How to Remedy Trigger Finger
It seems that trigger finger is not the most common of injuries that people experience, but when it occurs, it is a real nuisance. It affects your ability to grab objects and can be very painful. For those not sure what trigger finger is, it is a syndrome that occurs when you bend a finger and the finger locks in position at some point and will not completely straighten again. For most people when this occurs, the only way to extend the finger is to use the other hand. Upon extending the finger, there is severe snapping feeling and severe pain at the affected joint.
Many believe that the cause is the result of some abnormality of the structure at the affected joint. The solution in most cases is the same for most issues relating to pain; a cortisone shot to the joint. In cases I have treated, some people have told me they had a short term relief of the symptoms and others there was no resolution of the symptoms with a cortisone shot. As I will always attest to, regardless of the cause of pain, cortisone will never resolve the cause; it will only mask the symptom.
I see trigger finger in a way that most have never attempted to view it and I would like to share this premise with you.The tendons that run on top and below your fingers to the tips begin as muscles that originate at the elbow. The muscles/tendons pass several joints to reach the tips of the fingers. When the muscles strain, there is a tendency for them to shorten. When the tendons on the top of the fingers are shortened enough and you bend your fingers, once you pass a certain point, the joint can no longer straighten due to the compressive forces of the severely shortened muscle/tendons. The pain that is experienced at the joint when you straighten it is due to the excessive rubbing of the joint surfaces created by the tightened muscle/tendon.
The solution to resolving trigger finger is to strengthen the wrist and finger extensors. Wrist extension exercises can be performed with a dumbbell by sitting next to a surface like a table and placing the forearm on the surface with the palm facing down and the wrist just off the surface. Holding a weight in the hand, allow the wrist to bend toward the floor as far as it can go and then raise the weight bending the wrist upward as far as it can go while still keeping the forearm flat on the surface.
Complete the exercise by performing three sets of ten repetitions with a resistance that makes it somewhat difficult to complete the all ten repetitions. This will provide the strengthening of the appropriate muscles to help these muscles to maintain their length and allow the finger joints to bend and extend without locking. To strengthen the finger extensors, simply place a rubber band around the fingers and open the fingers against the resistance of the rubber band. Three sets of ten repetitions will do. Try to progressively find rubber bands with increasing resistance.
I have used this technique to resolve my patients' trigger finger issues. You should give it a try.
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