Last Modified on Jul 21, 2014
A condition that involves the locking and trigger-like release of one of the fingers, trigger finger can be uncomfortable and even painful. The condition can be treated using a variety of methods including acupuncture, stretches and exercises as well as dietary changes. Likewise, nutritional supplements support the effective functioning of the muscles and ligaments of the body and effectively treat the condition.
What is Trigger Finger?
Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger occurs as one of the fingers or thumbs gets stuck in a bent position and straightens with a sudden snap – like a trigger. The cause of the condition is the narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger and is often accompanied by inflammation, scarring and thickening of the tissue in the area.
Natural Remedies for Stenosing Tenosynovitis or Trigger Finger
A variety of treatments are effective for managing trigger finger. Common treatments include acupuncture, physical therapy, daily exercises and others. Nutritional supplements including bromelain, fish oil, aloe vera and others also treat the condition by lubricating the joints and relieving inflammation.
An enzyme found in pineapple juice, bromelain has a variety of medicinal purposes. The chemicals in bromelain stimulate the body to produce natural substances that relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Additionally, the compound aids in the removal of dead and damaged tissue, which may help treat the underlying cause of trigger finger.
Fish oil is a natural source of omega- 3 fats. These fats function to lubricate the joints and restore damaged nerve tissue. This fat chain also reduces inflammation that is often associated with the condition.
Aloe vera functions primarily in relieving inflammation associated with trigger finger. Applied to the affected area or taken as a supplement, aloe vera delivers over 12 substances, including B-sisterole, which inhibit inflammation and reduce the stiffness and soreness in painful joints. The compound also contains a variety of other vitamins and minerals that promote overall wellness.
More common in women and in individuals with diabetes, trigger finger varies depending on the severity of the specific case. Nonetheless, the condition is often painful but can be effectively treated using a combination of nutritional supplements and exercises.
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Aloe Vera
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
- Avoid Citrus
- Colloidal Silver, Horopito
- Dietary Changes, B Complex, Cod Liver Oil, Warm Water
- DMSO and MOM
- Fish Oil, Ball Exercise
- Flex Ball
- Foods to Avoid
- Gayle's Bandaid Method
- General Feedback
- Miscellaneous Remedies
- Over the Counter
- Paper Tube
- Rescue Remedy Cream and Essential Oils
- Sesame Oil
- Soursop Tea
- Ted's Remedies
- Ted's Remedy Feedback
- Warm Water Soak, Ultrasound
[YEA] 05/16/2010: Redstone from Weston, Ma: "I had trigger thumb three times, with severe pain; and was unable to grip anything with the hand. I had it in my right and left hands, about a year apart. Both times I wound up begging the doctor for a cortisone shot. The cortisone worked and I got relief with one shot.
When I got it again last year, I decided to try acupuncture. It took about 6-8 sessions but it healed and it hasn't come back. I am now in grad school for a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Try it.
There may be a Community Acupuncture practice in your area - and the cost is very reasonable - usually a sliding scale. Give it some time. It's not a magic bullet, and you may need a number of sessions to get relief. Avoid surgery - almost NEVER the answer in my opinion. Good luck."
06/21/2010: Joyce from Mystic, Ct. replies: "hi, i am receiving acupuncture treatments for my "trigger thumb." however, this is a new thing for my practitioner. do you happen to know the exact points used so i can tell her. thank you!"
08/14/2011: Deborah from Scottsdale, Az replies: "Oh boy.... If YOU have to tell your doctor how to do this, I would change doctors!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/01/2012: Shirley44 from Powell River, Bc, Canada replies: "I have had trigger finger in my ring finger of my right hand for a few months. I had an appointment with a doctor for a cortisone shot. I am deathly afraid of cortisone so thought I'd try acupuncture before my appointment. No results the first 2 times but the 3rd time he put the needle into the back of my finger where the hardening was and it is now 90% better. He figures about 6 sessions. I am so pleased."
