Everyone uses their fingers constantly – you used them just now to get to this page! Finger injuries are incredibly common, and can vary drastically in severity. They can be relatively minor, and more annoying than anything, or, they can be debilitatingly painful and can hold you back in your day-to-day life. When it comes to the health of your hands, it’s important to protect yourself.
Whether you’re a musician, an athlete, an accountant, or a physician, everyone needs fully functioning phalanges. That being said, it’s quite easy to injure your fingers! They can be put into precarious positions without much thought and when it comes to fixing anything or trying to reach something that’s fallen into a tough-to-reach spot, your fingers get the unfortunate job of doing the dirty and/or dangerous work of helping you out.
While your fingers often handle the most dangerous and risky tasks, there are steps you can take to ensure that they’re as protected as possible. This is how to prevent a finger injury:
Finger Injury Prevention Tips
Use Protective Equipment
This might seem obvious, but many finger injuries that occur could have been prevented had the unfortunate party been wearing gloves or other appropriate protective equipment. This is important advice for those that work in trade work, like construction or plumbing, but this also applies to anyone who may be doing any handyman work around the house! From crush injuries to cuts to burns and splinters, protective equipment can minimize or eliminate the risk of serious injury entirely.
Use The Right Tool for the Job
Many hand injuries are caused by using the wrong tool for the job. This applies to more situations that you may think! Outside of using the wrong saw or drill bit for the job, using the wrong kitchen knife for a task can be just as dangerous. If you’re on a job site, in your kitchen, working in the yard, or really anywhere else, always use the proper tool for the job!
Rest, Don’t Overdo It
Your hands and, more specifically, your fingers are comprised of a complex system of bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. All of these structures combine to offer you an amazing range of motion and overall functionality, but overuse can cause some major problems. Conditions like Stenosing Tenosynovitis (commonly known as trigger finger,) and Capsulitis (sometimes referred to as “texting thumb,) along with strains and sprains can all be caused by overuse. If you’re feeling pain or discomfort while using your hands, that’s a sign to take a break and let your fingers rest. If you have persistent pain, make an appointment with your doctor – continuing on with an injury can cause more damage and increase both the pain level as well as your potential recovery time.
Follow Instructions and Other Safety Protocols
This may seem obvious, but many hand and finger injuries are caused by cutting corners to save time and avoiding safety protocols to get a job done faster. It’s easy to get caught up in whatever you’re doing and to skip steps in a process that are designed to keep you safe, or if you’re in a rush and are trying to just get something finished up as soon as possible, but it’s never worth risking an injury that will set you back much longer than the potential time you’re saving! Safety protocols are put in place for a reason – save your fingers the potential injuries and follow the rules!
Using caution in a general sense can save you from an unending list of potential injuries, and not just to your hands or fingers! Many finger injuries are caused by sticking them somewhere they really shouldn’t be to retrieve something that was dropped or that has gotten stuck. Likewise, many tasks like moving fallen tree branches or other rough/sharp materials may present themselves suddenly, but it’s key that you use the proper protective equipment or find a safer way to accomplish the task rather than instinctually grabbing whatever it is with your bare hands without evaluating potential risks! A measure of caution initially can save you from avoidable (and painful) injuries.
Finger injuries are incredibly common, and many of these injuries are entirely preventable! Follow these tips to avoid a finger injury in the future, and keep those hands healthy. If you’ve suffered a finger injury or have been living with any form of hand pain, please reach out here or through the form on the right side of this page. We’d love nothing more than to get you back to pain-free living!