Finger injuries – causes, treatments and recovery exercises _ sports injury bulletin best pain reliever for broken bones

With all the focus on knee, ankle, hip, back and shoulder problems associated with sports, debilitating injuries to the fingers often receive little attention, even though they are relatively common. How long does it take to heal broken bones The fact that finger injuries occur in a wide variety of sports, from football to basketball to rugby and tennis, should not be a surprise. Why do broken bones hurt An athlete’s two hands contain a total of 30 finger bones (each finger has three bones, or phalanges, and thus each hand has 15 finger bones), and these bones are connected at their joints by bands of collagenous material called ligaments. Broken bone sticking out of skin Each joint is vulnerable to sprains (partial tearing and disruption of ligaments), strains (over-stretching of the ligaments), dislocations and complete ligament tears during sporting activity.


A ‘jammed finger’ is simply a finger which is troubled by a sprain, strain, or dislocation of one of its joints. Painkillers for broken bones The jamming may result from an impact with an opponent or teammate, sudden contact with a ball, a fall, or any sudden stretching of a finger. How to heal broken bones in foot Falls onto hard, unyielding surfaces (for example, a basketball floor) are particularly likely to produce jams. How do broken bones heal video As mentioned, the ligaments between finger bones may tear, especially if the joint is dislocated (ie, if bones move out of their normal relative positions). Pictures of broken bones in hand In a typical jam, a finger joint is forced together, with twisting of the joint involved as well. Different types of broken bones This compression and torquing often leads to dislocation, which can resolve itself within seconds or might persist until medical attention is received.

Interestingly enough, the joint between the middle bone of a finger and the bone closest to the hand is the one which is most frequently harmed during sporting activity. Pictures of broken bones Also interestingly, the middle finger of the hand is the most likely candidate for jamming. What causes broken bones Theories abound about why this is so, but perhaps the best explanation is the simplest one: the middle finger is usually the longest one and thus tends to be most exposed to contact injuries.

How do you know that you have jammed a finger? If your normally straight finger is suddenly crooked, that’s clearly an obvious sign of jamming. How to deal with broken bones If your finger joints are not dislocated but your finger is severely painful, swollen, discoloured, and/or relatively immobile, you probably have a jam – and you should stop your sporting activity and seek medical help.

Not surprisingly, many athletes react to a jammed appendage by saying, ‘It’s just a finger; it will get better on its own in a day or so’. Easily broken bones disease The reality, however, is that untreated jams often get worse over time, with pain and swelling increasing over a period of several days, especially if the finger receives further contacts during training or competition.

If you have dislocated a finger joint, you must first get the joint restored to its normal position. Types of broken bones When you look for someone to put you back together, a teammate may be willing to oblige, but you should search for a health-care professional with finger-jam experience instead; inexperienced persons who try to straighten out your finger might actually increase the extent of injury at the damaged joint.

Ice should be applied as soon as possible after a jam occurs (however, if there is a dislocation it should be rectified before the ice is utilised). Broken bones in children Icing should occur in 12-minute intervals, with 20-minute breaks between ice applications, for at least the first 24 hours after injury. Broken bones out of skin basketball The injured finger should be elevated, and compression (via an elastic wrap) can be applied; the compression bandage can remain in place continuously. How to treat broken bones However, you should be certain that the compression is not too great by noting the coloration of your finger nails; if even a faint blue colour appears, the compression is too tight. How to treat broken bones first aid If over-tightness is identified, remove the compression bandage for a while and reapply it more loosely later.

What if these treatment modalities fail to relieve your pain? If your finger joint is still swollen and ‘kicking’ with discomfort after 24 hours of treatment, you should consider getting an X-ray of the injured finger to check for a fractured bone. Broken collar bones If X-rays show a fracture of one of the finger bones, the finger may need to be set and supported (splinted) or – in some cases – either placed in a cast or corrected surgically. Bad broken bones in sports If there is no break, you can try alternating cold and heat applications to the injured digit, 12 minutes of icing and 12 minutes of heating are probably about right. Do broken bones heal There is debate about which should come first, but a heat-ice sequence may be the correct one; any increase in inflammation induced by the heat will be toned down by the subsequent ice application. Broken bones in football Try this alternating pattern three to four times daily.

One of the most popular treatments for jammed fingers involves ‘buddy taping’, ie, taping the injured finger to one its adjacent partners. Broken bones sports injuries A buddy-taped finger is protected to a certain extent by its neighbour, particularly if the neighbour happens to be the middle finger, and injured athletes can often return to training or competition within a day or two after sustaining the injury, provided the damaged digit is satisfactorily buddy-taped.

Once the injury has occurred, athletes can take non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs for two or three days post-injury to control inflammation and pain; a diet which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids should also be followed (such a diet should actually be used routinely). How broken bones heal video In a typical case of jammed finger, when the injury does not include a broken bone and when any related dislocation has been properly reduced, pain, swelling, and inflammation usually are gone or significantly reduced within three to five days. Multiple broken bones On the other hand, if there is a break of a bone, a splint or cast may need to remain in place for three to six weeks, and even after this relatively prolonged period there may be some pain or swelling which persists for weeks.

