A trigger thumb is a prevalent hand condition where your thumb gets stuck in a bent position. There may be several reasons behind a trigger thumb. In any case, it’s best to get a trigger thumb treated as soon as the symptoms appear to avoid any invasive procedures.


Before getting a trigger thumb treatment, it’s essential to know what caused it.

Usually, the tendons and muscles in the hand work together to help bend and straighten the thumb. When the tendons become irritated or inflamed, the movement of the tendons becomes restricted, and the person is likely to suffer from a trigger thumb.

Who Gets Trigger Thumb?

Trigger thumb is common among people between 40-60, people who have to engage in repetitive tasks involving the hand, particularly requiring intense gripping or grasping movements involving the thumb, such as musicians and factory workers.

People suffering from diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis are also likely to develop trigger thumb.

Exercises to Help Relieve Pain

Trigger thumb leads to pain and stiffness in the thumb, in addition to the added burden of not performing tasks efficiently and adequately. It may pull you back from even engaging in mundane daily activities such as turning a doorknob, or opening a jar.

Here are some exercises that can help relieve the pain and stiffness and increase the movement of your thumb.

The Ball Squeeze Exercise

For this exercise, you need to squeeze a softball using your fingers and thumb. This exercise helps reduce inflammation when you work your thumb and reduces the stiffness and the popping sensation.

The Resistance Exercise

Simply take a rubber band and wear it around your fingers and thumb and start moving your fingers and thumb inwards and outwards in a repeated motion. Make sure the rubber band is not too big and is providing ample resistance.

The resistance exercise is an excellent way to fix your trigger thumb and strengthen your fingers’ flexibility.

The Fingers to Palm Stretch

The only difference between the fingers to palm stretch and the resistance exercise is that this doesn’t require a rubber band.  It might make it easier to close the fingers completely; however, it might not be as effective.

The Bent Finger Exercise

This exercise requires you to bend your thumb inwards and touch the tip of each finger in order. To strengthen your tendon muscle, make sure you hold your thumb at each fingertip for at least 10 seconds.

The Extensor Exercise

The extensor exercise is the easiest one, which requires you to place your hand flat on a surface and start raising your fingers one by one without moving or lifting your palm. It might cause a little pain initially, but you will soon notice a reduction in the pain level with practice.

Practicing these exercises at least three to four times a day can ensure a quick recovery and save you from surgical treatments. However, it’s best to visit a physical therapist for hands before practicing these exercises as he can confirm if they are safe for you and whether you’re doing them correctly.

Able Hand Rehabilitation helps people with any hand injury or condition by sound diagnosis and effective treatment done by our certified hand therapists.

We specialize in finger and trigger thumb treatment in Old Bridge, NJ, along with several other hand conditions, and customize treatments according to your needs. Contact us today for pleasant and effective hand physical therapy sessions.