A jammed finger is a common occurrence in sports enthusiasts as it generally makes reference to an injury that affects any of the three joints in the finger. This often occurs as a result of hard impact to the fingers, hence the reason it is common in active sports men and women. It is also important to mention that the toes can also get jammed in the same way- following impact to the toes and this affects the joints. Some of the symptoms of this condition include stiffness, reduced motion in the affected finger, swelling, inflammation as well as tenderness in the fingers.
Left untreated, a jammed finger can cause immense pain and lead to chronic conditions. This is what makes it extremely important to address jammed fingers immediately. Typically, the period of recovery is largely dependent on the extent of the injury. For mild cases of jammed fingers, it takes a couple of weeks to recover completely.
In cases where the fingers are jammed and have a fracture, healing takes a longer period, and is usually accompanied by excruciating pain. Since it may not be possible to understand the nature of the injury at first glance, it is always recommended that you seek medical attention and an X-ray to rule out other complications. As a general guide, you must also seek the services of a physician in the event that the pain intensifies. Below are some of the home remedies that are recommended for use as an adjunct therapy for the natural treatment of jammed fingers.
1. Get Ice Therapy Immediately:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A handful of ice cubes, a clean towel and a pack of frozen vegetables (optional).
One of the best ways to manage jammed fingers immediately after an injury is to make use of ice therapy. Applying ice is recommended for this because it helps reduce the intensity of the body’s inflammation at the point of contact. Ice is also known to keep down the swelling and ease the pain by numbing the injured fingers. This goes a long way in managing the aforementioned symptoms of jammed fingers. Note however, that this remedy is not recommended for those suffering from heart disease, diabetes and diseases that affect the nervous system. Additionally, ice cubes must never be placed directly on the skin as this increases the risk of getting frostbite. Follow the simple procedure below to use ice therapy and help your injured fingers recover quickly.
- Place the ice cubes on a clean towel and wrap them well. You want to do this so that you have an easy-to-use pack.
- Rub the ice pack on the affected fingers for at least 5 minutes before taking the pack off.
- Take a 2-minute break and return the ice pack to the injured fingers once again.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 two more times, making sure you do not apply too much pressure; this avoids additional damage to the fingers.
- Use ice therapy for as long as you need to, until the injured fingers are completely
2. Rest the Injured Finger:
Time Required: Varies, but should be done daily until the finger heals.
What You Need: Less strenuous activities for the affected finger.
The second thing that you must do to speed up the recovery process for jammed fingers is to ensure that you rest the injured finger. As a matter of fact, proper rest is one of the most integral parts of healing damage to the soft tissue. If you keep up with strenuous activities, you not only risk further injury, but the pain becomes more pronounced and there is always the risk of increased inflammation. Use the handy tips below to help the jammed fingers recover quickly.
Tips to Help Rest the Injured Fingers
- Avoid straining the affected finger by all means. This includes putting workout routines that affect the finger on hold, avoiding sudden jerking movements as well as incorporating bodily rest. Note that you may keep up with your workout routine provided it does not affect the injured fingers.
- Rest may also be done alongside ice therapy to shorten the time it takes for the affected fingers to heal.
3. Turmeric Powder:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons each of turmeric powder and coconut oil, a water bath, a bandage and disposable gloves (these are optional).
Turmeric powder is one of the most potent home remedies for the management of pain and inflammation, of which jammed fingers are no exception. When there is an injury to the fingers and the joints are affected, there tends to be a lot of pain and inflammation. This is where turmeric comes in handy as its anti-inflammatory healing properties help manage the symptoms of jammed fingers. Turmeric is known to be rich in an active ingredient known as curcumin. When mixed with coconut oil, the oil’s healing benefits compliment the function of the turmeric, and this provides remarkable pain relief.
- The first thing you need to do is to warm the coconut oil in a water bath. This not only improves the rate of absorption, it also helps with the process of application since coconut oil tends to solidify in low temperatures.
- Once the oil has warmed enough, but it is not too hot for topical application, add the turmeric powder and mix well. You may opt to wear disposable gloves because turmeric has an intense orange colour that easily stains clothes.
- Apply the oil mixture on the affected fingers and massage in deeply for maximum absorption.
- Wrap the paste on using the bandage and leave it on for about an hour.
- Remove the bandage and use warm water to rinse off the paste.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for quick recovery for jammed fingers.
4. Remember to Keep the Finger Elevated:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A comfortable place to rest and elevate the fingers and the affected hand.
In addition to resting and using ice, it helps to keep the affected hand elevated. The essence of doing this is to increase the amount of blood in the systemic circulation, which in turn reduces the intensity of the pain and inflammation. This is also key to managing the discomfort felt when there is tenderness and swelling in the affected fingers. Other benefits of elevating the jammed fingers include allowing quick removal of waste as well as speeding up the process of recovery.
