Trigger finger causes swelling around and in the hand’s tendons, leading to pain when bending the affected finger and may eventually limit finger and thumb movement. Trigger finger massage is a non-surgical treatment option for addressing the condition. You can get a massage for trigger finger from a hand therapist or self-administer at home. Keep reading to learn all about trigger finger massage.
How Does Massage For Trigger Finger Help?
There are many benefits to massaging the fingers affected by trigger finger. They include:
- Improving blood flow that aids in healing
- Provides pain relief
- Decreases inflammation of the affected finger
- Overall finger, hand and forearm relaxation
- Restoration of lost or declined finger and hand fiction
- Improved finger range of motion and tissue mobility to prevent contracture, especially if you’re using a wrist splint
- Decreases the risk of requiring trigger finger surgery, corticosteroid injections, and other invasive treatment options
- Decreases your dependence on anti-inflammatory medication
What are the Different Massage Techniques For Trigger Finger?
There are different techniques of trigger finger massage that professionals use to manage the condition. They include:
Deep Tissue Massage
This technique helps address the deep connective layers of your connective tissue and muscle. Target areas may include the thumb and generalised forearm areas that are tense and impaired. The goal of the massage is to decrease stiffness and improve finger and thumb movement.
This technique helps address the tendons and myofascial tissues with adhesives. Adhesives typically feel like lumps and are responsible for limited mobility, typical with trigger finger.
The focus is on the entire flexor tendons and along the tendon sheath, especially at the base of the palm. The massage can be sensitive for most patients due to the deep rhythmic pressure, but if you stay relaxed, you can reap great benefits.
Trigger Point Massage
The technique helps address the muscle knots that occur with trigger finger. Pressure is applied to the muscle knot to help realign the muscle fibres and restore blood flow.
This technique also addresses adhesions in the flexor tendons. Rather than going against the grain, slow deep pressure is placed against the entire tendon parallel to the affected finger.
What About Self-Massage Treatment At Home?
Sometimes, your doctor may advise you to massage the affected fingers at home to provide quick relief and improve your range of motion.
After seeing a hand therapist, it’s normal to have a little homework. Your hand therapist may teach you how to perform self-massage at home for certain hand conditions. It’s important that you speak to an expert before starting any treatment, as they can guide you on the best course.
An example of self-massage at home could be using small circular motions along the affected finger tendon and sore areas in the hand, wrist or forearm. Start at the tip of the affected finger using the other hand’s thumb and pointer finger, pinching them together, so they rotate in a circular motion.
When and How Often Should Your Perform Massage For Trigger Finger?
Most doctors advise a few minutes of hand massage daily with trigger finger exercises. That’s why it’s always good to combine professional massage and self-massage. If you start getting too sore, consider decreasing the frequency. If the pain decreases, increase the frequency to about twice a day. Your hand therapist will determine the exact frequency of massage based on your condition and individual progress.
What Precautions Should You Take During Trigger Finger Massage?
The saying of “no pain, no gain” may work in some circumstances, but in the case of trigger finger or carpal tunnel syndrome massage, you want to be careful not to cause more harm in the process. Some pain and discomfort are okay but being too rough can worsen the inflammation and exacerbate your symptoms.
This is especially true if your trigger finger results from a condition like rheumatoid arthritis. That’s why it’s so important to consult a physical therapist or hand therapist.
If you are considering massage for trigger finger and would like to learn about alternative treatment options, book an appointment with a hand specialist at the Harley Clinic today.
In the meantime, read our guide on the latest plastic surgery statistics in the UK.