There are many different ways that you can get a jammed finger, and unfortunately none of those different scenarios are pleasant – in fact they are all pretty miserable. As for what causes a jammed finger, the main reason is that you do something where your finger is bent in an unnatural way. This could be a finger bent too far backwards or to the side. The medical term is that it gets hyper-extended. Many times when your finger gets jammed it can also be dislocated. If you have an empty stomach, then it is alright to google image search dislocated fingers, though it stands to reason that you can have a far better time looking at things far less gruesome.
Sports are a major cause of jammed fingers. In combat sports, jammed fingers happen relatively often, that is why boxers and other fighters wrap their hands – it is done to keep the fingers in a stable position because, after all, your hand is making contact with harder surfaces, and that can lead to breaks. However, the reason why training gloves in boxing are 16 ounces instead of the 10 or 8 ounces is because when you are hitting the heavy bag that is a prime moment for a finger to jam. Heavy bags are designed not to move unless a large amount of force is applied, so the glove acts as a buffer.
Basketball players get their fingers jammed all the time, while trying to catch the ball but instead hitting the fingers. Other sports have jammed fingers as well, and you can jam your finger if it gets caught in the car door or if you are working with tools outside. Basically, if you can think of a way for your finger to get bent in an unnatural way, what you are looking at is a situation that is ripe for a jammed finger and the pain that will accompany it – which is something that is never good.
How To Know If You Have A Jammed Finger?
So, with that all being said, how do you know if you have a jammed finger? The first thing you will notice is the pain, and oh boy – it is a very distinct pain. The best way to describe it is that it feels like your finger is getting ripped out of the socket and put on top of another finger. Whatever the feeling is, it is not good. The next thing that happens is the swelling. Some may not feel pain immediately – this is the shock part of it – but the finger will feel like it is blowing up like a balloon, and that’s the body’s response to the damage that occurred.
Perhaps after the pain, the next question would be about when the finger is injured. Bending it is rough, and it will feel like you are doing everything you can just to move the finger in the right way. It will also feel like the finger itself is blocked from moving. Now, when you splint the finger, this will cut down on the movement but there it will feel awkward and you will have to re-learn how to grip some items as the finger is healing.
After a surgery, there will be pain in the area. This is to be expected – after all someone just went ahead and cut open your skin and went through your muscle. This area will be very tender and sore. When you are doing things like physical therapy, it will feel like you are ripping everything open again, but that is not a bad thing – what you are doing is ripping up scar tissue and allowing your body to get the blood flowing through there so it can heal.
Whether your jammed finger is a sprain or a strain, the truth is you are going to feel very similar amounts of pain, and of course the severity of the injury is what governs how much pain you are going through. Ultimately, the pain is the biggest indicator of your finger being jammed.
The other way you can tell is the appearance. If your finger is dislocated, then consider it jammed, and that is fairly evident to see if you have even the most basic powers of vision. Other things to look at are if the finger is swollen – one finger looks like a breakfast sausage and the other four look normal, for example. If your finger is jammed and has a bruise, this is important to notice. If you can move the finger the entire range of motion however you have some pain, then you just have to deal with the bruise. However, if you are unable to move the finger the entire range of motion, you could have a serious injury.
How To Prevent Jammed Fingers?
The easiest way to prevent jammed fingers is take care of your hands. Going back to the boxing analogy, you should never hit anything unless you are in a controlled environment. Many finger jams happen when people are careless. Back to the boxing idea, the reason you wrap your hands a certain way is protecting all those small bones, so when you are playing any sport where the fingers can play a part, be sure to keep them safe within equipment. In baseball, they now have padded batting gloves, and in football the smart move is to tape your fingers so they become too big to get caught in a facemask.
When you are not in an athletic situation, the key is paying attention to what you are doing. If you are not looking and the car door is open, that is often the case when someone comes in with a jammed finger thanks to the car door slam. Also, be sure that you use different tools correctly. Another weird yet true way that fingers get jammed is when putting on clothes. Fingers have a way of getting caught in loops of belts and shirts can get wrapped around them as well. This may sound completely ridiculous, but the truth is there are far more jammed fingers resulting from clothes than you can imagine.
The bottom line is if you take care of your hands your hands take care of you, so that is why you should avoid hitting things – and people – out of anger, and take a few more seconds in the morning when you get dressed to be sure nothing is wrapped around your essential digits. The best way to prevent jammed fingers is to be vigilant in how you take care of your hands. If your hands are taken care of, then you will be able to use them effectively for your lifetime instead of for just a part of your lifetime, and that right there is a key to quality of life.