When Goalkeepers Get Into A “Jam”
As a goalkeeper, jamming your finger has probably happened to you before. You were trying to catch the soccer ball but it hit you at the tip of your finger unexpectedly and forced your finger into an awkward position. Although this injury is fairly common in sports and often brushed off as something insignficant, it is important to know when it is necessary to seek medical attention.
When you jam your finger, you typically are spraining the joint capsule/ligaments of the interphalangeal joints or knuckles of your fingers. Pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the finger are typical symptoms. Often times ice, rest, stretching, and splinting can take care of these symptoms and allow you to return to the field. However, don’t always assume that it is just a sprain, especially if your finger sustained a large amount of force or it bent backwards violently followed by a lot of pain and swelling. If this happens, it is possible that you suffered a fracture instead of a sprain. In this case, it is better to be safe than sorry, and going to your physician to get an x-ray is probably a good idea. Remember, your fingers are a functional part of your life, they are not just for sports, so taking care of them now will allow for less pain and disability as you progress through life.
If you have jammed your finger and you are not sure whether you should seek an x-ray, call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute (OPTI) for a free injury screen and the physical therapist can direct you accordingly. www.omahapti.com
Main clinic: 144th & Dodge
AIM clinic: 144th & Giles (Inside the Omaha Sports Complex)
Katie Cordery, PT