- While sitting, ensure you have a couple of pillows on which to rest the affected hand. This makes it easy to elevate the jammed fingers and reduce the resulting discomfort.
- If there is additional pain, make sure you stop immediately and opt for any of the other home remedies.
5. Epsom Salts:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Teaspoons of Epsom salt and 1 cup of water. You may also use warm coconut oil for application purposes.
Epsom salts are an incredibly effective home remedy for the natural treatment of jammed fingers. The salts are made up of Magnesium and sulfate, both effective salts that work to reduce the amount of pain and inflammation experienced in the injured fingers. This works because magnesium is required for optimal functioning of the tissues and muscles. Additionally, the salts are recommended for the reduction of swelling and discomfort experienced when one has jammed fingers. For speedy recovery, it is advisable to use this remedy 48 hours after the injury.
- Add the Epsom salt to the water and stir to dissolve the salts completely. Warm water is used to ensure complete dissolution of the salts as well as to reduce the discomfort by encouraging blood circulation in the affected fingers.
- Dip the injured fingers in the warm water and soak for 15 minutes or so.
- Repeat this procedure at least thrice daily until the fingers have recovered completely.
- The other alternative is to mix the Epsom salt with coconut oil and apply the resulting paste-like substance on the affected fingers. Massage in the oily paste for about 5 minutes and then soak in warm water for some 15 minutes.
- Rinse the paste off and repeat this remedy at least thrice daily to help make a quick recovery.
6. Ginger Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut ginger slices, 2 cups of hot water, strainer and 1 tablespoon of raw honey.
Raw ginger is one of the most important home remedies as far as pain management is concerned. Jammed fingers are usually painful and tender to touch, and this explains how ginger works as an effective home remedy. Ginger is rich in a compound known as gingerol whose anti-inflammatory properties help cut off the pain pathway. This happens when the gingerol blocks the action of a compound known as COX-2, one of the key biochemical compounds for pain mediation. Prepare ginger tea as described in the directions below. Honey is added as a natural sweetener.
- Place the ginger slices in 2 cups of water and boil the resulting mixture.
- Once the water reaches half of the original amount, you need to turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer.
- Simmer for 10 minutes and then strain the resulting mixture to get rid of the used ginger slices.
- Stir in some honey and drink this tea thrice daily until the jammed fingers have recovered.
- This remedy may be used alongside any of the aforementioned home remedies applied topically.
7. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf and cotton wool.
Get pain relief from jammed fingers by applying fresh aloe vera gel on the affected fingers. Aloe vera not only creates a cooling sensation on the fingers, it also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that come in handy in the management of the condition. The gel also helps increase motion in the affected joints, and this goes a long way in reducing the stiffness that is characteristic of jammed fingers. Overall, aloe vera gel is also good for your skin as it helps repair damaged skin and improves its appearance.
- Slice open the aloe vera leaf and squeeze to collect the gel that oozes out of the leaf.
- Soak the cotton wool in this gel and apply it on the jammed fingers.
- Massage the gel in as gently as you can, but do not apply excess pressure as this can easily increase the discomfort.
- Let the gel dry on the fingers for a couple of minutes before washing off with warm water.
- Use this remedy as often as you need to, especially if there is tenderness at the site of the injury.
- You may compliment the use of aloe vera gel by drinking aloe vera juice.
8. Use Olive Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of olive oil, water bath and cotton wool.
Harness the healing powers of olive oil by using it to get relief from the pain and inflammation that characterizes jammed fingers. Olive oil is rich in compounds that help prevent the production of inflammatory compounds, effectively minimizing the pain. As expected, the oil also has excellent skin moisturization properties that keep the skin supple. Using the oil to massage the affected fingers also helps with the recovery process.
- Warm the olive oil in the water bath to increase absorption of the oil’s active ingredients.
- Soak the cotton wool in the warm oil and apply on the jammed fingers.
- Rub the oil in using gentle strokes; do this for about 20 minutes.
- Repeat thrice daily as required.
In addition to these home remedies, you may also want to consider using a splint in cases where the finger looks like it is out of joint. The purpose of the splint is to hold the injured finger(s) firmly so that there is minimal injury/damage. A splint can be a piece of metal wrapped around the finger to prevent it from moving out of position. Alternatively, strap the injured finger to the neighbouring finger, a technique aptly referred to as ‘buddy strapping’. Note however, that if the finger is out of joint, you must seek medical attention immediately. In serious injuries, surgery may be recommended to prevent further damage to the jammed fingers.