Finger Sprains: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment 

Sprained Fingers

Dealing with a sprained finger can be a harrowing ordeal, even though a finger seems like such a small body part.

A sprain is a tear or stretch in a ligament caused by an injury; it causes pain, swelling, and inflammation. If left untreated, a sprained finger may worsen with time and become a permanent deformity.


Injuries come naturally to us humans, and it is not far-fetched for them to involve the fingers. A sprained finger is also not hard to come by, especially if you play sports.

For athletes like goalkeepers, volleyballers, and basketballers, this can easily happen in the form of hyperextension, i.e. the hand bending too far backward.

It can also happen when you fall and land on your hand in the wrong way. People who have naturally weak ligaments or poor coordination may be more prone to getting their fingers sprained.


A lot of pain and swelling often accompanies a sprained finger. In addition to that, you may experience stiffness or tenderness in your finger joints. You should know that bones don’t break during a sprain; they mainly involve soft tissues.

If you feel something is broken, it is no longer a sprain; it is now a broken finger and will require more attention. Other symptoms that may be associated with a finger sprain include redness, issues with finger flexion or extension, throbbing, and bruising.


Severe sprains may require the attention of a professional. With readily available supplies, mild to moderate sprains can be easily attended to and treated at home.

Below is a detailed process of the most common home remedy for mild sprains- RICE(rest, ice, compression, elevation).

  • Rest

This process starts with reducing the movement of the affected finger for a while. You can rest it for a few hours each day for maximum effect. The goal of this is to keep your injured finger from making movements that can worsen your condition.

  • Ice

This step involves an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or with tape to a sprained finger. You have to carry this out carefully and ensure that you do not ice the finger for too long or put it in direct contact with the skin.

Only keep the ice pack for about fifteen minutes at a time while taking twenty-minute breaks in between.  If the finger seems to worsen during icing, i.e. becomes numb or more inflamed, take off the ice pack.

  • Compression

Wrap the finger with athletic tape or elastic bandage, both of which are available at Hampton Adams. This will help to apply adequate compression while reducing inflammation. Do not wrap the finger too tightly as this may make things worse.

  • Elevation

Try to keep the sprained finger in a position above the heart or just simply elevated. You can use a sling while in an upright position and a pillow while sitting or lying down.

Alternate Options

  • Finger braces: Finger braces are readily available at walk-in stores. Using them will help prevent you from making aggravating movements that can affect you negatively.
  • Exercise: You should exercise your finger after the pain and inflammation have reduced significantly. Trying to exercise your finger while it is still obviously swollen can have adverse effects.
  • Medication: Pain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen can help you manage the pain.
  • Surgery: In cases of severe sprains where the ligament is completely torn, surgery may be needed to repair the damaged tissues. After surgery, you may still need to use a splint or the buddy taping technique.
  • Splint: A supportive device that protects a broken bone or injury.
  • Tape,e. buddy taping

Here’s How Tape Can Help

Different types of Self Adhesive Athletic Tape can be used on the fingers, but athletic tape is at the top of the list.

Athletic tape is a pressure-sensitive tape that can be used to prevent injuries and relieve pain. Here, we will focus on how it can ease pain caused by a sprained finger, to be precise. Before we talk more about that, what are the features of athletic tape?

Athletic tape may be elastic or inelastic; the elastic type is often preferred because it can apply varying amounts of compression and allows easier movement.

Some companies like Hampton Adams, for instance, have produced sweat proof athletic tapes that are specifically for the fingers. You can easily tell from the size of the tape; the more specific the invention, the better the job it performs. Our Hampton Adams 8-pack of white finger tape is very comfortable, thanks to the fact that it is made out of a hundred percent cotton substrate. Rather than using blends as many brands do, we understand that the best feel can only be gotten with pure cotton.

Furthermore, every other material our tape contains is hypoallergenic and medical-grade. It is also latex-free; hence, you have significantly lower chances of getting an allergic reaction.

Our tape is the elastic type which is comfortable and flexible. Despite this elasticity, it still stays firmly in place. Your movement will not be restricted, and you will feel as comfortable as possible.

Hampton Adams finger tape is very sticky but does not leave behind a sticky residue. These two characteristics seem to go hand-in-hand with other brands but not with us. Our special formula has helped ensure that there will be no sticky glue left behind on your skin. Moreover, the adhesive does not pull on your skin or irritate it. If you have sensitive skin, you will be especially glad for this.

Our tape is easy to cut; this comes in handy in cases of emergency. You can tear it with your fingers both lengthwise and widthwise.


Taping your finger will help you reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and keep you from moving in the wrong way. The most common way of taping a sprained finger is buddy taping.

Buddy Taping

This technique involves taping the injured finger to a healthy one to prevent its movement and support it. Before you tape the finger, ensure the swelling has subsided, this should be about forty-eight hours after the injury.

  • You will need a roll of finger tape and a small rectangle of cotton or trauma pads. If you can not tear yours with your hand, unlike Hampton Adams finger tape, a tape cutter will also be required.
  • Cut two strips that are long enough to wrap around the two fingers.
  • Wrap one strip around the two fingers just below the affected area and wrap the other above it. Between the fingers, put the cotton or trauma pads at the point where they rub against each other. This will help prevent the pain that may come from friction.
  • Do not wrap the fingers too tightly, as this can lead to poor blood circulation. The tape can be removed when the finger is fully healed.

Buddy taping will make simple actions easy but movements that can make your condition worse will be difficult to navigate. You can replace the tape if it gets wet or damaged. Anti-inflammation medication can be used with this technique to make recovery faster.

Splinting a Sprained Finger

Splinting a sprained finger is a more restrictive technique than buddy taping. Unlike buddy taping, you don’t have to wait two days before applying a splint.

  • If you do not have a premade splint, you can use a clean popsicle stick or any other clean, hard object about the length of your injured finger. Put the splint on the underside of your injured finger, making sure it crosses the affected joint.
  • Anchor the splint to the finger using athletic tape. Wrap it firmly at the top and then again at the bottom.
  • You can regularly apply an ice pack to the finger, even after splinting. First, wrap it in a towel before putting it on the finger. Remember to leave intervals between the icing process.
  • You can also take anti-inflammation medication or pain relievers to hasten the process.

It is not advisable to get the splint wet if you can avoid it. When you want to bathe, cover your hand with a plastic bag to prevent water from getting on it. Wear the splint for as long as it takes for your finger to recover or as long as your doctor tells you to. See a professional if your condition worsens; do not trim your splint yourself.

At Hampton Adams, our customers are our top priorities. This is why all our products, the 8-pack of BJJ finger tape not excluded, are made to the highest quality. Contact us if you need quality, comfortable, and effective finger tape for your sprained finger, or visit our page.

There is a 120-day money-back guarantee on our finger tape!

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