Sprained fingers are very common in sports like cricket, table tennis, volleyball, basketball etc. This is a very uncomfortable injury that restricts your day to day routine but it’s not dangerous.
You can know if you have sprained fingers or not by seeing any cramps or redness on your skin and observing the swelling in your finger. If you are still not able to figure it out then you need to consult your doctor for a proper examination and to be particular if you have a fracture or sprained finger.
Here we have shared some tips and methods to know if your finger is broken or sprained.
1. Inspecting Your Finger Visually:
- Looking for swelling on the sides of your finger: Swelling is a most common and first sign of a sprained finger. If your finger is sprained then your finger is swollen from both sides. This swelling is because of the tendons attached to bone. The bones of fingers are damaged or torn. If your finger is bent too much on the side it will damage or tear your ligaments and cause swelling in your finger.
- See redness on your finger: This is also a common sign of sprained finger. Red discoloration of your finger shows that you have a sprained finger. If you see more redness on your finger than other fingers then it is confirmed that your finger is sprained. Degree of redness depends on the sensitivity of the sprain. If you have major sprained your finger color is dark red or if you have minor sprain, then the colour of your skin will be light pink.
- Inspect the bottom of your finger if the finger was bent backward: If the bottom side of your finger feels harder and tougher than usual then you have a sprained finger. This is because the tendon of the base of the finger is torn or stretched and has caused sprain. To confirm this, compare your infected finger with another normal finger.
2. Painful Symptoms of a Sprain:
- Try to move the finger normally after the injury: If you have a sprained finger then move your finger several times. If you can’t properly move your finger such as it doesn’t bend or can’t hold weight and experience any pain then your finger is sprained. For example if you face difficulty in holding a bottle or grabbing anything or picking up anything and experience pain then you most likely have a sprained finger.
- Pay attention to cramping or spasms in your finger muscles: When you have a sprained finger then your muscles must not be working properly and are affected. Move your finger daily and you may feel pain and experience cramps. Cramps make your finger twisted and bent. Sprains are also caused by muscle spasms. So, in case you notice your finger bent or twisted you are likely to have a sprained finger.
- Note how much pain you feel in the sprained finger: Any finger injury causes pain and the level of pain will determine how sensitive your injury is. If you still feel pain after 48 hours then you likely have sprained your finger because in normal injury pain heals within 48 hours. If you experience sharp and severe pain then you have a severely sprained or broken finger.
- Straighten your finger and see if the tip stays bent: if your sprained finger gets impacted, it may be compressed and cause potential sprain or may harm your joint. This circumstance is known as a “mallet finger.” So, in case you attempt to straighten your finger and the end stays bent at an attitude, it will need to be skillfully splinted. unless it’s followed by a sprain, mallet finger is frequently painless.
3. Consult Doctor For Examination:
- Visit a doctor if you still feel pain after 48 hours: Consult with the doctor if your finger is still swollen or bruised after 48 hours. If a sprained finger causes pain after a couple of days then take an appointment with your orthopedic physician. They will examine your finger properly and check whether it’s bone damage or your tendon/ligaments have been sprained. Go to an emergency if you can’t bend or move your finger and you face restrictions in daily routine activities for proper treatment and emergency aid.
- Describe your finger injury to the doctor: Describe the condition of your finger pain. Tell the doctor about when and where you injured your finger. Describe the reason to a doctor how you got this injury like an injury caused by a wrong catch of the ball or hitting your finger with the desk or anything. Tell the angle from where your finger is injured. Describe in detail how much pain you experience and either it increases or decreases with time. Also consult your doctor if you have a mallet finger because it needs proper and immediate medical treatment.
- Request an Imaging scan if your doctor can’t visually confirm a sprain: Doctor suggests you to do an X-ray or MRI scan of your finger for the confirmation of strain. Both scans will give you a clear image of your bone, ligaments and tendons in your finger. MRI scan will give you a clear scan of ligaments in your injured finger. After examining your scans the doctor will be able to diagnose whether your finger is sprained or not. Both X-ray and MRI scans cause no harm or pain.
4. Treating Your Sprained Finger:
- Splinting your sprain finger: Splinting your sprain finger during any sports activity is normal and useful and protects your injury but splinting your finger without any reason causes stiffness of your finger. For the movement and treatment consult your doctor.
- Buddy Tape your finger: Tape your sprained finger with adjacent fingers. This will reduce your pain and help to heal the sprain. It helps your sprained finger stay in place and flex and extend. Your sprained finger not being able to twist or move independently will reduce pain. Restrictions in movement cause reduction in pain.
- Other treatments: Other treatments are:
- Icing your sprained finger.
- Elevate if there is any swelling.
- Take anti-inflammatory meditation.
- Slowly and slightly move your finger to prevent stiffness.
If you have pain and swelling in your finger then you possibly have a sprained finger. If you don’t know how to detect your sprained finger then firstly inspect your finger. Look at the swelling on the sides of your finger or the redness of your finger. If your finger swells and becomes red in color then you have sprained your finger. And also examine the base of your finger if it is bent or not, if you have a sprain then your finger will not bend. Note the symptoms like not moving your finger easily, having cramps or spasms in your finger muscles, how much pain you feel, the higher the pain the chance of sprained finger is also high and how much your finger bent will show whether you have sprained finger or not. Consult with your doctor if you still feel pain in your finger after 48 hours and describe the proper condition of your injury for diagnosis for sprain. You also treat sprained fingers by buddy taping your sprained finger with your adjacent fingers and splinting your sprained finger. You also use other methods like icing, anti-inflammatory medicines etc, for treating your sprained finger.