As mentioned, if the injury is limited to a strain or sprain, an injured athlete can often return to play soon after sustaining the injury, as long as the injured finger is taped to its adjacent uninjured neighbour (failure to do this increases the risk that a strain will become a sprain or that a sprain will lead to a significant dislocation). No broken bones The taping, of course, should be undertaken only if pain permits and with the consent of the treating health-care professional. Remedies for broken bones If the pain and/or swelling are severe, however, an athlete may be out of action for a couple of days, and in the case of a break, sport participation may be delayed for a month or more, depending on the sport and the severity of the injury to the joint.

Athletes need to know about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of jammed fingers, and it is obvious that increased strength of the fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms should be helpful in warding off injury. How to heal broken bones faster Within limits, improved flexibility of the fingers, hands, and wrists should also be injury-preventing. Broken bones in your hand However, in many sports which involve rather violent contacts and falls (for example, basketball, football, American football, rugby, volleyball, softball, baseball, and cricket), jammed fingers can occur even in individuals with very strong and flexible hands. X ray broken bones pictures If a ball coming off a cricket bat at 90 miles per hour strikes the end of your finger dead-on, for example, all the strengthening routines in the world may not prevent your finger from getting a serious jamming, or even a fracture.

Nonetheless, we do recommend a series of strengthening exercises to lower the risk of jammed fingers which might occur as a result of less-high-speed, lower-force impacts. Healing broken bones in the elderly Of course, these exercises are the same as the ones used to ‘rehab’ a jammed finger after symptoms have subsided. Top 10 broken bones The exertions are designed to upgrade strength and range of motion in the fingers (the latter effect is particularly important when a finger has been immobilised as a result of injury). Ice for broken bones Here are the key exercises:

(1) The ball squeeze. All my broken bones Place a tennis ball or equivalent in the palm of the injured hand and squeeze as forcefully as pain permits for five seconds. Broken leg bones pictures Slowly relax the hand. Different types of casts for broken bones Rest for five seconds. Broken bones in sports Repeat 10 times at least three times a day. Broken bones heal faster Generally, the more often the sequence can be repeated in a day, the better. Treating broken bones From day to day, pain should subside until the exercise can be performed without pain.

(2) Finger extensions. Causes of broken bones Place your hand, palm forward, on a wall or other flat surface. Broken metacarpal bones in the hand Press the palm toward the flat surface as fully as pain permits and hold for five seconds. Fixing broken bones Return to starting position and rest for five seconds. Treatment for broken bones Repeat this sequence ten times at least three times a day. How to heal broken bones naturally The more often the sequence can be repeated in a day, the better. Most broken bones From day to day, pain should subside until you reach a point at which the exercise can be done without pain.

(3) Finger push-ups. People with broken bones Assume the regular push-up position, with your arms slightly beyond shoulder width and your body perfectly parallel with the ground, but support full body weight on your finger tips, not your palms. Broken arm bones in children Bend your elbows and lower yourself until the tip of your nose touches the ground, and then immediately push yourself back up into the starting position. First aid broken bones Don’t forget to fully extend your arms when you come back up. First aid for broken bones and sprains No cheating – don’t rest your chest on the ground!

(4) Diamond finger push-ups. Broken bones pictures graphic Just like No. Kids with broken bones 3, but your feet should be spread shoulder-width apart and your hands should be placed together, making a ‘diamond’ shape with your thumbs and index fingers. Broken bones for kids Again, support body weight with your fingers instead of palms, and feel the burn!

(5) The scorpion. Two timing touch and broken bones Get down on your hands and knees, and place your hands directly under your shoulders, with your palms spread on the floor and your knees directly under your hips (the tops of your feet should be resting on the floor). Pictures of broken bones are produced using these Straighten your arms, but do not ‘lock’ your elbows. How long do broken collar bones take to heal Place your right forearm on the floor, with your right hand just behind your left wrist. First aid kit for broken bones Reach behind you with your left hand, twisting your torso slightly to the left, and grab your right ankle. How common are broken bones As you inhale, lift your right knee off the floor, raise your chest until it is roughly parallel with the floor, and look up. Treatment of broken bones Find a comfortable height for your chest and raised leg. Broken hand bones pictures Now, lean slightly forward to increase the pressure on your forearm, and steady yourself by pressing your right forearm and right fingers on the floor. New type of cast for broken bones Stay in this position for about six inhalations and exhalations, and then repeat the overall manoeuvre with your left forearm bearing body weight. How do bones heal when broken The scorpion improves hand and forearm strength as well as overall coordination and balance, all of which are important during the kinds of falling movements which can create jammed fingers.

If you complete the above exercises faithfully, your fingers will be ‘stronger than the next man’s,’ and – most importantly – your risk of getting a painful finger jam will significantly decrease.