Did you know one of the most common injuries in basketball is also one of the most annoying injuries out there? You guessed it — a jammed finger. We’ve all done it, probably more than once.

A jammed finger is usually caused when the finger is hyper-extended or bent backwards at the joint. This type of injury is common among basketball players and other athletes who use their hands extensively. Despite the amount of pain felt when you get a jammed finger, this type of injury is not usually serious and can be treated in a matter of days with the correct treatment.

Typical basketball finger injuries occur when catching a pass and the basketball pops the top of your finger. Another way is, jumping for a rebound and your finger smashing in to the bottom or side of the basketball.

Here are some tips on how to treat and care for a jammed finger:

Ice it!

  • Most of the pain felt in a jammed finger is usually due to the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured joint. That’s why you feel that throbbing and warm sensation. Applying ice or anything with a cooling effect to this area will help constrict the local blood vessels and reduce pressure to the finger injury.
  • Icing the joint will also help numb the nerves in this area and produce an anesthetizing effect. When you ice the injury, place a thin towel or a piece of fabric between the ice pack and your skin in order to prevent any ice burns. Apply the ice pack for fifteen minute intervals for about 45 minutes until the swelling subsides and the pain reduces.

Wrap it!

  • Doing this will keep the joint steady while at the same time countering the pressure caused by the increased blood flow to the injured finger. You must however, ensure that the wrap does not completely cut off blood flow to the injured area, since the joint needs blood and nutrients in order to heal properly.

Splint it!

  • You can also tape the jammed finger against an uninjured one. This is commonly known as buddy splinting or buddy taping. This type of splinting will allow for some degree of mobility to the injured finger will keeping it safe.