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What Is a Jammed Thumb?

Jammed thumb has many different names.It is also known as the skier's thumb, mallet or baseball finger.Thus, this condition stands for a tendon or bone injury affecting ourthumb, causing pain and discomfort. This is usually caused by gettingour thumb hit or jammed somewhere, making it red, swollen andpainful afterwards.

Reasons behind a Jammed Thumb

Our thumb can only be safely bent incertain ways. Whenever we overdo this action or, directly orindirectly, cause our thumb to take abnormal positions, we are likelyto cause a jammed thumb, injuring it. We might have hit somethinghard like a wall or the floor, suffering from a jammed finger lateron. Also, this injury is common during sports like basketball, wherethe ball itself may hit and push the finger into an abnormalposition, causing injuries. Sometimes the ligaments get torn orstretched, while there are also more severe cases, where the bone inthe thumb gets broken.

How Can a Jammed Thumb Be Treated?

Before seeking treatment, you have toassess the severity of the injury. This can be done by trying to movethe injured thumb. If the movement is very painful or evenimpossible, there is a high likelihood that the bone has been broken.If there are no such symptoms, the ligaments are probably strained,which is the brighter side of a jammed thumb. Nevertheless, youshould get your finger examined by the doctor in both of these cases,before taking care of it at home.

In order to deal with the pain and theswelling, you should apply cold compress onto the injured thumb. Ice,wrapped in a piece of cotton cloth will do. Alternatively, you canuse a cloth, soaked in cold water. Keep it on for about 15 minutes.Also, you might need to immobilize the thumb. You can use a splint orbandage for these purposes. Over-the-counter painkillers can be takenfor pain-relief, as long as you are not allergic to any of theingredients these drugs consist of.

Upon visiting the doctor, he/she willhave your thumb examined and scanned for injuries. If these aresevere, as it is the case with a broken bone or torn ligament, youmight need to undergo thumb surgery.

Luckily, in less severe situations, thethumb usually heals on its own, provided that you take good care ofit. The recovery period may last from several weeks to severalmonths. Afterwards, you will probably need to do certain exercises inorder to rehabilitate the finger.

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