05/29/2012: Rohini from London replies: "My mum has trigger thumb on both thumbs for 8 months now. Initially the doctor advised an injection but we did not go for it. The pain went away by keeping the thumb straight for a few months however she has not been able to bend her thumb and straighten it without another hand's support. She was recommended a few physiotherapy sessions which has improved bend movement on her right thumb but thats only when she has exercised. They make her do some mobilisation exercises. Her left thumb which got trigger thumb before is not paining but there is no improvement and she is not able to bend and open. The doctor suggests surgery and by no way we want to go for that. Can someone in this forum help... we are happy to try any natural therapies which may be slower but no surgery.."
06/12/2012: "I cured a middle finger trigger by limiting movement of the digit, icing for 10 - 15 minutes several times a day and doing deep massage of the muscles in the forearm that work the fingers. When I focused on the muscles for the middle finger they were very tight and painful, perhaps from spasm. I broke the spasm with pressure and massaged the muscle further. In a month or two pain, swelling and locking were gone in this instance. I am careful now to use a padded bicycling glove to protect the tendons in the palm when I garden, rake and do repairs at my house. I am careful to not make repetitive grips that tax the fingers."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/09/2009: battle1320 from Los Angeles, CA: "TRIGGER FINGER - PINKY
I just came across this website and I am glad to read that there are people out there exploring other options than injections and surgery. I just got TF about a week ago from playing golf. My doctor thinks that playing golf (strong grip/hand position) might have triggered the TF but I believe it was years of typing on the laptop's keyboard.
It is definitely annoying feeling the clicking in my pinky everytime i grab something with any pressure. Nonetheless, I completed one session of acupuncture and the pain has subsided quite a bit. The clicking is still there but with less pain.
So far, its been about a week w/o any golf and looking forward to another acupuncture treatment. I will keep you all posted."
10/13/2011: Dora from Houston, Texas, Usa: "I want to thank Ted for the advice on how to cure Trigger finger. Also liked to share that I put Aloe vera on my finger and it is helping with inflammation of the finger.
Thank you very much to you all who shared such of important information. God bless you. Dora"Replies
04/20/2014: Tom In Va from Gloucester, Va replies: "Hello,
I have had trigger finger in my right hand for a few weeks now. Not my thumb, but the index, middle and ring fingers. The index and middle finger have it really bad. It's worse in the morning when I wake up. I've read the natural remedies and decided to take the aloe vera supplement and see how that works.
My decision was the aloe vera supplement provides more minerals than just the bromelain. I should receive my aloe in the next couple of days and will take it for a month. I will post my results at that time. If there is no difference in my trigger finger, then I will try the bromelain.
I feel that I should also report that I am no longer drinking soda as I have been focusing on eating healthier (no more fast food) and am drinking more water. I am trying to drink half my weight in ounces - I weigh 260 so I am trying to drink 130 ounces of water. If I get close I am happy, but I suspect as summer rolls in then it should not be a problem.
[NAY] 05/09/2014: Tom In Va from Virginia replies: "Well here is the update.
I purchased the Aloe Vera supplements, 500 mg capsules. I have been taking 1000 mg a day and haven't noticed a significant change in the trigger finger. So I am going to move on from this point and order the Bromelain and give you an update on the results.
[YEA] 09/04/2008: Di from Rich Square, North Carolina: "I am diabetic 44 yrs on insulin and I have triggers fingers the pain was unbearable recently but I have tried the vinegar and baking soda and lemon juice along with my new inflamaratory meds I feel 100% better
..but the baking soda bothers my stomach ..."
EC: For more information about Ted's alkalizing formulas, click here.
08/10/2012: Loy from Singapore replies: "May I know what kinds of new inflamaratory meds u are using. thanks, loy"
[YEA] 08/20/2009: Roncheat from Haskell, Oklahoma Usa: "I have a trigger finger on my right hand that comes and goes. I have found that it is affected by citrus juices, or something along that line. If I drink orange juice or lemonade, or take a vitamin c supplement, it will cause my finger to lock up. The more I drink, the worse it gets. My doctor tells me i'm crazy. I can lay off juces for a week and the problem will go away completely."Replies
02/22/2010: Judie from Utica, Mi replies: "I have been having a problem this winter from Trigger finger & pain. I wondered one day if it was the orange I was having each evening to try & stay out of junk food. Your post confimred I am not the only one. I never could take Vit.C either until I came across a type that is made from Sago palm. I used to work in a health food store & many people have the same sensitivity as you & I. Thanks again"
01/27/2011: Uchiki from Koloa, Hi, Usa replies: "My trigger thumb only occurs at night when I am sleeping. I recently had carpal tunnel release (3 mos. Ago) after 25 years of living with the disease. The surgeon said I had a very narrow sheath. He now says that is most likely the reason for the trigger thumb. Why now? By the way I have been eating lots of oranges, tangerines and grapefruit in the last couple of months. Do I continue to drink lemon water to alkalize?"
