How to Treat Trigger Finger at Home

Struggling with trigger finger? You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort it causes – there are simple treatments you can do at home! In this article, you will learn about the best ways to treat trigger finger without leaving your home.

Quick facts: Treating Trigger Finger At Home

  • ✅ Stretching exercises and avoiding activities that may have caused the condition can help manage trigger finger at home – Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ Trigger finger is more common in women than men – National Institutes of Health
  • ✅ A splint may be used to keep the affected finger straight and reduce the discomfort caused by trigger finger – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
  • ✅ Ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce inflammation and pain – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • ✅ Nearly half of trigger finger cases can be resolved without surgery – American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • Introduction

    Trigger finger is an inflammatory condition which can cause the fingers and thumb of your hand to feel painful and stiff, as if they are permanently locked in a bent position. It is caused by swelling of the tendons in your hand, commonly around the base of your thumb joint.

    While this condition can be quite painful, it is possible to treat trigger finger at home. Home treatment involves:

    • Rest
    • Splinting
    • Range-of-motion exercises
    • Stretching
    • Medication to reduce inflammation
    • Pain relief

    Additionally, there are other considerations that may be beneficial in managing trigger finger, such as using ice or heat therapy and over-the counter pain medications. For more severe cases requiring medical attention, surgery may be recommended.

    What is Trigger Finger?

    Trigger finger, medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is an irritation and swelling of the tendon sheath that occurs in the thumb and fingers. It’s caused by repetitive motion or strain of the finger or thumb that makes it difficult to flex or extend the joint.

    This article will discuss what trigger finger is and how to treat it at home:


    Trigger finger is a condition caused by the thickening of tissue which surrounds the tendons in the fingers. This can cause the tendon to become irritated and swollen, making it harder to move your finger. It can also be accompanied by clicking or locking of the joint in your finger when you try to bend or straighten it.

    Trigger finger is most commonly seen in individuals between 40 and 60 years old but can affect anyone at any age. It is also more common in women than men. Some common causes of trigger finger include repetitive movements, injuries, arthritis, gout, and diabetes. In addition, some studies suggest that individuals who are involved in strenuous manual labor are more susceptible to developing this condition as well.

    Regardless of the cause, trigger finger can lead to pain and discomfort when trying to bend or straighten your fingers.


    Trigger finger is a medical condition that affects the tendons in the fingers or thumb. The condition causes the affected tendons to become swollen and thick, which can make it difficult for them to move accurately and smoothly through their sheaths.

    Common symptoms associated with trigger finger include:

    • Pain,
    • Swelling, and
    • Stiffness around the affected finger or thumb joint.

    In some cases, people may hear a popping or clicking sound when they move their finger or thumb. Additionally, some people may find that it is difficult to straighten or bend their affected digit completely.

    Treatment for trigger finger depends on the severity of symptoms and how long they have lasted; home care measures can be helpful in most cases and more serious cases usually require medical intervention.

    Treating Trigger Finger at Home

    Trigger finger is a condition in which a person’s finger becomes locked in a bent position or clicks when straightening. Fortunately, it can often be treated at home with a few simple steps. Here we will discuss how you can treat trigger finger without resorting to medications or surgeries:

    Rest the Affected Finger

    Treating trigger finger at home typically involves the affected digit being rested. Resting the finger can help prevent worsening of the condition and further pain or stiffness. This means limiting activities that involve gripping, squeezing or other movements with the finger and instead allowing it to rest, especially in a neutral (straight) position. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends resting your finger as soon as you notice any symptoms such as pain, snapping or locking sensations, so you don’t overuse it and make the condition worse.

    Other conservative treatments may include:

    • Using heat or cold compresses on the affected joint to reduce inflammation and swelling.
    • Doing stretching exercises for range of motion.
    • Wearing a splint or brace.
    • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

    Surgery is reserved for more severe cases which do not respond to these measures.

    Apply Heat or Cold Therapy

    Heat or cold therapy is an easy way to treat Trigger Finger at home. Heat can help reduce stiffness and pain, while cold therapy reduces swelling.

    • For heat therapy, use a hot water bottle or heat pack, applied directly to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. You should also take regular breaks to prevent over-heating of the skin.
    • For cold therapy, use a frozen gel pack, ice wrapped in a blanket or other material such as cold compresses or ice massage applied directly to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in something so that it does not come in direct contact with your skin.

    To maximize results and comfort level, you can alternate between heat and cold therapies.

    Take Anti-inflammatory Medication

    Anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms of Trigger Finger. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may help reduce swelling, relieve pain and stiffness, and improve finger movement. It is important to follow instructions for taking the medication provided by your physician or pharmacist. If you experience any adverse effects from taking medications, consult your doctor immediately.

    In addition to NSAIDs, corticosteroids may be prescribed in the form of injections to reduce inflammation in the affected area. Corticosteroids are more effective when injected directly into the area than when taken orally.

    Wear a Splint

    Wearing a splint is one of the most effective ways to treat Trigger Finger at home. A splint is a device that immobilizes the hand and keeps all the fingers in a straightened position.

    To use, place the wrist of your affected hand in the brace and extend it above your head. The adjustable straps should be slightly tightened to create enough tension to keep the finger straight and immobile. Wear it for no more than 15 minutes at once and limit it to 2-3 times per day for enhanced recovery.

    Splints need to be tight but not too tight as to cause discomfort – you should still be able to move your hand when wearing it. You may experience some soreness after wearing the splint, however, this usually subsides quickly after taking off the splint.

    If you are dealing with recurring or chronic pain from Trigger Finger, speak with your healthcare provider about other possible treatment options such as steroid injections or surgery.

    When to See a Doctor

    If you’re experiencing symptoms of trigger finger, it is important to consult with your doctor. Trigger finger can sometimes be associated with other conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, which can be treated more effectively if caught in its early stages. Additionally, the longer you wait before seeking treatment, the worse your symptoms may become.

    Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination first to confirm a diagnosis of trigger finger. During this exam, he or she will test your range of motion and check for any signs of swelling or tenderness at the base of the affected finger or thumb. You may also be asked to run through a series of tests that involve straightening and bending your fingers in various ways.

    After a thorough exam, your doctor may suggest splinting and/or steroid injections to help manage pain and reduce inflammation. If these treatments are unsuccessful or if you’re experiencing severe discomfort, then surgery may be recommended as the next step in treatment.


    Trigger finger is a common condition that can be treated at home with simple measures such as rest, splinting, massage, hot and cold therapy, over-the-counter medications, and stretching. In cases of severe or prolonged pain and stiffness, medical attention may be needed to get relief. If trigger finger doesn’t respond to home care measures, then surgery may be needed to correct the problem.

    Before treating any type of injury or condition at home, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional in order to rule out any potential complications or further diagnosis.

    FAQs about: Treating Trigger Finger At Home

    Q: What is trigger finger?

    A: Trigger finger is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position, which can cause pain and difficulty straightening the finger.

    Q: What are the symptoms of trigger finger?

    A: Symptoms of trigger finger include tenderness at the base of the affected finger, popping or clicking when you move your finger, stiffness in the finger, and difficulty straightening the finger.

    Q: What are some treatments for trigger finger?

    A: Treatments for trigger finger include rest, splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, and in some cases, surgical release of the finger.

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