Pain In Finger Joints And How To Unjam A Finger

While many individuals suffer from arthritic diseases that cause mild to severe pain in the body joints, other will experience the occasional pain in finger joints. This type of pain is most likely due to an injury or trauma, but the most common cause is jammed finger. Of course, if you experience this type of trauma, you will most likely know, when it occurred, because it will be very painful.

What is a Jammed Finger

Ligaments are connective tissue that attaches bones to bones, while giving them stability. Jammed finger injury often incurs around the proximal interphalangeal joint of the finger and involves the ligaments. A jammed finger is basically a sprain to the ligament. There are 3 different degrees of a jammed finger, which is determined by the severity of the ligament damage.

Jammed Finger vs Broken Finger

A jammed finger is definitely different than a broken finger. The jammed finger will become edematous, painful, and bruised, with some limited range of motion, which is due to the edema.

A broken finger will have a deformed appearance. The deformity will be at the fracture site, which is often the joint and less frequently a finger bone or phalange. There is a chance that a deformity bump may not be seen and you may still have full range of motion, but do not let this fool you, because you will experience medium to severe pain on movement. After about 10-15 minutes a fractured finger will become edematous and bruised, the adjacent fingers may also become edematous, as well.

Jammed Finger Causes

A jammed finger is caused by a forceful impact to the finger tip. While this type of trauma is better known as a sport’s injury, it can occur at any time, while you are being active or working.

Jammed Finger Symptoms

If the ligament ruptures, you will notice that the finger does look slightly crooked, which means you should visit your local ER for treatment.

  • Edematous
  • Bruising
  • Pain on movement

How to Unjam a Finger

While many sports players will simply  use the “pull it out” technique to unjam their finger, this is not wise, because it can cause more harm than good. Instead, you should ice down the finger and make a splint, by taping the finger to the adjacent finger. This will stabilize the jammed finger and reduce ligament stress.

NSAIDs can also be taken to reduce inflammation and pain. Keep the hand elevated to reduce swelling and continue to ice the jammed finger, as well.

Treatment for Broken Toe

Broken toes are linked to a forceful impact or better known to most, as a “stubbed toe.” Most fractures occur at the phalanges or small bones in the toes. The toe will become edematous and bruised, but may also look deformed. The best treatment for a broken toe is “Buddy-Taping”. This will involve placing padding between the two toes and then taping the broken toe to the adjacent toe.

Keep the foot elevated and apply ice to the fractured toe in 15 minute intervals. You can also take NSAIDs (Advil) to decrease pain and inflammation.

Trigger Finger Causes

Trigger finger is an injury that involves the tendons, which are fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones, while offering flexibility. This can be caused by repetitive use of the finger, where the tendons become inflamed and the finger may become locked or catch, during bending movements.

  • Repetitive use of power tools
  • Repetitive use of pistols or shot guns

Grasping an object with the finger or thumb can definitely lead to trigger finger, as well.