Trigger Finger Treatment | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Trigger Finger Treatment

A man getting treatment for trigger finger

Trigger finger is a condition characterized by inflammation that narrows the sheath surrounding one or more of the tendons that move your fingers. When the tendon cannot move freely through the narrowed sheath, your finger gets locked in a bent position.

Diagnosis & Symptoms

Trigger finger is characterized by the following common symptoms:

  • Stiffness of the affected finger that is worse in the morning
  • Popping or clicking sensation when you extend your finger
  • Tenderness or a nodule the base of the affected finger
  • Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight
  • Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten

If you suspect that you are dealing with trigger finger, your doctor can make a diagnosis by inspecting your hand and fingers for evidence of locking. You’ll be asked to open and close your hand, and your doctor will inspect your palm to see if there is a telltale nodule at the base of the affected finger. If the nodule is associated with trigger finger, it will move when you move your finger.

Trigger Finger Treatment Options

You can choose surgical or non-surgical treatment for trigger finger depending on the severity and duration of your symptoms:

Trigger Finger Treatment Without Surgery

  • Medication – While not a trigger finger treatment, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken to reduce pain. However, these medications aren’t likely to reduce the swelling that is trapping the tendon.
  • Rest – It may be possible to relieve trigger finger symptoms by avoiding activities that set off inflammation, such as repetitive gripping and grasping or the prolonged use of vibrating hand-held machinery.
  • Finger splint – To rest the tendon and reduce inflammation, your doctor may recommend that you wear a splint at night to keep the finger extended.
  • Stretching – Gentle exercises can help to maintain mobility in your finger. You might also consult a licensed physical therapist about exercises to alleviate your symptoms and regain flexibility.
  • Steroid injection – The most common trigger finger treatment is a steroid medication injected into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation, allowing the tendon to glide freely again. This treatment is usually effective for about a year, although it may need to be administered twice.

Surgical Trigger Finger Treatment Options

  • Open surgery – Open surgery for trigger finger is performed through a small incision near the base of the finger. The surgeon cuts open the constricted section of tendon sheath so that the tendon can glide freely. 
  • Percutaneous release – This procedure also releases the tendon sheath tissue, but is performed in-office and uses a needle to break up the tissue.

Find Therapeutic Non-Surgical Treatment for Trigger Finger Symptoms in Chicago

You can rely on our team of experienced physical therapists to provide relief from your symptoms. Reach out to us to learn more about your options for trigger finger treatment without surgery in the southwest suburbs, or request an appointment today.