Although they make up a relatively small part of the human body, the hand and wrist play a huge role in our daily lives. This is especially true if you’re an active individual who plays some type of sport. Over time, repeated use of hands in sports can cause a range of injuries, from minor sprains and strains to more serious injuries like fractures, dislocations, and ligament tears.
This article will go over some common sports-related hand and wrist injuries and their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
1. Jammed Finger
A jammed finger occurs when the tendon that connects the muscle in your forearm to the finger becomes overstretched or injured during sports.
- Pain in the finger where it gets jammed
- Swelling and bruising
- Limited range of motion
Treatment for jammed fingers depends on how severe the injury is. A mild injury can be treated with rest and ice. Severe injuries may require a visit to your doctor, physical therapy, or even surgery.
2. Finger Sprains
A finger sprain occurs when the ligament that attaches a finger to the hand is overstretched or injured during sports. It can happen when the finger is twisted, bent too far, or put in a position that it’s not used to being in.
- Pain and an inability to bend the finger
Treatment of finger sprains is similar to treatment of jammed fingers. The severity of the injury can determine how long the finger needs to heal.
3. Finger Dislocation
A finger dislocation occurs when the joint at the finger becomes overstretched or injured.
- Finger pain
- Inability to bend the finger
Treatment for an injured finger depends on the severity of the injury. In some cases, a finger can be put back into place, and the injury should heal independently. In some cases, the finger needs surgery to repair the damage to the ligament or joint.
4. Scaphoid Fracture
A scaphoid fracture occurs when a bone in the hand called the scaphoid becomes overstretched or injured during sports.
- Pain and swelling in the wrist area
- Inability to move the wrist
- Deformity in the wrist
A doctor will likely determine treatment for scaphoid fractures. Some fractures can be treated without surgery, but surgery may be required in some cases.
5. Skier’s Thumb
A skier’s thumb occurs when the tendons and ligaments around the thumb are stretched or injured during sports.
- Pain at the base of the thumb
- Weak grasp
Your doctor will often determine treatment for a skier’s thumb. In some cases, the injury can heal on its own, but it can often take a long time to heal and may require surgery.
6. Wrist Ligament Tear
A wrist ligament tear occurs when a ligament in the wrist is torn during sports. Ligaments are connective tissue that holds bones together, and without them, the bones would become separated.
- Pain and swelling in the wrist
- Popping or tearing sensation in the area
- Wrist instability
Your doctor will determine treatment for a wrist ligament tear. In some cases, treatment can include a splint or brace to reduce the inflammation, but surgery may be necessary in severe cases.
7. Wrist Dislocation
A wrist dislocation occurs when the joint at the base of the hand is overstretched or injured.
- Extreme wrist pain
- Swelling of the wrist
Treatment for wrist dislocation will depend on the severity of the injury. In some cases, the wrist can be popped back into place, and the injury can heal independently. In some cases, the wrist needs surgery to repair the damage to the ligament or joint.
Most sports injuries are preventable. Athletes can prevent injuries by warming up and stretching before an athletic event. Warming up can help athletes increase their heart rate and prepare muscles for the event. Stretching can also help prevent some of the injuries above, like pulled muscles and ligament sprains, by increasing the length of muscles and ligaments. Now that you are aware of these common injuries, you can do the required preparation to avoid and prevent them.
If things worsen and you need hand pain treatment, you can always visit us at the Hand & Wrist Center in North Florida. We have orthopedic hand specialists to diagnose and treat your hand injuries and concerns.