Understanding Trigger Finger and Trigger Finger Exercises

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition that causes one of your fingers to remain stuck in a bent position. Another term for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis (stuh-NO-sing ten-o-sin-o-VIE-tis). Your finger might straighten out with a snap, like a trigger being pulled and released (MayoClinic.org).

What Causes Trigger Finger?

Inflammation will cause a narrowing of the space within the sheath surrounding the tendon in the afflicted finger. If severe, this finger can remain locked in a bent position.

Who is at Risk?

Women, those with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, and those working in jobs with repetitive gripping actions are at highest risk for developing trigger finger.

Trigger Finger Self Help and Treatment Options 

The ASSH (American Society for Surgery of the Hand) website states that the goal of treatment is to eliminate the swelling and catching/locking of the finger. The objective is to achieve painless movement with full range of motion. This may be achieved by using night splints, anti-inflammatory medications, through a change in activity, or by using steroid injections. If severe, surgery may be suggested.

Here at Rist Roller®, we are proud to work with health professionals that encourage the use of natural trigger finger self help options before moving to medication, steroids, or surgery.  

Trigger Finger Massage

If symptoms are severe, it is recommended that you seek medical attention. Treatment options will vary. For many cases, a Rist Roller® product is often recommended. 

William Herro, PT, shared his experience using Rist Roller® with his patients for trigger finger self massage, which was incorporated both in and out of his office:

"I have found that using the RistRoller® for trigger finger has been an asset to my private practice. It has decreased the length of treatment and also enables the patient to remain pain free long after discharge." 

"Do they just roll their fingers?" we asked.

"Yes, same as for any other body part... either using in opposite hand or on a table."


The RistRoller® (shown above) can be used during office visits and for trigger finger treatment at home. 

Why a Soft Foam Roller?

Soft foam rollers are great for beginners because they are mild. Our soft rollers are not the "hurts so good" kind of roller, though you can control the pressure to focus on tight spots in need of working out. Because the soft foam rollers are gentle and effective, many health professionals will use the soft foam roller during your physical therapy sessions. You can also continue to use a soft foam roller when treating trigger finger at home.  

The firm black RistRoller® can also be used for these trigger finger exercises. Ask your health professional about which option sounds best for you. 

How Does Rist Roller® Work?

Below, watch how to "roll out" fingers:


And here's a great, more general, foam rolling how-to video that appeared on My New Philly with Dr. Rubina Tahir:


Trigger Finger Exercises

Additionally, your health professional may recommend some easy trigger finger exercises, like bringing your thumb up and down (if the thumb is affected), and making a fist, in and out. Dr. Levi Harrison shows how to do these in the video below:


Further Reading

Do you have questions or comments about Rist Roller®? Would you like to know more about how our products can relieve your pain? Please feel free to contact us today! We are here to help.

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