How to Heal Stuff

Cures & Health Tips for Common Ailments

How to Heal a Jammed Finger

Anyone who has ever jammed a finger can tell you, it’s something you want to heal as quickly as possible. A jammed finger is usually caused by a harsh impact and results in a torn or stretched tendon. The chief symptom is painful swelling in the joint. To heal this injury it is important to begin treating it right away. If possible, simply see a physician or medic immediately after the injury occurs. If the finger appears to be broken or dislocated, or immediately forms bruises, go directly to a doctor.

Cooling Down

Gently pull the finger starting from the bottom, to guide it back into place, then put ice on it. Keep ice on the injury for 15 to 20 minutes, and then allow the finger return to a normal temperature. After removing the ice and letting the hand warm up again, try carefully moving and bending the finger to see if it is healing. Repeat this process once an hour until the swelling goes down and the pain eases; you may need to continue this treatment for a couple of days.

Keeping the Injury At Bay

To prevent any additional injury or strain, get the jammed finger in a splint right away, or securely tape it if it is too short for a splint. If you do not have a medical splint, securing the finger with a tongue depressor or wooden popsicle stick and medical tape will work as well. The finger will probably need to remain in the splint for four to eight weeks to heal completely. To keep it from atrophying, gently stretch and move the finger on its own every couple of days; however, take care not to overdo the movement, even if the finger is getting better. Tendons are sensitive and can take a long time to fully repair themselves.

Elevation

Keep the injured digit raised above your heart as much as possible. Slowing the blood flow to the finger can ease the swelling.

You can take aspirin or a painkiller with an anti-inflammatory agent, such as ibuprofen, to ease the pain and swelling. If the swelling does not go down or the pain gets worse, visit a doctor to get an x-ray as soon as possible; the finger may have a fracture or be dislocated. A jammed finger, like a regular sprain, will usually heal on its own if you employ the basic steps: rest, ice, compress, elevate (R.I.C.E.) It usually takes about a month, so be patient; as long as the finger is getting better and not worse, continue healing it with these steps.

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