What Is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger, also known as trigger thumb or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a common and treatable condition. The condition is typified by when one or more of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position.
The finger can sometimes bend or straighten with a snap, similar to a trigger being pulled and released.
This condition is most common for those whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping or forceful repetitive movements using your finger or thumb.
The movement can cause the tendons, or tough bands of tissue that connect your muscles to the bone, to get inflamed, narrowing the space that surrounds the tendon.
When functioning normally, a tendon will glide easily through the tissue covering it (a sheath). Irritating the sheath can lead to scarring and thickening that ultimately affect the tendon’s range of motion.
You’ll likely know when this happens, as your finger or thumb will make a snapping or popping noise as it pulls the inflamed tendon through the narrowed sheath.
Though trigger finger is common and non-life-threatening, it is painful.
Those most likely to experience trigger finger are women, those over the age of 40, those with diabetes, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or those working as farmers, industrial workers, or musicians.
Are Essential Oils Good For Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger symptoms include stiffness, soreness, pain, and inflammation. Because of this, essential oils can be wonderful anecdotes for relieving symptoms of trigger finger and aiding in the recovery process.
Essential oils and their major compounds have been of fascination to researchers, in part due to their ability to treat acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, as one comprehensive review states.
Other essential oils, such as frankincense, have been used since biblical times to treat a wide variety of medical ailments, including those relating to pain and inflammation.
Thus, both current and ancient reviews suggest that essential oils could be beneficial treatments for trigger finger and its associated symptoms.
Best Essential Oils For Trigger Finger
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is a stand-out essential oil for treating trigger finger because it has been widely used for treating ailments associated with pain and inflammation.
It will reduce inflammation in the tendon sheath, speeding up the healing process and preventing further damage to the tendon.
How to use: To use frankincense oil as a treatment for trigger finger, dilute three to four drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil (jojoba, grapeseed, coconut oil, shea butter) and gently massage the affected area as often as needed.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a popular essential oil for treating pain and inflammation, especially around joints, and has even been shown to be just as effective as certain pain medications.
It pairs incredibly well with peppermint essential oil as a topical or aromatherapy treatment for providing relief from pain and inflammation.
How to use: To avoid irritation, dilute two to three drops of lavender essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil (jojoba, grapeseed, coconut oil, shea butter) and gently massage the affected area as often as needed.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil’s menthol provides immediate pain relief to the skin. Menthol acts as a cooling agent that eases pain and tension by increasing blood flow, promoting healing, and treating inflammation.
How to use: To avoid irritation, dilute two to three drops of peppermint essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil (jojoba, grapeseed, coconut oil, shea butter) and gently massage the affected area as often as needed.
For a compound effect, create a treatment oil by mixing one drop of peppermint with two drops of lavender into the carrier oil of your choice.
(Peppermint is also included in our best essential oils for fibromyalgia.)
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil comes from the Helichrysum or Helichrysum italicum plant found in the Mediterranean and southern parts of Europe.
It has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help treat trigger finger symptoms.
One of these studies found helichrysum to have corticoid-like anti-inflammatory activity and could thus be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in the finger.
How to use: To use helichrysum as a treatment for trigger finger, dilute three drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil (jojoba, grapeseed, coconut oil, shea butter) and gently massage the affected area as often as needed.
4 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Treat Trigger Finger?
In addition to using essential oils to speed up healing time, you can treat trigger finger by resting and avoiding activities that require repetitive gripping.
You can also stretch the finger with various gentle exercises to improve your range of motion and decrease stiffness.
What Is The Strongest Essential Oil For Pain?
Peppermint essential oil is an excellent oil for providing strong, immediate pain relief due to its high percentage of menthol and other analgesic compounds.
What Are The Best Essential Oils For Joint Pain?
Many great essential oils that have had success with treating joint pain are eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, marjoram, lemongrass, and ginger.
Is Castor Oil Good For Trigger Finger?
Castor oil, a viscous neutral plant oil, has been used for centuries as an analgesic. It relieves pain, in part, by reducing inflammatory and soreness.
Castor oil can be massaged into the finger to provide relief for soreness, pain, and inflammation in the joints and tendon.
Castor oil can also be used as a carrier oil when using essential oils topically on the skin to treat trigger finger.