First aid is the earliest and primary care that anybody and everybody should have a basic clue about and should be a compulsory part of education as injuries, major or minor are a part of day to day life. There is absolutely no replacement for our doctors but being aware about certain primary care is of much importance before a more definitive form of care can be provided to the injured. Today, in this write up, we will be talking about how to treat a jammed finger on your own, at home using simple and easy methods.
A Jammed finger is a common sports injury, often found in those who play basketball. It occurs whenever there is a direct or indirect impact on the tip of the finger or an outstretched finger while dribbling or grabbing a ball or any other kind of sudden, forceful physical contact. This injury results in a sore, red and swollen finger with restricted range of movements at the knuckle joint, that bears the brunt of this injury. The patient experiences pain while trying to bend the finger. On a safer side, it is always better to see a doctor who might advise you regarding the feasibility of an getting a hand X ray scan done, to rule out the possibility of a fracture, be it minor or major (hairline or through and through) . If the movement of the joint leads to a sharp, shooting, unbearable pain, or your finger looks dislocated / disfigured, it is quite likely that you have cracked a bone. The nature of pain, in case of no fracture may be, mild to moderate along with a definite stiffness in movements. There is no need to worry as all the features described above are, normal features of this form of sports injury. Below, are a set of instructions that can be followed to treat jammed finger.
- Make your finger rest sufficiently
Give your finger enough rest for a day or two. Do not try to check for the pain every now and then. It might take a couple of days to recover so, stay calm and patient. A way of immobilizing is to tape or tie the injured finger to adjacent finger, in order to support the injured one. This acts as a splint and keeps the injury from aggravating and getting worse. A ice cream stick can also be tied behind the injured finger to give it enough rest. Do not resume playing again or lifting heavy weights until the pain has fully subsided and the range of movements at the joint has returned to normal.
- Cool down the injured finger
Applying ice is the simplest method to reduce swelling and inflammation in any part of body that gets injured. It also helps in relieving pain to some extent. Ice causes the blood to move away from the inflamed part and allows the swelling to settle, slowly.
- Raise the part
Another way of reducing swelling is to place your injured hand on a piece of furniture higher than your heart while sitting or lying down.
- Take your medications
In most cases, the above three steps along with some over the counter pain killer drugs like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac or seratiopeptidase are sufficient to tackle jammed finger. The dosage of the medications can be discussed with a physician or taken as per the instructions, on the pack. However, if you have certain allergies or physical-conditions that might interfere with metabolism of drug or are taking certain other medications, concurrently, it is an absolute must to see your doctor before taking any medication. Topically applied medications containing combination of Diclofenac and menthol can be used, too and are usually safe.
Physiotherapy may be taken up for faster recovery as even prolonged immobilization might be harmful.