Remove all bracelets or
rings. It may be hard to remove the jewelry once swelling occurs, which in
turn can cause other serious problems, such as nerve compression or restricted
blood flow. See a picture of
removing a ring that is stuck.
Splint the injured area without trying to straighten
the injured limb. Loosen the wrap around the splint if signs develop that
indicate the wrap is too tight, such as numbness, tingling, increased pain,
swelling, or cool skin below the wrap. A problem called
compartment syndrome can develop.
If you do not have
peripheral arterial disease, a sore or sprained
finger can be "buddy-taped" to the uninjured finger next to it. Protect the
skin by putting some soft padding, such as felt or foam, between your fingers
before you tape them together. The injured finger may need to be buddy-taped
for 2 to 4 weeks to heal. If your injured finger hurts more after you have
buddy-taped it, remove the tape. Then check your symptoms again. Caution: Never splint a
finger in a completely straight position, such as on a Popsicle stick. For
proper healing, the finger should be slightly bent and in a relaxed position.
Do not use your injured hand or wrist for the first 24
hours after an injury, if possible. An elastic bandage can help decrease
swelling. The wrap will also remind you to rest the injured hand or wrist. A
wrist splint can help support an injured wrist. Talk
to your doctor if you think you need to use a splint or bandage for more than
48 to 72 hours.
Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and
encourage blood flow. Do not massage the injured area if it causes
For the first 48 hours after an injury, avoid things that
might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs, or alcoholic
After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply
heat and begin
gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help
restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between
heat and cold treatments.