Often, we underestimate the effect a finger injury can have on our well-being. It is easy to attribute this lackadaisical attitude to our fingers being small compared to other parts of our bodies. If only you knew just how much you could do because of them.
Each finger has three bones in it to which tendons are attached. Many of the injuries that occur in this part of our body involve these tendons. Tendons are white, fibrous connective tissues that connect muscle to bone. This connection allows the joints to move, so a tendon injury can be weighty in the grand scheme of things.
Your hand has two sets of tendons—your flexor tendons and extensor tendons. The flexor tendons are on the palm side of your hand; they are nine in number. They allow you to bend your fingers and hand while gripping. The extensors tendons—twelve in total—help you extend your fingers from the bent position. Imagine damaging a tendon; you’d likely lose a function for a while.
There are many ways you can damage a tendon. One such way is direct trauma to the hand, like when you throw a punch but end up hurting yourself instead. Another way is when you jam your fingers into a hard surface such that the top of the finger is now stuck in a bent position. That condition is called mallet finger, but we’ll get there soon enough. Other things that can cause finger tendon injuries include handling sharp objects, getting your finger stuck in a rope, falling and landing wrongly on your hand, etc.
When you rupture a tendon in your finger, it is usually not hard to tell. Here’s how you may know, one way is from the pain. If nothing clues you in that you have an injury or on the nature of the injury, trust your pain to do the job. Tendon injuries come with a lot of pain and swelling. In addition, you often find that you cannot fully bend or straighten the shoulder. This is because the structure responsible for it can no longer perform its function. Your finger may also droop.
Common Finger Tendon Injuries
- Mallet Finger
Mallet finger is a condition that occurs when you injure any of the tendons that straighten the tip of your fingers. The name is derived from the shape of the finger in this injury. Because the tendon responsible for an extension has been damaged, the tip of your finger will stay in a drooping, perpetually bent position. It is often accompanied by pain. The tendon may tear slightly from the bone or completely detach. When the bone fragment in that area also detaches, it is called an avulsion fracture.
The mallet finger, also known as the baseball finger, is quite common, especially among baseball players. You may have figured that one out. When baseball players try too hard to catch a ball, they may end up slamming the tips of their extended fingers into the hard edge of the ball. Ouch! The injury may also be caused by minor force.
Other symptoms that may accompany a mallet finger include redness, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. From the shape of your finger, your doctor may be able to tell that you have a mallet finger instantly. However, an X-ray may be conducted to assess the extent of damage and decide on a form of treatment.
- Jersey Finger
In the case of a jersey finger, a flexor tendon is often affected. The jersey finger is also called the sweater finger or Rugby finger. This is because it is very common in high-contact sports like football and rugby.
In high-contact sports, an athlete’s finger may get caught in their opponent’s shirt. With eyes on the ball, neither of the parties may notice this, and the owner forcibly pulls away. This forces the finger to straighten against the movement that should have occurred. When this movement happens, the tendon on the palm side of your hand that connects to the bone at the tip of your finger is avulsed. A bone fragment may break off during the incident as well.
Since the finger’s extensor is now damaged, extension becomes impossible or painfully difficult. You will notice the affected finger positioned slightly away from the others. It will, in addition, be painful, swollen, and tender. In this case, your doctor may also be able to tell from a simple evaluation. An X-ray may also be conducted to check whether any bone fragments have avulsed.
- Boutonniere Deformity
Are you also wondering why a common finger injury has such a fancy name? Well, it is because it looks like a buttonhole, just one made up of bones and tendons.
The boutonniere deformity is also called a central slip injury. The condition affects the middle joint of your finger, unlike the previously mentioned conditions that damage the tip. It causes your middle finger joint to bend so that if we had to name it, we would have called it butterfly wing deformity.
This condition can be a complication of any number of finger injuries. It can also be a result of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Boutonniere deformity is often accompanied by pain and swelling. The awkward position your finger is in may be enough to tell, but if you need to be sure, the pain is a surefire way. The condition should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. The stiffness gets worse with time if left untreated.
Preventing Finger Tendon Injuries with Tape
Did you know that you can use tape to lower the chances of injuring your finger? Well, if you didn’t know, you know now. You can use different types of tape when it comes to your body. However, it is safe to say athletic tape takes the cake when it comes down to protecting your finger.
You will find this information even more relevant if you are an athlete. It gets even more priceless if you are engaged in high-contact or grappling sports like football, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, rock climbing, volleyball, jujutsu, and kickboxing. Gather here and learn how you can protect your fingers with athletic tape.
Apart from the physical cover, the tape is sure to offer; there are other uses for taping your fingers. One of these is structural support.
Athletic tape provides support to the musculoskeletal structure of your hands. This is why it is best to use non-elastic tape when looking for support. Many volleyballers already know this hack and have realized how useful it is.
Wrapping athletic tape around one or more pulleys on your fingers can help provide more stability and reduce the chances of dislocations and avulsions. Rock climbers may even wrap it around their hands like gloves because they use way more than their fingers. Hampton Adams 8-pack of Black Finger Tape will be a perfect choice for you in this regard.
Wearing tapes on your fingers can also remind you to keep your movements in check. It becomes extremely easy to hyperextend or hyperflex your fingers when caught in the thrill of throwing and catching. Wearing a tape will increase your awareness in a subtle way that is not enough to distract you.
We shouldn’t end this without elaborating on the function of skin protection. This is especially applicable to rock climbers who have the endearing tendency to stick their hands in sharp, scary places between jagged rocks. They need more than just structural support. Protecting their fingers with athletic tape will go a long way in keeping their hands safe.
Here are two common and effective methods of preventing your fingers from tendon injuries:
- Ring Method
This method is the easiest; it protects the two tendons in the fingers—the one that flexes the middle part and the one that flexes the tip.
Before you begin, keep your finger slightly bent so it won’t feel cramped when you are done. Start by wrapping the tape around the bottom of your finger like a ring. Continue wrapping upwards, applying more tension as you go. Make sure you have overlapping strips to keep it firm. Notice that we said firm and not tight, as wrapping your finger too tightly can disturb blood circulation. Stop wrapping before you reach your nails and secure the edge tightly.
This method supports your pulleys and tendons.
- X Method
The X-method can be used for both prevention and treatment. In this method, you wrap both pulleys with a roll of tape.
Start with one pulley and wrap the tape round once. After this, cross over to the back of your second pulley and wrap around that once as well. Keep doing this alternatively until you feel it is firm enough. At this point, the tape should form an X in the middle of the two joints.
This method does not restrict your movement, but it still provides adequate stability.
Hampton Adams BJJ Finger Tape
Hampton Adams 8-pack of Black Finger Tape is what you need. Our tape is specially designed to cater to the fingers. To further put your mind at ease, you should know that this tape was inspired and designed by a BJJ back belt. We know exactly what you need and have proceeded to infuse it in a roll of tape.
Our finger tape is applicable for any form of contact sport. It is comfortable and easy to move in. You can forget about restrictions to your movement with our tape.
Every material used in the production of our tape is quality and medical standard. In addition, it has just the perfect amount of non-elasticity to apply adequate compression.
We have given you more than enough reason to purchase our finger tape today. Visit our website and get your roll of comfort. You don’t want to miss out on this!