Can Golf Cause Trigger Finger? A Doctors Opinion


Trigger finger is a form of tendonitis caused by the inflammation of the flexor tendon of the hand that allows your finger to bend. Often it is caused by the repeated movement or forceful use of the finger or thumb, unfortunately for us golfers we use the finger and thumb a lot in how we grip and swing the club.

But does golf cause trigger finger, or is it a symptom of something else?

Golf can cause trigger finger due to the repetitive motion of gripping and swinging of a golf club. But if you suffer from trigger finger playing golf you are likely gripping the club far too tight with an improper golf grip. Adjust your golf grips and/or wear gloves to resolve the issue.

Golf does not automatically cause trigger finger but many aspects of golf such as gripping the club far too tight and not using the correct golf grip size for your hands CAN cause trigger finger.

I will explain what are the symptoms of trigger finger so you know how to properly diagnose yourself, and what you can do in your golf game to treat or remove trigger finger altogether. Keep reading to know-how.

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What Causes Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is generally caused by the repeated gripping or forced use of your finger or thumb which puts a lot of force onto the tendons of your fingers causing pain and inflammation as the finger tendons cannot glide smoothly to open your hand due to inflammation.

Tendons are the link that connects muscle to the bone, think of them like elastic bands attached to the bone surrounding the muscles that help them move, the tendons of your hand from the end of your fingers up and into your forearm.

Think of them like a pulley system, these tendons move your moves through ligaments, this pulley system forms a sheath around the bone allowing the tendons to move smoothly. Through forcibly gripping a golf club too hard and/or using improper grip technique this pulley-like system becomes inflamed from overuse and wear and tear.

Whilst trigger finger is most common with people over the age of 40 likely due to weakening joints and woman are more likely to have trigger finger due to having smaller hands requiring them to grip tighter.

If your finger bends or straightens with a snap– like a trigger being released or one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position you likely have trigger finger, or you might have one of the following symptoms.

Symptoms Of Trigger Finger

  • Pain or stiffness and difficulty of extending your fingers especially in the morning
  • Clicking or snapping noises when moving the affected finger/fingers
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the affected finger/fingers
  • Small lamps at the base of the affected finger
  • Pain or tenderness under the knuckle of the affected finger/fingers

Now you have a good idea if you have trigger finger, now let’s discuss what you can do to prevent trigger finger in golf and how to treat it.

5 Ways How To Prevent Trigger Finger In Golf

1. Change Your Golf Grips

Many golfers don’t realize that you can change the grips that come with your clubs. If your grip is too small for your hands naturally this will cause you to grip the club far harder than you need to or to hold the club in the palm causing pain leading to trigger finger.

See my post to know how to change golf grips to better match the size of your hands, you can also use tape to make your grips bigger or buy the over-sized but more comfortable Winn grips from Amazon.

2. Wear Gloves

Wearing golfing gloves artificially make your hands bigger reducing the likelihood that you will grip the club too hard.

If you ever find yourself playing golf and suffer pain from blisters wearing gloves even for both hands is a great way to remain pain-free, if your right-handed make sure to wear a glove on the more susceptible left hand to prevent trigger finger.

Get a high-quality Callaway Golf glove for a bargain on Amazon here, stop those blister and prevent trigger finger, there is no need to suffer from pain.

3.Improve Your Golf Grip

By FAR the most likely reason you are suffering from trigger finger is your grip technique needs work and you hold the club far too tightly. Gripping the club too high across your palm is a bad position for the hand and will cause injury over time.

You should hold the golf club like your holding a bird, not too hard as you will injure the bird but not too soft that the bird can fly away. Please watch the fantastic GolfwithAimee YouTube above for a secret golf grip tip

4.Check Your Divot Holes.

After a swing inspect the divot holes that were made in the grass, is your hole deep and pointing to the left of the target? This shows your angle of attack(how you hit the ball) is causing unnecessary stress to your wrist and joints. Over time this will cause trigger finger as well as other injuries to your wrists.

Ideally, you want to take a thinner point of turf that points at the target or even a little right of the target. For drills on how to improve your angle of attack and to brush the turf as well as how to chip to the green every-time check out my article.

5.Stretch And Rest Your Fingers Before & After Golf

Golf places a lot of stress and tension of your muscles, tendons and ligaments especially those in your hands. It’s crucial to stretch before, during and after a game of golf so all your muscles and tendons have time to recover.

If you EVER suffer any of the early symptoms of trigger finger explained in this article. be sure to take a few days off. To best way to prevent all types of injuries is ensuring your muscles are nice and strong, to see what are the 6 most used muscle groups in golf and how to swing stronger check out my article.

How To Treat Trigger Finger With 4 Exercises

Get Your Hand Moving Throughout The Day (4:49 In Video)

  • Throughout move affected finger/fingers with the largest pain-free range of motion (10-20 reps)
  • When you open a finger push it back with your other hand to the end range of motion (5-10 reps)
  • This is more painful but with your other hand push the affected finger at the end range of motion (2-3 reps a day) (5:24)
  • Find the affected pain spot at the base of the finger, hold the back of the finger with the other hand, and with your thumb move across the pain area in all directions to find the tender spot (6:00) Start off lightly and over time increase the intensity
  • Attach a rubber band to the affected hand for increased resistance and close and open your hand (10-15 reps)

Following these exercises, you will greatly improve your trigger finger or even remove it completely. To reduce inflammation further drink 2 tablespoons of Apple Cidre Vinegar mixed with water in the morning and it greatly improve your pain, see 8:14 in the above video for proof!

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