An injured swollen finger can be extremely painful; it may feel harsh and result in massive pain with even the slight movements.
Moreover, in the condition of a finger injury, every single action, be it writing, pressing, and holding can become a difficult task.
For all these, in this blog, post we’re going to learn how to treat a swollen finger caused by injury.
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The swollen finger injury is usually classified into two types:
- Jammed finger
- Broken Finger
A jammed finger is one that is not much affected by the injury, although it can be painful, but not severe.
Whereas in a broken finger, pain can be severe and intolerable. Furthermore, a broken finger usually comes under the fracture of bones, which may need to get wrapped and require medical attention.
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However, the similarity between both types of injury is the swelling; be it a jammed or the broken finger, an affected finger can quickly swell from either of these injuries.
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Children require more attention in both conditions. All because ignoring the injury may lead to long term malformation to their finger.
What are the symptoms?
Inflammation is the general symptom of a sprained/injured finger.
More specifically, inflammation is the condition when a specific part of the body becomes swollen, reddened, and painful.
What’s more, reduced mobility and lousy pain in the finger is also the typical symptom of a swollen injured finger.
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Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty in movements
What are the causes?
In general, injury to the finger(s) is happened by the collision of the finger with any heavy item.
Furthermore, a finger is injured when its ligaments that support the bones and joints are damaged due to any particular injury.
Other situations that may injure the finger include:
- Collision with a hard object
- Stuck of the finger in the door
- Holding a heavyweight for long
- The specific incident on the finger(s)
How to Treat a Swollen Finger Caused by Injury:
Most of the typical finger injuries where ligaments are not torn do not require medical help.
In these conditions, it’s a bit easy for us to cure the affected finger at the home.
The following are practical and straightforward tips to treat the swollen finger caused by the injury:
- The P.R.I.C.E approach
- Exercise the finger
- Buddy tape your finger
- Get a finger brace
- Massage the finger
- Apply Tiger balm
- Do contrast hydrotherapy
- Buy a compression glove
The P.R.I.C.E approach:
The approach doesn’t price anything; it’s a professional tip that needs the right way of implementation for an effective treatment to the injured finger.
P – Protect:
- Secure your affected finger from any further collision or damage.
- Keep it away from gloves.
- Sleep on a free bed; prevent making a fist or any inappropriate action while sleeping.
- Monitor its safety from time to time to protect the affected finger from further injury.
R – Rest:
- Give plenty of rest to the affected finger.
- Avoid tough and strenuous activities, which may lead to a more severe condition.
- Do not pull heavyweight with the finger.
Everyday activities you should avoid are:
- Cutting with a knife.
- Pulling or holding.
- Pressing anything.
I – ice:
Icing helps reducing inflammation, pain, and swelling from the joints and connective tissues.
It may also reduce bleeding if the skin is tearing.
Moreover, ice should be the first thing you need to apply after the injury.
- Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag, and wrap it into a towel.
- Apply it directly to the affected finger(s).
- Continue the application of ice for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Repeat the remedy every 2 – 3 hours every day.
C – Compression:
Compression may help reducing swelling from the injured finger. That is, all you need is to provide a slight compression to the affected finger.
- Wrap the finger with an elastic bandage.
- Make sure not to wrap it tightly; otherwise, this can block the blood circulation and may result in further problems.
- Keep the bandage for 1 – 2 days until the swelling stops.
- After removing the bandage, the finger will hopefully be appropriately aligned.
E – Elevation:
Poor blood circulation is one of the reasons for the finger swelling. Hence, the elevation is a smart and simple way to provide better blood flow throughout the finger.
Elevate/raise your finger above the heart level; you can take the support of the table or your knees for effortless elevation.
That’s how easy the P.R.I.C.E method is!
The P.R.I.C.E approach is the professional recommendation and is widely used against the injured swollen fingers!
However, this is not the only way to treat your injured finger; you can also try out some other quick and affordable tips for faster recovery.
Exercise the finger:
Exercises are always necessary & useful whether you are healthy or not.
And it gets even more necessary in the condition of a swollen finger; the quick and simple exercises can help you fix the poor blood circulation, pain, and stiffness on the affected finger.
Each exercise listed below is different, try every one of them individually with a short break of 10 – 20 seconds.
You can ignore either of them if you experience pain from that particular exercise.
And by finding the right exercise, you will hopefully soon experience a reduction in the pain and swelling from the injured finger.
Here they are:
- Keep your finger front/straight. Then slightly lower it down. Repeat this for 2 minutes.
- Move your finger to left and right. Do this for 1- 2 minutes.
- Keep your finger straight, and then roll it circularly like you are drawing an imaginary circle.
- Join every finger and thumb together. Now spread every one of them by making a gap between each other. Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.
- Make a fist and raise the finger for a second and then lower it down. Make sure to protect the affected finger colliding within the fist.