01/14/2012: Oyakra from Mays Landing, Nj replies: "I also had carpal tunnel release 3 mos. ago and I have developed trigger finger in multiple fingers on both hands. The problem seems to be predominately in my thumbs and varies in severity in my ring and pointer fingers. This is the worst in the morning upon waking, to the point of very limited use of my hands. I had lived with carpal tunnel for 18 years before getting the surgery which helped with the major nerve burning and vascular restriction. It's frustrating to now have a new problem arise. I'm going to try Ted's recommendations and follow up soon. Thanks, it helps to know I'm not alone."
[NAY] 07/09/2013: Plantsower from Burson, Ca: "Bromelain for trigger finger... I was so hoping this would help me. I took two bottles of this with no results. I'm off to try other things."Replies
07/09/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Try magnesium without calcium for awhile and see if it helps."
10/02/2013: Plantsower from Burson, Ca replies: "Magnesium gives me diarrhea. :( I am now going to try B6 and an exercise that I just learned:
"I grabbed the ball with my fingers only (no thumb) I could roll the ball from finger tips to my wrist, bending my hand more and more as I went. Furthermore, if I braced my wrist with the other hand, I could choose where the hand and wrist actually bent and stretched the most. The tangible rewards were straightforward: a clunk in the wrist and relief in the hand. "
This sounds worth a try. This person went on to say it took effect in about three weeks. Unfortunately, they didn't say how many times a day to do it. I'll have to wing it."
10/03/2013: Toourlady89 from Ca, Usa replies: "To go back to the Magnesium suggestion: There are many forms of Magnesium.
Magnesium Oil or Mg Chloride Spray would be the better form of Magnesium for trigger finger. Apply it on to both hands as often as you can. Mg oil will have faster results thru the skin and then to the capillaries and relax the finger.
On the other hand, trigger finger could be a symptom of lack of Mg. Most of the population is unaware that most of us - 80% to 90% have Mg deficiency due to the quality of food that is available at the stores. Lack of it causes hundreds of symptoms, trigger finger being one of them.
Chelated Mg Glycinate, is a form that is best absorbed orally and will not have the undesired laxative effect .
Note that the Mg most available at the stores is Mg Oxide avoid this kind as this is a laxative. Mg Glycinate should be at health food stores and or online."
10/04/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hello Toourlady89;
Thank you so much for your break down of various magnesiums. You define four of them; the one I take orally is Mag citrate. I have another that is Mag carbonate. Epsom Salts is Mag sulfate. You discuss the last one as a laxative but I use that for Mag/Salts baths too. Is that your understanding? That one is the best to use for baths... Sulfate (Epsom salts) and the Mag Oil (so called) best for topical application is Mag chloride, and you mention chelated Mag Glycinate for oral and say to avoid the one in stores which you say is Mag Oxide.
OK. Now is Mag Oxide Epsom salts? Isn't that Mag Sulfate which is Epsom salts? That's what's in the stores or do you equate Oxide with Sulfate.
And is the kind you orally take .... Glycinate... Is that close to Mag Citrate?
Your break out helped. I do need to get clarified some more... Not your fault... Mine. I need a list; something like:
Mag a .... does x
Mag b .....does y
Mag c .... Does z
Mag d .... What ever you do don't take Mag d, cause it's been known to cause third generation mice to lose their tails!!!!
I've thought that Mag in its various forms are basically the same thing; formulated or compounded differently but with the same chemical effect. And the point is if you take or ingest in any way (baths with Sulfate or swallow in citrate) you're still getting the magnesium.
If someone would disabuse me of the above idea; is that previous paragraph a misconception?
