I’m 60 years old and enjoy an active life. For the past six months, I’ve been experiencing severe pain in my middle finger, which doctors have diagnosed as trigger finger. Is there a cure for this in ayurveda?

In trigger finger, the affected digit may be stuck in a bent position as though you are pulling a trigger.

The condition is usually more pronounced in the morning, while firmly grasping an object or when attempting to straighten your finger. People who are involved in repetitive fine finger movements and gripping movements are prone to develop trigger finger.

Diabetics and rheumatoid arthritis patients are at higher risk of developing this condition. It occurs when the affected finger’s tendon (tendons are fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone) or tendon sheath become irritated and inflamed. This inflammation interferes with the normal gliding motion of the tendon.

Prolonged inflammation can produce scarring, thickening and the formation of nodules.

Ayurveda offers some therapies for this condition. Application of a paste of dill seeds (Anethum graveolens) mixed with warm water or vinegar can reduce acute inflammation.

In the chronic stage, a procedure called Upanaham can be done at home. Mix fine powders of dill seeds (3 tsp), horse gram (3 tsp), rock salt (1/2 tsp), sesame oil (1 tsp) and vinegar (1 tsp) with yogurt and prepare a paste.

Apply this on the affected joint and wrap with a cloth; retain overnight and remove in the morning. Repeat this for a week or two.

If home tips and external applications are not beneficial, a doctor can prescribe internal medicines, which have shown to provide good results in the treatment of trigger finger. Application of oils such as Murivenna and heat therapies such as Kizhi also gives good results. Please consult an ayurvedic practitioner before resorting to home remedies and for a detailed diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner