Tips on How to Treat a basketball Jammed Finger
Written By Lamar Hull @ Google+
Have you ever jammed your finger playing basketball?
Of course you have, this is a very common injury! A lot of people will tell you to suck it up, but this nagging injury can affect how you play basketball if not treated properly. You would rather play tape free than having tape on your shooting fingers. This will make you tougher, but isn’t ideal for any basketball player long-term!
A jammed finger is an injury that is caused when the finger is hyper-extended or bent backwards at the joint. How do I know this? Because I have had plenty of jammed fingers during my long basketball career and did some research. This type of injury is common among basketball players and other athletes who use their hands extensively during competition. Despite the amount of pain felt when you get a jammed finger, this type of injury is not usually serious and can be treated in a matter of days with the correct treatment.
Typical basketball finger injuries occur when catching a pass and the basketball pops the top of your finger. Another way is, jumping for a rebound and your finger smashing in to the bottom or side of the basketball.
Here are some tips on how to treat and care for a jammed finger from playing basketball.
Apply an Icepack to the Joint
- Most of the pain felt in a jammed finger is usually due to the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured joint. That’s why you feel that throbbing and warm sensation. Applying ice or anything with a cooling effect to this area will help constrict the local blood vessels and reduce pressure to the finger injury.
- Icing the joint will also help numb the nerves in this area and produce an anesthetizing effect. When you ice the injury, place a thin towel or a piece of fabric between the ice pack and your skin in order to prevent any ice burns. Apply the ice pack for fifteen minute intervals for about 45 minutes until the swelling subsides and the pain reduces.
Gently Compress the Finger with a Wrap
- Doing this will keep the joint steady while at the same time countering the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured finger. You must however, ensure that the wrap does not completely cut off blood flow to the injured area, since the joint needs blood and nutrients in order to heal properly.
Elevate the Injured Finger
- Since jammed fingers are most painful within minutes of the injury, you should raise the arm with the injured finger in order to reduce pressure caused by blood flow. You can raise the arm just slightly above your head and gently rest your elbow on a soft surface such as a cushion or a pillow. Keep the finger elevated for as long as you feel is necessary.
Get some good Over-the-Counter Pain Killers
- Pain killers will help manage any persistent pain. Since jammed fingers are not serious and may only take a few days or weeks to heal, you can use good pain killers such as aspirin from your local pharmacist to help rid you of the pain. Any good pharmacist will help you choose the best medication for your jammed finger. It is important to take the medication as directed. Do not take it on an empty stomach since these painkillers may cause abdominal discomfort especially when used for a number of days.
Splint the Finger
- Splinting the jammed finger will help keep it steady and undisturbed as it heals. Tape a small piece of metal or smooth piece of wood such as a popsicle stick against the injured finger. Put some cushion between the stick as this will reduce any chances of irritation caused by rubbing the splinter against sensitive skin.
- You can also tape the jammed finger against an uninjured one. This is commonly known as buddy splinting or buddy taping. This type of splinting will allow for some degree of mobility to the injured finger will keeping it safe. This is what most basketball players will do and is what I recommend when trying to play basketball with a jammed finger. We all know, if you are a tough basketball player, you are playing with a jammed finger, so budding taping is a great temporary solution!
Rest the Finger
- Since a jammed finger may take a couple of days and a couple of weeks to heal, you will have to keep it away from any heavy or strenuous work. If you injured your finger while on the court, you may have to skip a couple of games to avoid worsening the injury. This is all predicated on how serious the jammed finger is. If serious and your jammed finger is blue, you may need to consider other forms of practice that do not involve the use of your injured finger. Being patient and resting the finger will actually make the injury heal properly and faster.
I’m not saying you are soft basketball player, but I have jammed my finger several times during my basketball career and know how serious a severe basketball finger injury is. If you suspect that you have a severe jammed finger, I’m not a doctor, so you may want to see a physician before you start treating the injury yourself. The doctor will assess the type of injury and give you the green light to proceed with the above mentioned tips and ways of handling the problem.