Can You Still Play Basketball With A Jammed Finger?

Have you ever jammed your finger while playing basketball?

Who doesn’t? It’s one of the most common injuries in basketball after all.

But the question is – can you still play with a jammed finger?

You can still play with a jammed finger if the pain is bearable or gone. A jammed finger can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. The home remedy to it is to apply ice and rest.

So, how exactly do you prevent jammed fingers in basketball? We give you tips and more below.

What is a Jammed Finger?

One of the most common injuries you’ll encounter when playing basketball is a jammed finger. It’s when your finger is swollen, difficult to bend and can be painful.

A jammed finger is common in basketball since all players use their hands in every play. They can be a result of:

  • Your finger getting hit straight on with the ball when receiving a pass
  • Hitting your finger on a player
  • Using your finger as a cushion to save you from a bad fall

As you can see, there are many ways you can get a jammed finger in basketball. But personally, I’ve jammed my fingers a lot when I tried to receive a pass, but it was too fast and strong or I didn’t time it well.

Can You Still Play Basketball with a Jammed Finger?

Technically, you can still play basketball with a jammed finger. In most cases where your jammed finger wasn’t hurt too bad, you can immediately resume playing.

The pain will be magnified every time you dribble, shoot, and use that finger. But it should eventually get better.

But depending on the severity and the pain of the injury, you may not be able to continue playing. If it’s too much, then it’s recommended not to continue playing.

It all depends on your situation and the game itself. If you deem the game to be more important than the pain, then it might be worth it.

But if you’re just playing a pickup game or a regular season game and the pain is unbearable, then you should rest.

How to Tell if Your Finger is Jammed or Broken?

A broken finger is going to be obvious because it will be crooked. It will look broken, and you’ll feel a lot of pain as well.

You would also have difficulty moving your finger like you normally would if its broken.

A jammed or a sprained finger on the other hand will still be straight but it could be a little swollen.

If you tried to move a jammed finger, it will still move but it will just be painful.

But the best way to tell if its broken or not is to just get an x-ray. Have it checked by a professional to determined once and for all.  

How to Treat Jammed Finger

If you’re certain that you just have a jammed finger not a broken one, it can be treated at home.

The most recommended treatment is the RICE method. Here’s what it means:

R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compress
E – Elevate

Based on this method, the first thing you need to do is to ice it. You can use any ice pack or any cold vegetable packs you have. The ice will help reduce the swelling of your finger.

Then, try to elevate it as well to move the blood away from the finger. Then, try to rest for a while – avoid activities that would involve your fingers especially basketball.

The pain will usually go away within a few days depending on the severity of the injury. But if the jammed finger isn’t treated in a week and the pain is getting severe, you might need to go to the doctor.

In most cases, jammed fingers can be treated with just ice and rest for a few days. You just need to slowly recover while avoiding sports for a while.

How Long Does a Jammed Finger Last?

The least amount of time a jammed finger can last is a couple of minutes. This is when the finger was awkwardly pointed to the ball, but it wasn’t hit too hard.

It can also last for a couple of hours and your finger should be back to normal by then.

But if it’s hit bad, the average time it takes to heal is around a few days to a week. During that time, you should apply ice and rest it.

But if it’s broken not just jammed, then that’s when you need to visit the doctor. A broken finger can’t be treated with a home remedy.

How to Prevent Jammed Fingers in Basketball

A jammed finger is one of the most common injuries in basketball. Since it’s common, most players have experienced it at least once in their life.

So, we can’t completely prevent this from happening. But we can at least do some things to avoid them. Here are our tips:

  • Keep your eyes on the ball when you receive a pass
  • Strengthen your fingers with resistance exercises
  • Improve your hand-eye coordination
  • Stretch your whole body before the game

By applying these tips, you should be better prepared for jammed fingers while playing. We know that basketball is a fast-paced sport which is why these accidents happen.

But with proper techniques and care, you can avoid these types of injuries and hopefully more severe ones.


Can you keep playing basketball with a broken finger?

If you have a broken finger, it’s best not to continue playing. If you do so, you risk increasing the severity of the injury.

Immediately ice it, rest, and go to the doctor if you’re certain it’s broken. But if it’s just jammed, it should be back to normal easily depending on the severity.

Should you pull a jammed finger?

No, there’s nothing to pull if the finger is just jammed. Unlike if it’s dislocated, you can theoretically pull it like what Kobe Bryant did. But that’s highly unadvisable.

Instead, you should just apply ice and rest your finger for a while.

Why does my finger keep getting jammed when playing?

It could be that you’re not receiving passes properly. Try to open your hands more and work on your receiving skills.

You should also try to strengthen your fingers with some exercises.

Final Thoughts

A jammed finger is a common injury in basketball. It’s not as severe as a broken finger but it can still hurt. However, you can still play basketball if it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Otherwise, you should ice it and let it rest for a couple of days.

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