Treat Trigger Finger

Repetitive squeezing motions can lead to trigger finger.

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is often the result of repeated gripping and squeezing motions related to work or hobbies. This painful condition is caused by narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger, which causes the affected finger to become temporarily stuck in a bent position. Trigger finger occurs more frequently in women than in men and in people with diabetes, but it can happen to anyone. If the pain is severe or the condition lasts more than a few days, make an appointment with your doctor.

Avoid Repetition

If your job or hobby requires repetitive gripping motions, it can be difficult to avoid them. However, medical practitioners recommend avoiding repetitive gripping motions for at least three to four weeks after symptoms appear. If your job requires repetitive gripping motions, talk to your employer about switching tasks while you recover from the injury.

Basic Home Care

Soaking the affected finger in an alternating mixture of warm and cold water can help reduce pain related to trigger finger. Soak your hand three to four timers per day, alternating between warm and cold water every 30 seconds for four minutes. Gently massaging the affected area may help reduce pain, but the benefits are temporary.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can sometimes help relieve swelling that constricts the affected tendon and pain related to trigger finger. Always use NSAIDs as instructed by the manufacturer. Talk to your doctor before using over-the-counter drugs if you’re taking prescription medication.

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Use a Splint

Using a splint on the affected finger to help keep it straight can minimize pain that occurs when your finger or thumb catches and locks in place. Keeping the finger straight in a splint can also help prevent you from squeezing or using your finger in a way that could cause symptoms to linger or affect healing.

Cortisone Injection

A localized cortisone injection is the most rapidly effective treatment of trigger finger, according to Medicine Net. In most cases, patients respond well to cortisone injection after only one treatment. However, severe cases that aren’t better after two injections may require surgery. Talk with your doctor about getting a cortisone injection if your symptoms are severe.


Preventing trigger finger before it happens is important. Trigger finger is commonly caused by repetitive gripping motions. If you must perform repetitive gripping motions, try switching hands from time to time if possible, and take breaks regularly. Add basic hand stretching exercises to your daily routine. Certain conditions like arthritis and diabetes, as well as the medications used to treat them can also make you more susceptible to trigger finger. Talk to your doctor about preventative exercises and medication options if trigger finger is a concern.