A sprained finger is very disruptive and inconvenient. These injuries can be experienced by anyone, including children. Joints with frequent sprains are the fingers and wrist joints as well as several other areas, with ankle sprains being the most common. Fingers are basically a series of bones and joints, each joint held together with tissues called ligaments. Fingers experiencing conditions of excess weight can lead to a damaged ligament. A damaged ligament will cause pain and swelling due to damaged blood vessels. Fingers or a limb that experience this injury are sprained. A finger can be sprained by any severe impact or twist to any of the joints.
The Short Answer
Sprained finger recovery times vary. They can be affected by a lot of factors such as diet, age, overall fitness, and lifestyle choices. As a general rule, however, the following are guidelines for what to expect based on the grades of sprains.
Grade 1 finger sprain recovery time – a few days to a week
Grade 2 finger sprain recovery time – two weeks to a month
Grade 3 finger sprain recovery time – several weeks to several months
First Aid for Finger Sprains
For first aid you can start by resting your injured fingers. Rest for at least two days, avoiding as much activity as possible. The next step is to apply a cold compress the injured parts and covering them with bandages. A cold compress with ice is useful to relieve pain and prevent further swelling. Sprained finger treatment with an ice pack is done for 20 minutes. This compression can be done twice or more each day. Avoid direct contact with ice because it can damage your skin. You can use a soft cloth like a towel to wrap the ice. Compress with ice only for the first few days then you can do warm compresses to accelerate blood circulation and reduce the build up of blood in and around your finger.
Bandaging the injury can also accelerate sprained finger recovery time. Swelling caused by the dilation of blood vessels surrounding the injured finger in response to inflammation. It’s important to not tie the bandage too tight, though. The bandage should be tight enough to slow the swelling, but not so tight it cuts off circulation. Sprained finger recovery time can be accelerated by elevating the position of the finger higher than the level of the heart. This is to reduce the pressure of blood flow from the heart to the part of injury, and further prevent swelling. Further further treatment is done by giving anti-pain or anti-inflammatory medication.
Causes of Sprains
Sprains are often experienced by people doing serious physical activity such as manual labor and sports. Doing a sudden movement can cause excessive stretching of the ligaments, and that in turn can cause injuries. In some cases sprains are also accompanied by injuries such as fractures. Generally, the body part that most often experiences injuries are ankles, wrists and knuckles. In the case of serious sprains requiring further investigation, to find out how large a torn ligament, physicians usually use an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). From this device can be obtained images about the extent of the injuries to the ligament. If a sprained finger causes serious damage to ligaments or bone fractures, surgery can not be avoided. Sprained finger recovery time will take longer than usual if the bones are also damaged.