At its most basic definition, a jammed finger can relate to a sprain or a strain of the ligaments or muscles within the finger, and at most it could be a very serious injury.
A jammed finger is usually related to some sort of impact injury onto the finger or the joint itself. Each finger, with the exception of the thumb, has three joints allowing each finger to bend and at each joint you will have many different tendons and ligaments that allow your finger to articulate. When you move and bend these fingers, the small muscles work with the different ligaments and tendons and give you tremendous grip strength.
So when you jam your finger, a lot of things can go wrong. The first is that you could have a sprain or a strain. Here is the difference, a sprained finger means that you have some ligament damage that may prevent your finger from moving correctly. Ligaments connect bone to bone, and keep a joint stabilized. At the very least, it allows your joint to stay in a secure position, and when you have ligament issues from a jammed finger that is a sprain, then what happens is you can have cartilage damage from the particular finger, or that particular joint.
When it comes to tendon issues, the tendons serve a different function. Tendons connect your bone to muscle, and the tendon traverses the joint. So, when you need to squeeze something, there are a lot of different things at work, and when your hand is clenching something, it is because the tendons have activated because the muscles have contracted and moved the bone the tendon is attached to. When you jam the finger and it is a strain, that means that you have some issues with the tendon and the muscle is not contracting correctly because of the injury.
When it comes to jamming your finger, the pain can be incredibly irritating and in many ways it can stop you from doing many different things that you would like to do.
Should I Worry About A Jammed Finger?
Whenever you are dealing with a jammed finger, there are a lot of different ways that you can deal with it, perhaps the biggest things that you need to know are the treatment modalities. They can be anything from a splint or something simple like aspirin. Regardless of what you would like to do to treat a jammed finger, the key is stabilizing the finger and giving it time to heal.
When you end up having a jammed finger, the reality is it could be a number of different injuries. Anything from a sprain or a strain to a contusion all the way up to a broken finger. Jammed fingers are problematic because there are many different small ligaments and tendons along with different muscles that are integral to moving the finger and using the hand correctly.
There are many different issues that you can have with a jammed finger, but chief among those considerations are the different levels of injury that can be had with a jammed finger. So perhaps you need to think about the different levels of injury that could be had. Some things that you should consider is the extent of the injury. How painful is it? Are you getting relief with anti-inflammatories and ice? Are you able to move the finger and do you have strength in it?
Depending on the answers to these questions is what you need to know about how concerned you should be. If the pain gets worse after the basic RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) treatment for a couple days, then what you need to do is possibly see a doctor. Conversely, if you are unable to move the finger without incredible pain, then what happens is you need to get to a hospital right away. There are some things to think about, however when you are worried about your finger. The first thing to think about how well you are able to move the finger. If you are able to move with pain, that is somewhat alright and if it feels better as time goes by, that’s a good thing as well.
However, if your finger has pain along with severe bruising, then what happens right away is you need to check the joint for stability. If your finger does not move right, then that is when you should be concerned and seek medical attention.
What Is The Medical Term For Jammed Finger?
There are several different medical terms for jammed fingers. Fortunately, the way you learn about these particular injuries is getting medical attention. The biggest terms to know are sprains and strains. As we discussed earlier, there are different symptoms and physical issues that go with the different maladies and how those maladies relate to the physiological structure of the hand. Instead of going into the different types of ligaments and tendons, it makes more sense to talk about the different levels of sprains and strains.
Strains, as we discussed, are tendons and muscles. The different grades of the strains refer to the state of the tendon. A low grade strain has a tendon that may be a bet overstretched. When you go to a mid-grade strain, that might have a tendon partially torn, and of course a high grade strain refers to a tendon that is completely torn – meaning the tendon itself is in two different pieces. Here’s what that means for you – a low grade strain requires the RICE treatment, a mid-grade strain may require physical therapy, while a high grade strain requires surgery and a long rehabilitation.
As far as a sprain goes, the grades are very similar and the different levels of treatment also are the same for ligaments. The big difference with ligaments is getting the joints have greater stabilization. Once the joint is stabilized, it is much easier to rehabilitate.
Most jammed fingers are just that – sprains and strains. Sometimes you will have contusions which is just a fancy word for bruise. If that is the case then you will be in a bit of pain but it will heal quickly enough.
Having a jammed finger isn’t the most pleasant of experiences, but the bottom line is when you know what you are dealing with you will have no problem getting the right treatment even if your injury is on the more severe side.