It's just that we see in the discussions of Magnesium particular Mags are mentioned and I'm always wondering if they are actually specialty or are they in essence fungible? (I mean interchangable and really the same for all practical purposes.)
Thanks for helping,
(You know I really should be more careful; inserting bits of humor ... Next thing you know... All over social media and suddenly on the national news: Flash: Magnesium causes tail loss... Take with caution... FDA begins investigation.)"
10/04/2013: Mike from Denver, Colorado replies: "Dave: Dead sea salt has 100mg of magnesium per gram and costs 1 cent."
[YEA] 05/24/2013: Hurt from Nicosia, Cyprus: "Bromelain cured my trigger finger, it bends almost as it used to, and I take one tablet daily, just to make sure it doesnt become a problem again. Do it! I get it from Holland and Barett, they are huge pills, difficult to swallow, but Sogars have them too. I saw three doctors, they all wanted to operate, because I had trigger finger for a year, so they didnt want to try the other only option for them, ie steroids. Well, all is well now."
[YEA] 07/08/2012: Miriam Fitchett from Las Vegas, Nv: "I had trigger finger in both thumbs for a year. Agony!! I started taking bromelain, an enzyme extracted from pineapples, (to prevent swelling) for an upcoming surgery last November. The dose was 3 times a day between meals for 3 weeks. After taking bromelian for 3 weeks my trigger fingers were cured completely! I take bromelain once a day now (preventative). To date, trigger finger(s) has not reoccured. Hope this helps!"Replies
07/19/2012: Troy from Madisonville, Ky replies: "how r your fingers doing now? need an up date please...."
07/20/2012: Ascot from Wyandotte, Michigan replies: "Of all the postings, this sounds not only the simplest, but the most positive, so much so that I have ordered bromelain to give it a try with the understanding that what may work for one, might not work for another."
10/29/2012: Violet from Adelaide, Australia replies: "I started with vitamin b6 almost 3 weeks now but no sign of improvement. Getting anxious now and anyone can update after taking bromelain? just want to make sure it works. thanks."
11/02/2012: Diane from Atlanta, Ga replies: "What is the amount of bromelain that one needs to take three times a day to possibly cure trigger finger/thumb?"
[YEA] 11/21/2012: Hurt In Space from Nicosia, Cyprus replies: "Bromelain IS THE CURE for trigger finger. I have had considerable pain in my left thumb for over a year, could not bend it at all, and was postponing an opperation, since none of the numerous steroid pills I was given was of any help. I read about Bromelain, and took 3 pills a day, for about one month, almost completely cured my finger, no pain, I can almost bend fully. I will keep taking it."
02/21/2013: Alex from Paphos, Cyprus replies: "Dear Hurt in Space! Can you tell me how yr doing with the trigger finger and the bromelain??? I have trigger finger and de quervains in my left hand. Dr suggests surgery but I'm not into that and prefer to try natural ways to heal. Hope to hear om u soon."
03/27/2013: Coryd from Las Vegas, Nv replies: "Dear Miriam, I too am from Las Vegas, NV and have recently contracted Trigger Thumb and have been suffering for about 5 weeks. Just wanted to find out if you're making progress and still feeling better as a result of the Bromelain.. I have an appt with a hand specialist next week and I want to go in well equipped with as much information and possible solutions at that time. Where do you get Bromelain? I have only heard if it remotely. It would be great to not have to suffer this out for any longer than I have too. It is annoying AND painful!!"
06/09/2013: Anng from Houston, Texas replies: "I took bromelain weeks before and weeks after rotator cuff surgery and although very painful, I healed quickly and now have full range of motion unlike most rotator cuff surgery patients I know. I have developed trigger thumb and after reading this, I plan to get back to taking the bromelain."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 12/22/2010: Jan from Louisville, Colorado: "I have had my second bout with trigger thumb. The first time I had a cortisone shot which after two weeks resolved the problem. My doctor didn't seem to think it would work and thought that I would probably have to have surgery to resolve it, but I was also taking MSM which I think helped tremendously. However, this second time around, the MSM has not worked. I really didn't want another cortisone treatment and have tried both exercises and other herbal treatments without success. Two weeks ago, I got an intestinal virus which I took colloidal silver for and noticed that my thumb was doing better, but I thought that it was finally starting to go away on it's own until yesterday morning. I woke up in a lot of pain, my thumb was swollen and red and hot to the touch. That's when I realized that it was an infection of some sort. Since I hadn't cut my thumb I was pretty sure that the infection was not bacterial, and had a strong suspicion that it was a yeast infection. Which explains why it had reoccured and why some people are having success with garlic as it has antifungul properties.
