Although you won’t often hear about them as much as ankle or knee sprains, finger sprains are a common injury. The problem is that most people who suffer from them tend to keep the condition to themselves and simply let the injury heal on its own. However, finger sprains can be serious and lead to permanent damage, and thus, should not be neglected.
What causes finger sprains?
Finger sprains occur when a finger bends beyond its limit. This often leads to pain and possibly ligament injury. In more severe cases, a dislocation can occur, wherein bones have been forcefully moved away from their normal position. In such cases, the dislocated bone will need to be put back into place.
What to do
If the injury is not that serious, such as some basic swelling or bruising, apply the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). You might want to immobilize the finger by taping or splinting to prevent further damage. If the injury is serious—say, if the finger is bent or twisted in an abnormal way–it’s time to have it checked by a medical professional. Be prepared to have your injury X-rayed before your treatment can begin.
Depending on the complexity of your injury, your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist who can create an individualized treatment plan to help your finger regain its full movement and function.