Trigger Finger and Physiotherapy / Massage

Your hand and fingers are a complex system of muscles and pulleys. These pulleys act as anchors for the tendons that pass under them and allows you to use your fingers in different positions. With these systems, your hand is able to make different shapes. These shapes and different fists allow for hand function in a variety of ways!

Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. The finger or thumb when you open and close your fist may click or catch. The finger or thumb may close and get “stuck” in that position or open and be unable to close.

When trigger finger happens, the flexor tendons of the finger , or pulley may be thickened or enlarged and become “stuck” during movement. The area may have local pain and a thickening or bump may be felt.

Most commonly this will happen where the finger attached to the palm. Many may recognize this as the palm side of the knuckle. It can happen less commonly further up the finger at the palm side of the joint, or where the finger bends.

If it is left untreated, the locking and catching may worsen and increase in frequency. It can also affect the range of motion and function of the hands and fingers.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

The cause of trigger finger isn’t always known. This is called idiopathic. It has been linked with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, previous trauma, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

How can Physiotherapy and Massage help with Trigger Finger?

Our Oakville Physiotherapists will be able to assess your trigger finger for its stage of “triggering”. They’ll also discuss a plan of action with you.

Many people leave a trigger finger until it starts becoming more stuck and they have more functional problems with it. As with most things, early intervention and treatment are important.

Physiotherapists are direct access. This means you can book an assessment with one of our Oakville Physio’s without requiring a prescription from your doctor. Your private insurance may require one, so it is best to check.

Treatment may include activity modification, using a splint / brace, self massage, heat, and exercises that promote mobility of the fingers.

Your massage therapist will massage that area, the forearm musculature and may provide stretching as well.

You should avoid letting the finger lock or click, as best you can.

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Physiotherapy for Hands and Wrists

Please do not be discouraged if your trigger finger is slow to change and improve. It takes time for the tissues to adapt in such a way where it triggers. It takes time and consistency for the tissues to adapt and tigger less / stop triggering. We generally believe it is best to begin conservative measures and if this is ineffective over the

If you suspect that you have trigger finger of are developing trigger finger, contact us at our North Oakville clinic. Our Physiotherapists will be happy to assess you and discuss a treatment plan with you.