So I started taking colloidal silver, a tablespoon every few hours, letting it sit under my tongue as long as possible for quicker absorption. I also rubbed horipito extract on the swollen area before going to bed and kept a hotpack on it through the night. This morning, the swelling and redness, and most of the pain had subsided. Through the last two days, I have also rubbed in an arnica cream. By this evening, I was able to bend my thumb without a lot of pain or snapping, and I haven't been able to do this for the last six weeks. I plan on continuing the same treatment using the horipito and silver in the same amounts for at least the next two to three days. Then I will reduce the amount of colloidal silver to a tablespoon in the morning and one in the evening until I am absolutely sure that the infection is gone. In all honesty, I am absolutely amazed how quickly this is working for me."Replies
07/23/2011: Artsiecl from Waynesboro, Ga, Burke replies: "I am having trouble with a trigger thumb and have been studying lots of things. I over-use my thumb (right one) sewing thru real thick fabric and many layers..... Also paint kid's faces, (sometimes 70 a day)..... I also had been slack in taking my vitamins and minerals..... I also have thyroid problems. Considering all of this, I am trying to do the nutritional thing to cure this. I just read Dr. Jonathan Wright's newsletter where he said that another Dr. recommended 50 milligrams of B6 3 times a day and give it long enough and it will go away..... Probably. I am going to do this with all of the other B vitamins and iodine and lots of minerals.......
I know nutrition helps everything. Also compression helps and resting the sheaths and ligaments in the thumb......
Hope this helps."
[YEA] 10/25/2009: Mike from Franklin Square, New York: "I had suffered with carpal tunnel for 3 years in both hands and got progressively worst to the point that I was only getting 45mins to 2hrs sleep per night. I had tried every cream, every natural vitamin and supplements. Nothing worked, so I decide to have surgery on my left hand first (since I am righty)and presto problem solved, 2 months later I had my right hand operated on and was cured for carpal tunnel. My joy lasted for 3 days after my second surgery, because I developed severe Fibromyalgia throughout my entire body that lasted 7 months. I was actually crippled, if not for my desire to overcome this ailment, I probably would have been hospitalized and I thought I was going to DIE. I got up every morning and took Vicadin and Cymbalta plus a steroid to get through my day. (I pomise I will get to the Trigger Finger Cure). I beat my Fibromyalgia by my persistance and crawling to the gym to strenghten my muscles. After I was cured for the Fibro, I developed Trigger Fingers on the left index and thumb and right hand thumb and pinky, I could not pick up anything because the pain and locking effect was so painful. However, I cured my trigger fingers by not eating fried foods and taking B complex vitamins. Also a chinese acupunturist told me that warm or hot beverages must be drank with all meals. After 1 week of 4 eight ounces of warm water, B complex vitamins, No fried foods, Cod liver oil and hot tea with food---Presto no more Trigger Finger and better health and complexion. I hope it works for you.."Replies
02/22/2010: Judie from Utica, Mi replies: "How much cod liver liver oil did you take a day ?"
01/07/2011: Debi Rudd from Hertfordshire , Uk replies: "I heard yesterday that Linseed Oil is sometimes better than Cod Liver Oil."
01/07/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Aren't you afraid that the Linseed oil might get rancid without you noticing it? I took it in capsules for awhile. First I had very dry skin. I stopped taking it and my skin got better although it is always quite dry. Now I started taking the capsules again and after maybe two weeks I felt like pins under my skin when I would lean against something or lie down in bed. If I turned to the other side that side would start itching and I would feel the pins again. Now I have stoped taking them and I am better. I don't think that I will take them again but I am quite afraid of taking the oil itself in case I don't notice if it goes rancid which seems to be quite dangerous!"
