The pain from a jammed finger is immense and often times when you initially jam the finger there is little if any pain however as time passes the pain starts to come through in waves. This pain is awful and depending on how severely you hurt the jammed finger, the pain will be in direct proportion. As you begin to experience the pain of this particular injury you may ask a lot of questions, but the one question in particular that stands out is why does a jammed finger hurt?
The answer itself is relatively simple in direct explanation – you injured your finger and your nerves are sending a signal to your brain that there is something wrong with the finger. This activates the body’s response to injury. That response is swelling of the affected area along with the infusion of oxygen rich blood to the area so that repairs can begin. Of course, the pressure is immense and that also leads to the pain. Think of it this way – when you heat a sausage, initially everything is somewhat squishy, but as you heat it the gases expand within the casing, and the casing is doing all it can to keep the sausage intact. That is a small microcosm of what happens when you jam your finger – there is a lot of activity in a very small space – kind of like a crowded elevator. The worst part – the more crowded it is, the more pain there is and less effective the healing becomes.
This is why it is very important to get ice and anti-inflammatories right away. The ice constricts the inflammation and allows the blood to flow more freely in there and the work to be completed by the body in a way that is less painful. The anti-inflammatories keep your finger from bulging and becoming unusable – instead your finger will be better set to heal. The reality is, however, if you have a very serious jammed finger then these modalities will still help, but the pain will be intense, and if you have a more serious jammed finger, the best suggestion is to see the doctor.
Why Can’t I Bend My Jammed Finger?
Now, when we talk about the functionality of the finger that got jammed, the first question that you may be tempted to ask is why can’t I bend my finger? The short answer is your finger is swollen, and the larger size of the finger is meant to prevent articulation of the joint. This is not a bad thing, think of it as the body creating a natural splint. In fact, thanks to the swelling, it shows that your body is taking active responses to the problem that is the jammed finger. Now, there can be a whole different host of issues that also relate to why your jammed finger is swollen and why you are, despite your best efforts and intentions, unable to move it.
When you have a sprain or a strain, this creates problems with moving the joint. For the minor sprains and strains, you can move the finger with just a bit of pain. Of course, as the severity of the injury increases, so does the pain. In fact, the severity of the injury is related to why you are unable to move your particular jammed finger. If you have a severe strain, what can happen is the tendon is partially or completely torn. This means the muscle is unable to move the bone that is attached via the tendon. The same principle is in action with a sprain. In this case, the ligament that attaches two different bones is partially or completely torn, but in this case the joint is so unstable that either it is unable to move or it moves too freely – almost like a door that is nearly off of the hinge. This can be extremely dangerous.
The other reason that your jammed finger can’t bend is perhaps you do not have a strain or a sprain, but a break. In this case the bones are not in proper alignment, and the pain preventing you from bending the finger is your body telling you to try to do something else.
Whenever you have issues bending your jammed finger, get it checked out by a medical professional. This is how you can ensure that your jammed finger is not symptomatic of a larger problem, and if you have a larger problem, you will get it handled.
Why Is My Jammed Finger Purple?
Now, whenever you jam your finger, there are many different things that can come about. We have discussed the different issues that are related to sprains and strains along with why you can or can’t move your finger. The other symptom that something may be wrong with your finger is the discoloration. Specifically, if your finger is purple, there may be something very wrong with the finger and it is worth checking out right away.
A purple finger is indicative that you have a contusion. Contusion is just a fancy word for a bruise. But what is a bruise? The answer is very simple, a bruise is a few or more than a few blood vessels that have been injured and are causing you to bleed within your body. Of course, internal bleeding is a serious matter, but in the case of a jammed finger it is not as serious as it would be in, say, the liver. Internal bleeding in that organ means you have a very short life expectancy. In the jammed finger it is symptomatic of a serious injury.
Think of it this way – if you close your finger in the car door and the door fractures your finger, that is symptomatic of a very serious injury because the bone in your finger is broken. Like a tornado, severe damage to the interior of the house occurs when the exterior protective layers are destroyed. Fortunately, your fingers do not have a lot of protection, so if you have deep, purple bruising this is indicative of a serious injury, but not a life or death situation. Instead, the blood vessels are leaking. Now, if you have surgery what will happen is there will be bruising because of the need for doctors to cut your finger open to repair it.
However, in situations where the finger itself is victim to a sprain or strain, bruising means that there is most likely a severe issue going on with the injury. This could mean that you may need a splint or even some medical interventions. Never take bruising lightly, especially if your finger is purple, that can lead to an assortment of problems that would be solved if you had taken care of the problem immediately.
The key for any jammed finger is making sure that you do everything you are supposed to do in order for it to heal, if you are unable to move it and it is purple, the immediate course of action is to seek out medical assistance.