How to Tell if A Finger is Broken or Sprained

Fingers are one of the most vulnerable and frequently used parts of our bodies. They allow us to experience full of the sense of touch. Coordinating directly with the nervous system and all other parts of the body that require touching and movement, we can say that fingers are vulnerable to damage.

Since overworking the fingers can cause so much damage and pain, most of the time, people are unable to identify, and they need medical attention on how to tell if a finger is broken or sprained. 

These injuries can range from simple short-term bruises to serious high-level injuries like dislocation of the finger joints (knuckles), and even a broken finger can cause a change in the finger’s shape.

3 Simple Ways to Heal a Sprained Finger (Jammed Finger) By Bob & Brad

In this article, we will study everything you need to know about whether your finger is broken or you need to get yourself an ice pack.

Difference between Sprained Finger and Broken Finger

It is important to understand the difference between the two terminologies before we move on to further details.

Sprained fingers

Often referred to as jammed fingers, this kind of injury occurs when one finger is bent beyond the joint’s natural capacity. The muscles and tendons in the fingers are usually stretched beyond their normal capacity, and this is quite painful. Well, not as painful as having a fractured finger, but it surely does hurt upon movement.

This kind of injury is extremely common in athletes who have to perform in the field rigorously. However, these professional players seek chiropractic care and other forms of regular checkups to keep them going.  

Broken Finger

Broken finger involves fractured bones with zero to no moving ability in the finger. Even if you have a minor broken fingertip, there are high chances that you might suffer from the excruciating pain that cannot be tolerated.

Unlike the muscular finger sprain where only you suffer from muscular pain and a restricted range of motion for a couple of days or weeks, having a broken finger will dislocate the position of the bone from its normal point, and you might also see the bone piercing through the skin.

Imagine how difficult life would be if we didn’t take our fingers seriously!

Common Identifiers and Symptoms of Sprained Finger and a Broken Finger

You can easily clarify whether you have a finger sprain or a fractured finger before going to the ER, you should be able to identify the major symptoms of both injuries. These symptoms will allow you to be in a position where you would know about all the details on how to tell if a finger is broken or sprained. 

Sprained Fingers

Some of the most common symptoms that allow you to understand that your injury is not a broken finger, but you need to take the injury seriously.

Some of the most common symptoms that come with sprained fingers are:

  • Constant pain in the affected finger
  • Redness, tenderness and even swelling
  • Reduced range of motion in the finger that causes an inability to extend the finger completely
  • Weakness in the finger

Fractured Finger

Fingers are a dainty feature of the human body that people use every day in their simplest tasks even. Life without fingers would be extremely difficult. People who even have a minor fracture or a broken index finger only – it causes them a huge deal of irritation and a major setback in performing day to day tasks.

When you break your finger, you will witness that it will start to swell after a few minutes of the injury. Not only this, but you will experience unwanted pain and an inability to move the damaged finger.

Here are some of the symptoms that you need to look out for if you suspect that you have a broken finger:

  • Instant swelling that can go up to several days even weeks
  • Increase in the swelled region
  • Bruising and blueness of the skin
  • Sharp pain upon the slightest of movement
  • Deformity in the regular shape of the finger
  • Stiffness and the inability to move the finger
  • Constant burning and tingling
  • Numbness in the affected region
  • Bleeding in the worst cases

You must have seen the hero breaking the villains’ middle finger in an action scene. That broken middle finger can mostly be heard cracking. People might think of this as fiction, but it is quite possible to hear your finger cracking in case of the injury.

In case you feel such a sound, it is important that you go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Also, do not hesitate in involving your orthopedic in this scenario.

How to Deal With the Pain of Sprained and Broken Finger Until You Get To Medical Help?

Medical help is extremely important in this scenario. It will allow you to heal properly from the injury. Your doctor might be able to detect certain complications that can come with sprained and broken finger injuries. This will help you in dealing better with the pain.

Here are a few tips that can help you deal better with the medical emergency:

  • Use drugs like Ibuprofen that will help you relieve pain temporarily and also reduce the swelling. Make sure that you are following the recommended dose.
  • Take rest until your ride to the hospital arrives. Making your finger go through movements can be a cause of later recovery. If you can’t help yourself move the finger, try taping the broken or sprained finger with the finger next to it.
  • Use your ice pack that has been lying in the freezer for so long. Make sure that you ice the affected finger after every hour for 20 minutes.

Most Common FAQs that Peoples Ask

✅ Can you move your finger if it’s fractured?

It is possible to move your finger after it has been fractured, but that can come with a lot of pain that will cause you not to move the finger. However, it is medically advised not to make any movements in case of a fractured finger.

✅ What do you do for a sprained finger?

✅ Can a broken finger heal on its own?

✅ What happens if a broken finger goes untreated?

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