Buddy tape your finger:
Mild to moderate finger injuries can be treated with the help of buddy taping.
It’s a type of wrapping in which the affected finger is taped with its neighbor finger. Furthermore, it helps in protecting the injured finger from further harm and tries it to keep it maintained.
Note: Do not buddy tape your finger immediately after the injury, ice it first, and wait for some hours to let the swelling start.
Method to buddy tape the injured finger:
- Wash your hand thoroughly with the antibacterial soap.
- Take some non-stretch medical or surgical tape.
- Begin to wrap the affected finger with its neighbor ones.
Things to keep in mind:
- Remove the buddy tape before the bath.
- Change it regularly.
- Always use the new tape every time.
- Do not wrap so tight, or it will block the blood.
- Do not use buddy tap on a severely injured or fractured finger.
Get a finger brace:
Medical experts generally prescribe finger braces after a mild or severe finger injury. That’s because it assists in maintaining and treating the injured ligaments. Additionally, it provides excellent support to the affected finger.
- Put your injured finger on the brace.
- Adjust your finger comfortably according to the structure of the brace.
- The tip of your finger should be at the top end of the brace.
- Wrap it well with its supportive tap.
- Keep the finger into the brace for up to 5 – 7 days.
Optionally, you can buy a finger splint as a replacement of braces; they also work alternatively as the finger braces, it’s all up to you what you find comfortable and affordable.
Massage the finger:
Massaging plays a vital role in the injured and swollen fingers. That is, it helps in reducing the swelling and the excessive pain caused by a particular injury.
It’s quite easy to massage, and if you don’t know how then here’s how:
- Take one teaspoon of hot oil, and apply it thoroughly over the affected finger.
- With the thumb of your second hand, massage slightly over the swollen area.
- Slightly press the finger and make round clockwise and anti-clockwise rotations.
- Continue the massage for about 2- 3 minutes.
- Massage your finger 1- 2 times a day.
Apply Tiger balm:
Although Tiger balm is not for treating the finger injury, however, if you want to get rid of severe pain, then you must give a try to this magical balm.
All because Tiger balm contains natural and herbal ingredients, i.e., mint oil, eucalyptus oil, and clove oil, which cooperatively actions in the deep of the muscle tissues.
To work with it, take a fingertip of balm and directly apply it over the painful areas. Massage the finger thoroughly to make the Tiger balm absorb and work effectively in the muscles.
Apply Tiger balm every day until the problem is over.
Do contrast hydrotherapy:
Contrast hydrotherapy is used for providing the effectiveness of both heat and cold to the injured swollen finger.
The therapy will fix the poor blood circulation from the finger.
Additionally, it will provide relief from the pain through the deep action of hot and cold water.
Here’s how to work with it:
- Pour half a liter of hot water in a container; put your hands in it for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Remove your hand from hot water and put it into the container with the cold water for the same duration.
- Repeat contrast hydrotherapy thrice a week.
Buy a compression glove:
It’s a special type of glove that assists in applying balanced compression to the fingers. Moreover, it also prevents the collection of surplus fluid from the swollen finger. The best thing is, it works by itself, and you don’t need any effort to make it work.
The only thing you need is to, wear the compression gloves on the hand of the affected finger, and continue your ongoing work. You can wear it any time, but the night time would be better to let it work for continuous hours without the disturbance.
The following are the things you need to avoid to care the best for your injured finger:
Do not wear any tight or loose ring. Otherwise, this can cause more swelling and may worsen the pain of the injured finger.
Moreover, avoid any items that have nothing to do with the treatment of your finger.
Avoid ball games:
Games like basketball can put pressure on the injured finger. Hence you should take a break from Basketballs, Cricket, Volleyball and other sports which can affect the finger further.
Reduce salt intake:
Salt can produce extra fluid in the body, which may increase swelling on the finger. Reducing and limiting salt can help you prevent swelling in the finger.
If you don’t like less salty foods, you can use the seasonings as a replacement of salt in your food items.
When to seek medical help?
It is possible to treat mild and common finger injury using the tips and remedies mention throughout this article, but in other cases like severe injury and fractures, you will require professional medical attention.
Situations, when you are observing enormous pain, requires the expert’s help.
We recommend consulting with the orthopedic specialist; discuss them openly about the incident that caused the finger injury.
Share every sort of complaint regarding your injured swollen finger with them so they can assist you accordingly.
The Bottom Line:
By implementing the quick and easy remedies listed in this article, your finger will hopefully get free from the tough situation & that’s pretty much how to treat a swollen finger caused by injury!
Whether the injury is mild or severe, always take care of the finger.
And follow the suggested exercises, recommendations, and prevention to fix your finger quickly.
Also, never skip the expert’s recommendations. If anything unusual happens to your injury, & do not take any unprofessional action for the treatment, or you may worsen the problem in your affected finger.