A finger sprain occurs when one or more of the finger ligaments are damaged. It is important to note that the ligaments are durable tissue bands that link one bone to another to form the joints. Once the ligament is damaged, it might be stretched, partly torn or fully ripped apart.
The injury is generally brought about by any abrupt activity where the ligament is twisted or torn apart. This is likely to occur once a ball strikes the finger tip or if the individual falls onto the finger.
What are the signs?
The usual indications of a finger sprain include:
- Finger pain
- Inflammation and evident bruising
- Difficulty using or moving the affected finger
Management of a finger sprain
The individual should change or stop any activities that triggers the pain until the ligament has recuperated.
A finger splint is used, or the injured finger is taped to the adjacent finger for several weeks after the injury.
The doctor might suggest stretching and strengthening exercises to promote healing of the injury. Generally, the individual can resume normal activities if a splint is worn or have the fingers taped together.
The discomfort often settles within a few weeks of self-care measures, but some injuries might take several months or even longer to recuperate. It is vital to carefully follow the instructions given by the doctor.
Self-care measures for finger sprain especially for the pain and swelling include the following:
- Apply an ice pack that is covered with a clean towel or cloth every 3-4 hours at 20-minute sessions at a time.
- The finger must be propped on a cushion if the individual is seated or lying down.
- An over-the-counter pain medication can be given but carefully follow the instructions given.
Proper warm-up exercises and stretching prior to any physical activity or sport can prevent injuries. It is also vital to carefully follow the safety rules and use any protective equipment for a specific sport or work.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on a finger sprain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage this injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Toronto First Aid.