06/29/2014: Fran from North Carolina, US: "DMSO mixed with Milk of Magnesia put on tendons of fingers works fast. Mix about 15 drops of dmso and 5 drops MOM in a glass cup. The use cotton ball to apply to area (s), include wrist and back of hand. In less than 5 minutes, the pain was gone. I also drank 2 tbsp of MOM to get magnesium internally. I hope it helps someone else."
[YEA] 08/17/2012: Chellow from Miami, Fl: "My trigger finger has been Cured, thank be to God. I was three weeks from my scheduled operation when I started a routine of hanging from a monkey bars, if I recall right I instantly had a result the first day. One week in the rooting I cancelled the operation and two months later more or less I'm cured.
This is what the therapy that I recommend:
Hang from a monkey bar or any alternative structure that you can roll your finger around a bar that lifts you from the floor. Hang from the bar for 10 seconds and release repeat this 10 times, do this exercise daily."Replies
03/12/2013: Caloy from Pearl City, Hawaii replies: "Thank you so much for sharing.... I will definitely try that today and I will update you with the results. Mahalo!!!"
07/09/2013: Plantsower from Burson, Ca replies: "Caloy: Have you had good results?"
[YEA] 07/05/2012: Dora from Houston, Texas: "Months ago had Trigger Finger problem in my right thumb. I followed Ted's remedies from Earth Clinic and other remedies from the same website. I really improved when I started taking Fish oil and sometimes Cod liver oil, as well as eating more salmon, fish, fruits, and vegetables, and tried not to do much work with that hand with the injured thumb. Also, the exercises with a small ball that I got at the Academy store did help me. The ball is similar to the ones used to release stress. My thumb is a 90% better since the problem started. Now can move it very well..
I do not recommend surgery, found out that surgery is not the best option. I encourage you to be patient.
I thank God for you all who shared the information on the Trigger finger at Earth Clinic."
[YEA] 02/19/2008: Kim from Harrisburg, Pa: "Trigger Thumb/ Trigger Finger. First of all let me tell you I love this site. After suffering from trigger thumb (both hands) and Trigger finger,for 6 months I believe I found something that helps. After seeing my Doctor and having several injections, my last hope was surgery. This I didn't want. I tried everything. I came across a product called LivRite Flex-Ball. Its a small ball filled with a squishy material. I purchased it at Wal-Mart for $3.00 I have been using this ball for a week now and my symptoms are easing up. I can bend my thumbs again, and the pain is also easing. I'm not going to lie, when you first start to squeeze this ball, it hurts, but the pain does decrease with use. I set it by my T.V. everytime I sit down I do a few squeezes. Hope this helps some of you like it helped me."Replies
12/29/2011: Hanna from Eidi, Faroe Islands (denmark), Eysturoy replies: "I live in Europe, where can I buy this ball?"
05/18/2013: Margaret from Grants Pass, Or: "I have trigger finger in my middle finger. If acidity causes it, does that mean I should avoid ACV? Also, I drink a lot of kefir that I culture at home. Kefir is acidic, and I wonder if that could be "triggering" it. I'd hate to have to give up kefir and/or ACV because of all the health benefits associated with them, but I do want to get rid of the trigger finger."Replies
05/20/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "I believe I read that low magnesium causes this but I also think that dehydration would contribute. Since magnesium pushes the calcium in and out of the cells and also aids the salt to hold the water in the cells then it would affect the joints as well.
With no water cushioning the joints, they would get sticky and very painful. Try a multi vitamin and multi mineral supplement and drink water half an hour before eating."
05/28/2013: William from Colorado Springs, Colorado Usa replies: "Margaret, with regard to the ACV I have two sharings: first, in spite of the efficacy of ACV, Blood Type A people do not do well on Vinegar, including ACV [see Eat Right for Your Type by D'Adamo].
However, w/ regard to acidity please remember that its not the acidity of what goes into the body but what happens when the body processes it [burns, oxidizes, or whatever you wish to call it] and the sah it deposits. Many acidic things like Lemons create strong alkalinity, thus negating acidity.
Finally, many parasites [Candida for example] generate acid systems.
Best, Nutricon Wm, Colorado"