sprained finger recovery time

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1) What is a Finger Sprain?

2) Finger Sprain First Aid

3) The PRICE Method

4) Caring for a Finger Sprain

5) Preventing Finger Sprain

sprained finger recovery time

1) What is a Finger Sprain?

The love of ball games might sometimes be cut short by an injury such as a sprained finger. This is a condition whereby ligaments of the finger undergo either stretching or tearing. Ligament tissue connects the phalanges – which are small bones of the finger – to the interphalangeal joints. When damaged, these ligaments understandably hurt. The extent of the stretch or tear determines the degree and severity of sprain to the finger.

First-degree finger sprain occurs when there is micro-tearing and stretching of the ligament with a stable joint. A second-degree sprain is when there is a partial tear to the ligament tissue with a mild instability of joint. The most severe form of finger sprain is third degree where there is total instability of joint as a result of complete tearing or rupture of ligament tissue.

sprained finger recovery time

2) Finger Sprain First Aid

A doctor is best qualified to diagnose a sprain. Diagnosis may include an x-ray or an MRI, as well as visual confirmation of swelling and discoloration. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose, as there may be other issues. If it is indeed a sprained finger, first aid is advised with the help of a medical professional.

On your own, first, allow the injured finger to rest. Follow rest with massaging the site using ice or a cold pack for fifteen to twenty minutes until the swelling subsides. It is also advisable to completely immerse the injured finger in cold water because by doing this, the whole area under pain is in contact with the cooling temperature. The use of ice or ice packs may result in some parts not getting the necessary treatment by contact.

This is then followed by applying pressure to the injured finger by the use of an elastic compression tape or bandage to keep it in place and allow the minimal flow of blood to the affected area, without cutting off circulation entirely. This is further done by elevating the injured finger above the rest of the body to prevent fluid build-up and painful swelling. Care, however, needs to be taken while handling of the sprain using a tape or bandage. When there is too much pressure on the injured spot, then there is the risk of additional damage and complications.

sprained finger recovery time

3) The PRICE Method

First aid treatment of finger sprain will depend on the severity of the injury. When there is more damage to ligaments, as is the case with the second and third-grade sprain, more swelling and some discoloration may be apparent. This will call for the use of the PRICE principle of practical therapy for the first two to three days. PRICE is an easy way to remember what to do with a sprain.

Protection – Keep the injured finger safe, immobile, and away from anything that can make the injury worse.

Rest – Allow the injured finger to rest. Don’t use it immediately.

Ice – Use ice or an ice-water bath on-and-off for 20 minutes intervals for the first two days. This will reduce swelling and therefore the later soreness of the sprain.

Compression – Using tape or an elastic wrap, keep the finger under constant pressure. Be careful not to cut off circulation completely, though.

Elevation – Keep the damaged finger elevated above the level of the heart. This allows excess fluids, preventing painful swelling.

 

If diagnosed with a third-degree strained finger, there may be a need to involve the services of professional sports physician and work together with a surgeon to have the damaged ligament surgically repaired. Physical therapy may also be necessary to return to the full functioning of the injured finger. Recovery periods depend on the routine of the injured individual, as well as immune system, metabolism, and body structure.

sprained finger recovery time

4) Caring for a Finger Sprain

When caring for a sprained finger, rest is most important. Not allowing the sprain to rest will lengthen recovery time and could even lead to additional injury. In worst case scenario, a serious injury could occur, resulting in surgery or prolonged healing. If the finger hurts too much when moved, wrap it with an elastic wrap or with tape and a splint. For the first two days, use an ice pack for twenty minutes at a time, also removing it for twenty minutes.

For the pain, over the counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory medicines can be used. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both helpful, but shouldn’t be mixed with prescribed medications without a doctor’s permission. And as further relief from the pain of a finger sprain, wrap it in a hot cloth or heating pad, or even submerge it in hot water. And like any injury, balanced nutrition is also vital for a quick and healthy recovery after injury.

sprained finger recovery time

5) Preventing Finger Sprain

A finger sprain can be prevented by using safe and recommended techniques during sports, especially in ball games such as baseball, softball, cricket, and basketball which which are the highest risk for a finger injury. Additionally, simple care should be taken in everyday activities that could expose the finger to twisting or wrenching. Even tasks as simple as picking up a shopping bag could result in finger injury.