View Full Version : Finger joints snap after playing tennis

01-15-2010, 07:25 AM

I'm 26. A few months ago I was playing tennis about 3 times a week for a continuous period of 4 months. I started having "snaps" or "clicks" in my ring finger and little finger in my right hand, with which I hold the racket (they were fine before I went back to playing regularly). It's nothing severe, it's just that before, when I folded these fingers, they used to fold smoothly, but after I started playing they started "snapping" into folded position and snapping back. The snapping was sometimes a bit painful, and was usually worse after a night's sleep.

Then for a few months I stopped playing, and it disappeared. Now I'm back to the court and it's starting to come back.
I checked my grip size and according to the "stick your pointing finger when you hold the racket" method and it's just fine in size. I know that I had a problem of gripping the racket too hard during the game, so now when I play I try to relax my fingers between rally to rally (let go of the racket, shake my palm, stretch my fingers etc.).

My question - what do you think about finger braces? From what I've read they're mainly for use after the game...
Is there anything else I can do/wear to relieve this?



01-15-2010, 09:50 AM
Do you grip the racquet rather tightly? I get that in my wrist from time to time- Just think it's from the whipping motion of my forehand.

Take some Tylenol Arthritis- not because it's arthritis, because this version of Tylenol is the best.

I'd imagine taping your bad finger to a good finger would help- or just taping the joint somewhat- not too tight- would aid in the restriction of placing the joint into too much stress.

01-16-2010, 07:59 PM
It sounds like you have developed "trigger fingers". (The proper medical term is "stenosing tenosynovitis", but even most doctors call it "trigger fingger",)

The tendons of your fingers pass through circular bands of tissue (called pulleys) to keep the tendon close to the finger bones. (Without these pulleys, our tendons would pop way out from the finger bones when we bent our fingers.)
With inflammation of the tendon it may "swell" or form a small nodule. Then as the tendon moves through the tunnel created by the pulley, the swollen area "catches", with only increased force of finger contraction overcoming the friction. Thus, the tendon moves all of a sudden with a "snapping sensation".

Check out these sites for more information:

I had a friend that got a steroid injection for trigger finger of the thumb, and was back to playing tennis in about three weeks.

Explain what you have to your regular doctor. Likely you would need a referral to a "hand surgeon", as they are the ones who usually manage this problem, even though few patients are ever so severe that they need surgery.

01-18-2010, 08:17 AM
Thanks a lot for the input guys. CharlieFederer, thanks for the detailed explanation but I don't think my case is that severe. I read about trigger finger and it sounds much worse that what I (used to) have. Thus I'm not looking for professional medical help, just something simple, maybe orthopedic, to prevent my fingers from starting to snap again in the future... And asking about finger braces.

01-19-2010, 09:30 AM
I have that too, except it gives me no pain just my joints of fingers snap to open and snap to closd.

01-19-2010, 03:02 PM
I have that too, except it gives me no pain just my joints of fingers snap to open and snap to closd.

i have this too. i'm now 20 and been it's been happening since i was around 10 ish.

01-20-2010, 01:25 PM
thanks for the input

09-19-2012, 12:09 AM
Glad to know I'm not the only one who have this. My right middle finger snaps after a time I was regularly playing tennis. I did notice the snaps becomes louder right after playing.

09-19-2012, 07:54 AM
I have that too, except it gives me no pain just my joints of fingers snap to open and snap to closd.

Same here. My finger even gets locked at trigger position, but it's easy to move it to straight. And snaps, snaps, snaps, but with no pain.

09-21-2012, 07:38 AM
For me, a bigger grip helped some. One might try an extra overgrip. Clenching too tightly is not good..