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Common Basketball Injuries, and What to Do When They Happen to You

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When You Jam Your Finger
Happens all the time... try to intercept a pass but mis-time your reach, and instead of catching the ball with the palm of your hand, it hits the tip of an outstretched finger, jamming the digit back in towards your hand.

This is an injury that can be more serious than you’d think, Dr. Colvin cautions. While you may not have a broken bone, a jamming a finger can cause tendon damage, and tendon damage is much easier to treat if it is treated quickly.

Tendons are similar to rubber bands, tough fibers that connect your muscles to your skeleton. When damaged, they can lose elasticity, or even “curl up” like a rubber band snapped after stretching too far, and that can make treatment and recovery a much more difficult proposition. If you jam your finger and it swells, resist the urge to tape two fingers together and keep playing. Go get an X-Ray.

Note to the Married Guys

Having a swollen finger gets a lot more complicated if you’re wearing a ring. This happens enough that my brother – an athletic trainer – carries a “ring cutter” in his bag ‘o tricks. Take off the wedding band before you play ball.

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