3 Natural Treatments for Trigger Finger

3 Natural Treatments for Trigger Finger

Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is the painful tightening and often locking and popping during flexion of your fingers or thumb. This is due to severe internal inflammation around the sheath that houses the finger tendon. The tendon becomes impinged by the inflammation, narrowing the sheath and causing immobility.

Trigger finger is often related to repetitive use syndrome (RUS) such as gripping or pushing with your fingers for many hours per day. It can also develop as a result of diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis and mostly affects women. Over time, thick scarring can develop in and around the protective sheath which could turn into nodules that slow the tendon’s sliding movement.

Conventional medicine remedies include anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections or surgery. There are, however, these 3 natural treatments for trigger finger that may be worth exploring before moving on to drugs or surgical procedures.

Consult with your doctor to determine if you have trigger finger and the best course of action you might consider.

Needle It

Acupuncture is an over 4,000 year old practice. The concept is far fetched, but seems to work in many. It is believed that an ailment is the result of “stuck energy,” similar to the image of large rocks impeding a river’s flow. Specific placement of acupuncture needles attempts to restore energy flow and relieve, or in some cases, cure the ailment.

For trigger finger, acupuncture could be applied directly at the site as well as other areas of the body such as the ears, arms, or wrists. When the needles are inserted they can sometimes be slightly painful. Once in, the acupuncturist may gently twist them where you could feel anything from a minor twinge to an electrical jolt.

You lie with the needles in you for about 30-45 minutes and then they are removed. The recommended protocol is two times per week for six weeks where you should eventually feel less pain and gain more mobility.

Aloe Hah

It’s interesting that aloe vera, a spiky mean looking plant can hold some potent healing potential. Among its combination of phyto-chemicals is B-sisterole, a compound linked to reducing inflammation and enhancing circulation.

A 2008 study published in ‘Phytotherapy Research’ investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of ethanol extract from aloe.

It was reported that,

“The research determined that the use of aloe extract could be a functional drug in the treatment of these diseases by reducing inflammation and joint pain.” (Livestrong)

Ingested in liquid form as well as massaging the gel directly into the trigger finger joints could offer significant anti-inflammatory relief. Talk to your physician and naturopathic doctor to determine the best aloe vera dosage as well as safety for your individual constitution.

Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids obtained from consuming fish may help trigger finger pain and inflammation.

In the mid 1990s researchers from the Division of Rheumatology, Albany Medical College conducted a study titled, ‘Effects of high-dose fish oil on rheumatoid arthritis after stopping non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Clinical and immune correlates.’ (Arthritis and rheumatism 8/95).

The study concluded that,

“Patients taking dietary supplements of fish oil exhibit improvements in clinical parameters of disease activity from baseline, including the number of tender joints, and these improvements are associated with significant decreases in levels of IL-1 beta from baseline. Some patients who take fish oil are able to discontinue NSAIDs without experiencing a disease flare.”

Fish oil could adversely affect certain individuals. Talk to your doctor about how much fish oil you can take and if it is a safe choice for your particular health.

If any of your fingers locks, swells, stiffens or pops you may have stenosing tenosynovitis. These 3 natural treatments for trigger finger may be a good way to stop it in its tracks while avoiding a more invasive approach.