If you’ve been dealing with a jammed finger, you probably do sports actively as it’s a common injury among rugby, football, basketball, and volleyball players. It’s a sprain of joint that occurs as a consequence of an intense impact to the end of your finger.
There are a few home methods which may help you treat a jammed finger faster. If they don’t bring any positive results after a few days, you should consult a specialist to start a medical treatment.
The main symptoms of a jammed finger are pain in your finger, swelling, inflammation, sensitivity to touch, a limited range of motion, and stiffness. In most cases, a jammed finger is not serious. However, you should never ignore it as if it’s not treated on time, it can lead to chronic ailments.
How to Treat a Jammed Finger Quickly
Before you start any treatment, you need to be sure that your injury is not serious. However, don’t panic if your finger hurts a lot as it doesn’t have to reflect the seriousness of the injury. What’s more, it’s typical for a jammed finger to be very painful in the initial stage. However, you need to be sure that your finger is not dislocated or fractured really badly.
A worrying sign is that apart from moderate inflammation, swelling, and pain, you can also observe that your finger is bent at an unnatural angle or it’s extremely bruised or swollen. In such a case, you should consult your doctor.
If not, rest your finger for a few days and try to help yourself with home remedies. If your finger is only mildly jammed, the ligaments are just stretched, but they aren’t torn. It’s then classified as grade one sprain and it’s nothing serious.
The key rule in treating a jammed finger is patience and having a break from doing sports. Sometimes a few days is just enough, but it may also last a few weeks. Unfortunately, even everyday activities, such as typing or grabbing things might be difficult, especially if it’s your dominant hand that is injured.
In order to treat your jammed finger faster, you may try various home remedies which often turn out to be very effective. If after a few days you don’t see any difference, seek a medical consultation.
1. Cold Therapy
Your finger hurts mainly because it’s inflamed. Therefore, the first thing you should do is apply ice to your finger. It will immediately reduce the pain, swelling, and it will slow down the blood circulation. You may use a special gel pack that you cool down in the freezer or try whatever frozen products you will find, such as ice cubes or vegetables.
Apply a cold compress several times a day, but for no longer than 15 minutes at a time as it can lead to further irritation. Don’t apply ice directly on the skin, but first wrap it in a soft cloth or a towel. Also, it’s good to keep your arm a little bit higher during the ice therapy as it will bring a better effect.
2. Tape Your Finger
Try a technique known as buddy taping, which means that you tape your injured finger to your adjacent finger as it will protect it from further injuries and make it more stable. You can use a medical tape, a masking tape, a rubber bandage, or a self-adherent wrap to bind your fingers. Don’t do it too firmly, though, as it can cut off your blood circulation or cause even more swelling.
You can place some cotton gauze between your fingers as otherwise some blisters may develop on your skin. It’s also worth using an aluminum or wooden splint together with the tape as it will provide extra support for your jammed finger. The splint will make it easier for you to keep a jammed finger straight and it will prevent any movements.
Wear a splint for at least a week and in case of some more serious injuries, you may have to wear it even for four weeks. If you feel uncomfortable with the splint, you may remove it for a few hours every day, but be careful and don’t bend your finger then.
3. Take Over-the-Counter Products
It’s worth taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which you will get in your pharmacy. The most common and effective ones include naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin.
Of course, you can use them short them only, no longer than two weeks as otherwise they can have bad influence on our kidneys, liver, or stomach. However, if you use them just for a few days, they are safe and can successfully relieve inflammation, pain, and swelling
If you are afraid of side effects after taking medications, you may also apply a pain-relieving gel or an anti-inflammatory cream to your injured finger. It will act only on the affected area and it will be safe for your stomach.