When it comes to the types of injuries that can occur to your fingers, having a broken or dislocated is the highest pain threshold. A jammed finger is essentially a minor sprain of the joint. This type of injury occurs when your finger comes into contact with a solid object.
The collision of soft flesh banging up against a hard, immobile object, makes the joint retract slightly. Because the object isn't designed to move when you encounter it, the only other option is for the soft tissue of the finger to recoil to brace against the impact.
Jamming your finger is slightly more painful than a strained finger. A strain doesn’t require any type of treatment, except refraining from using it. To avoid recurring centralized pain on the joint, begin immediate treatment. If left untreated, this could potentially lead to arthritis in the finger.
Below are 3 ways to administer treatment at home, to ensure that the finger heals properly and retains full range of motion.
1. Anytime you injure a joint, there are nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles in and around the area. So, start by examining the finger, to make certain that there isn’t any major swelling or bruising; which would indicate a more serious injury. If it isn’t bent or crooked, then simply apply an ice pack to the joint. Continue with ice only for a total of one hour. If there’s lingering pain, after the hour, then proceed to number two.
2. Take two ibuprofen, and if the pain persists after four hours, take two acetaminophen or one 365 mg aspirin tablet. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), an over-the-counter medication. It'll lessen redness and reduce any remaining pain, while decreasing inflammation. Acetaminophen and aspirin are intended for pain only, as they won’t help with any abnormal puffiness.
3. And finally, the third way to treat a jammed finger is to immobilize the joint. This can be done with simple sports tape
or medical tape. Don’t wrap the adjacent fingers and there’s no need to use any type of splint. Of course, if the joint's tender to the touch, a simple do-it-yourself splint can be made, using two wooden Popsicle sticks and the tape.
After treatment and rest, if there's soreness and swelling, it'd be good idea to see your family physician. In the case of bruising or stiffness, then it might be necessary to go to a local clinic or hospital facility for a medical assessment and/or x-ray.
Sometimes, a jammed finger can accompany a more serious injury, such as minor ligament tear or a damaged tendon. Pain is the indicator for when it’s okay to treat an injury at home or if you need to seek medical attention. Little or no pain and it’s just a moderately jammed finger. A great deal of pain, which doesn’t ease after taking over-the-counter pain relievers, could indicate a soft tissue injury.