Female hockey player with raised stick

I hurt my finger playing sport – when should I see a hand therapist?

Have you ever jarred your finger playing basketball? Got it caught in a guernsey? Knocked it in a guernsey? These injuries can STING and make it hard to tell what level of care you need. Sometimes, a little bit of first aid – ice, compression, rest, tape – is enough. Other times, these injuries need a bit more care and attention.

If you’re wondering whether you should book an appointment, these are the guidelines that I use:

  1. Does your finger look normal? Or is there are a lot of swelling or bruising that doesn’t settle down?
  2. Does your finger have full movement? Can you make a fist and straighten your finger out? Or is your finger stiff, slow or missing that last bit of movement?
  3. Does your finger feel normal or do you have pins and needles, numbness or tingling?
  4. Are you concerned about your finger? You know your body best and if you’re concerned I would recommend getting it checked out.


As a general rule of thumb (pardon the pun):

If your finger is injured and doesn’t settle down within 2 days, I recommend getting your finger checked out

It’s much easier to get you back to 100% if I see you earlier rather than months or years down the line.

Sport splint, sport injuries, netball

Does my finger injury mean I can’t play my sport?

The answer depends on your specific injury and sport, but I like to provide athletes with taping and sports guards to help them return to sport sooner while we continue working on their finger strength, movement and control.

Karen Friesen, Practitioner in Hand Therapy, Melbourne Hand Rehab

By: Karen Friesen

If you are experiencing finger, hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.



For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166


See also: Sports Injuries, Splints and Braces

Hockey image: Jeffrey F Lin, Unsplash