Help for Trigger Finger
In the last few weeks I have been having pain and a popping when bending the middle finger of the right hand. I mentioned it to my doctor and she said it was trigger finger. She told me to come back if it got worse. As I move through the day it gets less stiff and doesn’t get stuck.
I was wondering if this is something that has come up with yoga instructors. Is it the down dog or just years doing computer work that could give this grief. I am also now feeling the same feeling in the first finger left of the middle finger and the same fingers on the left hand.
I would really appreciate any help and or insight you could give? I have an appointment with a massage therapist coming up next week but should I see a physio or some other kind of specialist in your opinion?
Help for Trigger Finger
I’m sorry you are having that pain! I use the Mayo Clinic site a lot to research conditions, they have a nice write up on trigger finger:
Causes of Trigger Finger
It is not necessarily from down dog, more likely from using your hands for the keyboard or gripping objects a lot…..cooking, baking, even holding the hair dryer and things like that. Give some thought to your daily life and what you think may be triggering it (pun totally not intended, but I giggled a bit anyway!) If you are on the keyboard a lot, remind yourself to stop every 15 minutes or so to stretch your hands out.
Holistic Practices to Help Trigger Finger
First and foremost, I would recommend garshana (dry brushing) and abhyanga (oiling) to help speed up the healing of your hand. (Below is a link to the FREE Handout that describes this process) The brushing helps move the lymph (I recently hurt my knee, and the brushing helped move the inflammation so much quicker) For the oiling, you can use coconut, sesame, olive oil or a special one from Banyan for muscles, tendons and joints: www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/category/herbal-massage-oils/mahanarayan-oil/ (your YA membership will give you 20% off)
Do you have the little bumps on your palm at the base of the affected fingers?? You want to really rub the oil into the area…the whole hand really, and I would do the forearms as well. Stretches for the forearms will help ease the pressure on the tendons in the hand. If you notice that you sleep with your fingers curled (I used to, and it aggravated osteoarthritis in my hands) try to be mindful of keeping your hands open….or, maybe use a brace like Mayo clinic suggests……
Yoga Stretches to Help Trigger Finger
Many yoga stretches for arthritis can be beneficial for Trigger finger. I would suggest prayer pose, and then turning the fingers forward and then down…..using the breath like an internal flashlight. A great breath practice to try would be Sitali inhale (through a rolled tongue or like you are sipping through a straw) imagining you are drawing that cool air all the way down to your hands and fingers.
I would also suggest gentle movement linked to breath for your arm and hand: start with a bent elbow and loose fist, inhale as you extend the elbow, extend the wrist and extend each finger one knuckle at a time (or as best as you can manage!), as you exhale, close the fingers one knuckle at a time, as you bend the elbow and the wrist. Doing that a few times a day to help move prana to the area, and help apana move out of the area 🙂 See the first video below for a sample.
Releasing the fascia and connective tissue in the arm will also be very helpful, the second video below is an exercise you can do multiple times a day to release the fascia in the arm and hand.
When to See a Specialist for Trigger Finger
I don’t think it is time to see a specialist….I think with some of this intervention it should heal up fairly soon. Mayo clinic suggests an NSAID….I would suggest turmeric as a supplement (as long as you aren’t on blood thinners, I don’t think so – but I always say that just in case) – it is anti-inflammatory and increases circulation. I would also ask your massage therapist if your forearms are tight……that can really add to the pressure in the distal tendons of the hands. You could use a wine cork to massage your forearms yourself (the bottle of wine might be helpful in and of itself!)
Those are my thoughts du jour! I hope this helps…please keep us posted.
Much love to you,
Justine (& Sherry too!) ❤
Cool, Creative Lotus Flower Mudra with Helena Bray
Here is a great mudra sequence that is a hit with Yoga teachers and Students alike! This creative sequence was shared by Helena Bray, Gentle and Chair Yoga teacher, in her amazing Workshop entitled “Teaching Mat/Chair Yoga Classes at the Same Time!”. Give this Mudra sequence a try in your classes this week! Thanks Helena!
Gentle Yoga Movements for Osteoarthritis of the Fingers and Hands
Did you know Osteoarthritis often sets into the hands first? Why? Because those are the joints we use most often! Here are a few Finger and Hand movements (aka “Yoga snacks”!) to bring in circulation and provide pain relief to your stiff joints. Great for Trigger Finger too!
Finger Arthritis Play for Memory and Dexterity with Sherry
Making shapes with your fingers not only helps with your mobility, but it also fine tunes the mind/body connection as I call out different patterns to create on the fly. Here is just another way to have fun while we are doing good things for our bodies!
Why and How an Oiling Self massage Eases Arthritis in your Fingers
I love it when we can apply common sense to ease our arthritic finger joints rather than taking medication. I suggested an oiling self massage approach (aka Abhyanga Garshana) to one of my students and she reports back in on how and why it worked so well. She can cook and bake again! Spread the good news to everyone with arthritis! Great for Trigger Finger too!
Justine Shelton, Certified Yoga Therapist & Co-Founder of the Yoga Vista Academy
Justine is a graduate of the American Viniyoga Institute under the direction of Gary Kraftsow. She is the Co-Founder of the Yoga Vista Academy and author of their ‘Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care specialty certification program. Justine specializes in structural yoga therapy, specifically spinal disc injuries, back pain management, as well as joint therapy – including prehab and rehab for replacements.
Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist and Co-Founder of the Yoga Vista Academy
Sherry is a Certified Yoga Therapist and has a proven track record for empowering and igniting passion for 50+ Yoga and wellness. A 3-Time Presenter at the annual Yoga Alliance Conference, the professional and trade association of the yoga world, her enthusiasm for serving those with movement limitations gained exposure for her Specialty Teacher Training Programs. Sherry’s work can be found on YouTube and in the Yoga Vista Online Video Library, YogaVista.TV, where she shares her special style of Energizing Yoga that is accessible to everyone!