Hand-finger injuries are the most common accidents in work and everyday life. Cuts, scrapes, burns, and abrasions are all common hand injuries, as are fractures and strains.
Unfortunately, they are also prone to finger injury due to overuse or accidents. Knowing the most common hand injuries and how to avoid them is key to keeping your hands safe and healthy.
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Common Causes Of Finger Injuries
Our hands are arguably the essential parts of our bodies. We use them for almost everything we do, from typing on a keyboard to performing delicate surgical tasks. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most vulnerable parts of our bodies and can be easily injured.
Hand-finger injuries often occur in contact sports, such as football, basketball, and hockey. However, they can also occur due to overextension or age-related degeneration.
Below are some of the most common finger injuries:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure on the median nerve runs through the narrow passageway known as the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Symptoms can range from tingling and numbness in the hand to pain and weakness in the fingers. C
TS can be caused by repetitive movements such as typing or gripping something tightly for extended periods. To avoid CTS, it’s essential to take frequent breaks from repetitive activities and keep your wrists straight when typing or using a mouse. Wearing a wrist brace at night can also help reduce symptoms of CTS.
Sprains & Strains
Sprains occur when ligaments that connect bone to bone tear or stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Strains occur when muscles or tendons become stretched too far or torn due to overuse.
Both types of injuries can cause swelling, bruising, stiffness, and pain in the affected area. To prevent sprains and strains, it’s essential to warm up before engaging in any activity that requires extensive use of your hands and arms, such as weightlifting or playing sports.
Additionally, make sure you use proper form while exercising and stop immediately if you experience pain or discomfort in your hands or arms.
Fractures & Dislocations
Fractures occur when bones break due to an impact or fall, while dislocations occur when two joint surfaces move out of alignment due to an impact or fall, resulting in severe pain around the joint area.
Hand-finger injuries such as fractures and dislocations are common in sports, particularly contact and collision sports such as football or hockey. To help prevent broken bones or fractures and dislocations, wearing protective gear, such as gloves and wrist guards, is essential while participating in sports.
Furthermore, ensure you use proper form and technique to reduce the risk of an impact or fall to avoid finger fracture injuries.
Tendonitis is an inflammation of tendons due to overuse or repetitive motion. This can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion in the affected area(s), and even difficulty gripping objects.
Tendonitis can be prevented by taking frequent breaks while using tools or performing other tasks that require you to use your hands frequently; icing any sore areas after use; strengthening your muscles with targeted exercises; ensuring proper posture when sitting for long periods; and switching up activities so you don’t overuse any particular muscle group in your hands or wrists.
Trigger finger (also known as stenosing tenosynovitis) occurs when tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motions such as typing on a keyboard or playing an instrument.
Symptoms include tenderness along the thumb side of the palm near where it meets the fingers; popping or clicking noises when straightening out fingers; difficulty straightening out fingers; and swelling near the affected area(s).
Trigger finger can be prevented by taking frequent breaks while using tools or performing other activities that require you to use your hands frequently; having proper posture while sitting for long periods; doing stretches at least once per day; icing any sore areas after use; and strengthening your muscles with targeted exercises specific to hand/finger/wrist strength.
Jammed fingers occur when your finger gets caught, and the knuckle is bent beyond its normal range of motion, usually due to an impact. Symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and difficulty straightening out the affected finger.
Gamekeeper’s thumb (also known as a skier’s thumb) is a hand injury that occurs when the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb is torn due to a fall or impact. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and pain along the inner side of the thumb, difficulty gripping objects, and weakened grip strength in the affected area(s).
Gamekeeper’s thumb can be prevented by wearing protective gear such as wrist guards when skiing, snowboarding, or participating in other activities that involve a high risk of falls or impacts to the hands. It’s also essential to regularly strengthen the muscles involved with gripping and flexing your thumbs with specific exercises.
Severe injuries like finger amputations can drastically alter your capacity to utilize your hands for various tasks. Consequently, if your finger is amputated, a surgeon may try to restore the lost digit. Even if not all fingers need to be reattached, you should get a quick evaluation to determine the best action.
The joint where the thumb meets the wrist is where arthritis of the thumb typically develops. The carpometacarpal (CMC) joint is crucial when grasping or squeezing. Women are more likely than men to get thumb arthritis, and the incidence rises after age 40.
Mallet finger injury is when the tendon that straightens the end joint of a finger is damaged. A Mallet finger can happen if you get hit directly on the tip of a bent finger or catch your finger on something. Symptoms can include difficulty straightening the injured finger, pain, swelling, and tenderness at the injured site.
Serious complications might result from injuries to the finger when wearing wedding bands or other jewelry on the finger. If the seriousness of an injury is not understood, even seemingly minor injuries can have fatal consequences.
If you sustain an accident while wearing jewelry and there is any doubt about soft tissue damage, including blood flow to the finger, you should seek emergency medical help immediately.
As you can see, common hand-finger injuries can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, occupation, or lifestyle choices.
Finger injuries occur more frequently than you may think. Still, by following the preventative tips above and taking precautions when working with tools or engaging in activities that may result in finger injuries, you can reduce your risk of developing any of the conditions mentioned above. It’s essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too far.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s best to consult a medical professional immediately.