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Exploring Treatment Options for Trigger Finger: The Role of Manual Therapy


Trigger finger, medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a common condition characterized by the painful locking or catching of a finger when bent. While trigger finger can be a source of significant discomfort and limitation in daily activities, there are several treatment options available to alleviate symptoms and restore functionality. In this article, we'll delve into various treatment modalities, with a particular focus on the effectiveness of manual therapy in managing trigger finger.

Understanding Trigger Finger:

Before delving into treatment options, it's crucial to understand the underlying causes of trigger finger. This condition occurs when the tendons in the finger become inflamed, causing them to catch or lock as they pass through the tendon sheath. Activities that involve repetitive gripping or the prolonged use of vibrating hand tools can contribute to the development of trigger finger. Additionally, conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes may increase the risk of developing this condition.

Treatment Options:

1. Rest and Activity Modification:

In mild cases of trigger finger, simply resting the affected finger and modifying activities that aggravate symptoms may be sufficient to alleviate discomfort. Avoiding repetitive gripping motions and taking frequent breaks during activities can help reduce inflammation and allow the affected tendon to heal.

2. Splinting:

Splinting the affected finger in a straight position can help reduce strain on the inflamed tendon and prevent it from catching or locking. Splinting is often recommended for nighttime use to maintain proper finger alignment and promote healing.

3. Corticosteroid Injections:

Corticosteroid injections are a common treatment option for moderate to severe cases of trigger finger. These injections help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms by targeting the inflamed tendon sheath. While corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief, repeated injections may be necessary for long-term management.

4. Surgery:

In cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be recommended. During surgery, the constricted tendon sheath is released to allow for smoother tendon movement. While surgery can be effective in resolving trigger finger, it carries the risk of complications and requires a period of rehabilitation.

The Role of Manual Therapy:

Manual therapy, including chiropractic care, can play a valuable role in the management of trigger finger. Chiropractors are trained to assess musculoskeletal conditions and provide targeted treatments to address underlying issues contributing to trigger finger.

Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization, and therapeutic exercises can help improve finger mobility, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain associated with trigger finger. Graston Technique, which is an instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization technique, is very effective in treating this type of condition. By addressing muscle imbalances, tissue restrictions, scar tissue and myofascial issues, chiropractors can promote optimal healing and help restore normal function to the affected finger.

In addition to hands-on treatments, chiropractors may also provide guidance on ergonomic principles and lifestyle modifications to prevent recurrence of trigger finger. By addressing contributing factors such as poor posture and repetitive strain, chiropractic care can help patients achieve long-term relief from trigger finger symptoms.


Trigger finger can be a source of significant discomfort and limitation for affected individuals. However, with the right treatment approach, it is possible to effectively manage symptoms and restore finger function. From conservative measures such as rest and splinting to more advanced interventions like corticosteroid injections and surgery, there are various treatment options available for trigger finger. Manual therapy, including chiropractic care, offers a holistic approach to managing trigger finger by addressing underlying musculoskeletal issues and promoting optimal healing. If you're experiencing symptoms of trigger finger, we may be able to help! Give us a call today at 651-232-6830 to learn more.


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