Help for Trigger Finger

Help for Trigger Finger

Question

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?

Answer from Justine

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:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigger-finger/basics/definition/con-20043819

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. I would suggest prayer pose, and then turning the fingers forward and then down…..using the breath like an internal flashlight, maybe even doing 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.

First and foremost, I would recommend garshana (dry brushing) and abhyanga (oiling) to help speed up the healing of your hand. (I attached a direction sheet on how to, just in case.) 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……

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.

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!) ❤