"Welcome to Spire Orthopaedic Centre. We are a one stop, full service Orthopaedic Centre to meet your diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation needs for all your bone, joint and back pain conditions." Call Us at 8031 4388
whatsapp 80314388

Trigger Finger: Prevention, Treatment & Rehab

14th Jun 2021

If you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re looking for ways to prevent or treat your trigger finger without having to undergo surgery. If left untreated, the affected finger can become permanently bent, which makes performing your daily tasks difficult.

 In this article, we discuss ways for you to treat trigger finger without having to undergo surgery along with the tools that you can use during treatment.

Trigger Finger: Symptoms and Causes

 Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a painful condition that makes your fingers or thumb catch or locks when you bend them. It can affect any finger or more than one finger at a time. You can also have it in both hands.

It generally occurs due to inflammation of the tendons that flex your fingers, causing you to experience pain and finger stiffness. And most of the time, the inflammation is caused by repeated movements or forceful use of your finger or thumb.

You see, tendons are fibrous cords that attach your muscles to your bones and each tendon is surrounded by a protective sheath. A tendon usually glides easily through the sheath but long-term irritation of the tendon sheath can lead to scarring and thickening that affect your tendon’s motion.

When this happens, bending your finger or thumb pulls on the inflamed tendon through a narrowed sheath which makes it snap or pop. In severe cases of trigger finger, this condition may limit the affected finger’s movement, making it difficult for you to straighten or bend your finger.

trigger finger | Spire Ortho

 Trigger Finger Singapore: Treatment without Surgery 

Treatment for trigger finger in Singapore usually varies depending on the severity of your symptoms. According to Green’s Classification, the symptoms of trigger finger can be divided into 4 grades.


Symptoms and Signs

Grade 1

Palm pain and tenderness at the A1 pulley

Grade 2

Catching of digit

Grade 3

Locking of the digit, passively correctable

Grade 4

Fixed, locked digit

If you experience mild to moderate symptoms of trigger finger, you likely don’t need surgery to relieve the pain and finger stiffness. Here are some treatment options for mild cases of trigger finger:

Take Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the inflammation that’s causing your trigger finger. But like all medicines, there’s a risk of taking NSAIDs for the long term.

Hence, they’re not suitable for everyone and usually not recommended as a long-term treatment. If you experience any side effects, quit taking your medication and consult your doctor.

Go for Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy will help to relieve pain and stiffness in your affected finger, allowing you to regain functional mobility. The therapy includes performing a self-massage, hot and cold therapy, and stretching and strengthening exercises.

These therapies work to facilitate blood flow and lubricate the joint for movement; relax your tendons and muscles; and restore movement and maintain adequate strength of your hand grip.

Cortisone Injections

Corticosteroid injections work to reduce inflammation at the affected tendon, allowing it to move freely several days or weeks after the injection. It requires liquid corticosteroids to be injected into the tendon sheath at the base of the affected finger or thumb.

The injections are effective for some but less effective in people with underlying conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, you may need a second injection if the effect wears off and it’s usually less effective than the first injection.

Use a Splint

The use of a splint on the affected finger or thumb will immobilise your finger for a few weeks, especially if you’re showing mild symptoms of trigger finger. That way, you can keep the pain or stiffness at bay.

Using a splint also helps to keep your trigger finger straight and not allow it to bend or move in any direction, hence preventing the possibility of any shooting pain in it. Also, if your finger is stiff in the morning, using a splint overnight can help relieve the stiffness.

While this trigger finger treatment helps prevent your symptoms from progressing, it’s not a long-term solution as you may still experience pain that can be bothersome over time.

Hence, you should consult your doctor or an orthopaedist for the best trigger finger treatment. If you have a mild case of trigger finger, your doctor may provide you with a splint that’s designed to keep your affected finger still as well as help relax the tendon.

At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without having to travel to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.

With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, that’s tailored just for you at our clinic.