and reduced mobility. The thumb flexor stretch can help alleviate these issues. Hold your affected hand out in front of you with the palm facing away. Gently use your other hand to pull the thumb back, creating a stretch along the inner part of the wrist and thumb base. Hold this stretch for about 15-20 seconds and repeat it a few times. This exercise aids in maintaining the flexibility of the thumb tendons and can contribute to reducing inflammation.


4.    Ball squeeze

Improving grip strength and finger dexterity is crucial in managing the trigger finger. A simple ball squeeze exercise can be highly beneficial. Hold a stress ball or soft rubber ball in your affected hand and gently squeeze it for about 5-10 seconds before releasing it. Repeat this squeezing motion about 10-15 times. This exercise targets the muscles responsible for finger flexion and extension, reducing stiffness and enhancing finger movement.


5.    Active finger extension

Active finger extensions are trigger thumb exercises focused on improving the extension capability of the affected finger. Start by putting your hand level on a table with your fingers spread apart. Gently lift your impacted finger while keeping the other fingers on the table. Hold this extended position for a few seconds before lowering the finger back down. Aim for 10 repetitions of this exercise. Active finger extension exercises help to prevent finger stiffness and promote better movement.

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Trigger finger can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, but one can effectively manage its symptoms with consistent exercises. It's vital to note that one should perform these activities gently and without causing pain. If pain or discomfort persists, counselling by a clinical expert before performing the exercises is prudent.  


In addition to these exercises for trigger finger, maintaining proper hand hygiene, avoiding repetitive gripping motions, and incorporating ergonomic practices into daily activities can further alleviate trigger finger symptoms. By combining these exercises with proper care, individuals with trigger fingers can work towards restoring normal finger mobility and enjoying a more comfortable quality of life.


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