People who are practicing sport activities are exposed to different injuries. Nevertheless, anyone who is practicing physical exercises is at risk to have bone and soft tissue injuries. Now we will have a simplified but scientific answer to the question “How to treat a sprained finger”?
What is a sprain?
It means an injury and damage to the ligaments which support the joints through connecting bones together.
An inflammation will accompany the sprain hence the clinical picture of a sprained finger is predictable.
All signs are related to the inflammation. Thus, the patient will suffer from:
- Severe pain at the inured site.
- Swelling of the sprained finger.
- Redness in the area of sprain, which may become bluish after the first day.
- Inability to move the injured finger efficiently.
- Throbbing pain upon hanging the hand beside the body.
Sprained finger Vs. Broken one
Here, there is an injury to the bones with loss of their continuity.
The manifestations of a broken finger are similar to a sprained finger but more severe than the patient can’t wait to visit a physician.
The pain is exaggerated and extreme upon any attempt to move the injured finger.
Moreover, the finger may look deformed due to the break and loss of alignment of the bone.
Treatment of a sprained finger?
Mild cases don’t necessitate follow up with a physician. On the contrary, more severe cases need imaging study and treatment by a physician.
Some people ask “how to treat a sprained finger at home”?
It is as simple as “RICE”
The patient has to give his hand a rest to avoid moving the injured finger and allow it some time to heal.
He should apply ice during the first 24 h, and then shift to warm foments.
The Ice should never be applied directly to the skin, but use a bottle of iced water and put a piece of cloths between the skin and ice.
N.B.: Apply ice for 15 min then take 20 min rest and then put ice again. This sequence will reduce the risk of developing cold injury to the finger.
Cold foments ease pain as well as reduce the swelling.
On the other hand, warm foments will allow fast absorption and relief of the swelling. In addition, they relax the strained muscles around.
This step involves gentle warping of the finger by a sport tap or small elastic bandage or a finger brace in order to stabilize it and reduce the pain.
It is better to raise the hand above the level of the head in order to reduce the pain and swelling.
In addition to RICE, the patient will need to have analgesics to ease the pain.
After applying the above measures, the finger sprain will improve spontaneously within a few days. While it will take a few weeks for complete healing of the sprain.
How to warp a sprained finger?
It is important to know that the wrap should be just a little bit tight, that’s to say, not too loose and not too tight.
Too loose wrap will not stabilize the finger, thus the healing will be delayed. Furthermore, it will increase the pain.
Too tight wrap will impede the blood supplying the fingertips as well as cause severe pain.
The physician will apply it for 24-48h and remove it and replace it with a buddy split. i.e.: fixating the sprained finger to the neighboring normal one by a first-aid tape.
Sprained finger exercises
The physician will allow some stretch exercises after healing of the sprained injury. The patient can use a hand exercise ball to do this.
Never continue exercise when the pain is severe.
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