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Finger Injuries in Netball: Managing & Treating Injuries

By Apricus Health

24th February 2022

Netball is one of the most popular team sports in Australia. Fast-paced and fiercely competitive, it is a fantastic sport to both play and watch. Coupled with this intensity comes the increased risk of injury.

Injuries sustained playing netball, in fact, represent 7% of adults and 4% of child sports-related injuries admitted to Australian emergency rooms. Some of the most frequent injuries to players are finger related. This article will investigate some of the finger injuries in netball and how best to manage them. 

Specialising in hand therapy, we at Apricus Health know from experience and client dealings how painful, uncomfortable, and frustrating an injury sustained through your favourite sport can be. Following our list of finger injury recovery strategies, along with proper medical attention, you’ll be back to playing in no time after your netball finger injury.

Finger Injuries in Netball

Every shooter in Netball is familiar with the awful feeling of a fast-paced bullet pass jamming directly into their fingertips. Just as a defender will never forget the attempted interception that brought about the same result, these finger injuries often lead to immediate pain, swelling, and restricted movement of the affected finger or fingers.

Some of the most common finger injuries in netball are related to the following:

  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Sprains
  • Overuse related injuries

It is essential that if you suffer a netball finger injury, you immediately rest, even if the issue seems minor. You do not want to risk exacerbating an injury that can often lead to more severe problems down the line.

What is the treatment procedure for finger injuries?

As with any injury, the best approach, to begin with is by following the RICE techniques; Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If the injury has caused a possible dislocation or fracture, it is critical to seek professional help quickly. Getting an x-ray for a finger injury is vital in ruling out severe damage and knowing the following steps to take.

Signs of more severe netball finger injuries such as a fracture or tendon injury include increased pain with movement, swelling in the affected finger, and inability to bend and straighten your fingers normally. Being able to move your fingers is not always a clear indicator that your finger isn’t broken. It is essential to remember never to force your finger to bend unless your hand therapist has recommended this as an exercise, as you can run the risk of reinjuring your healing tendon.

If you have experienced any finger injuries in netball, an Apricus Health hand therapist will be equipped to provide you with all the help you need in your recovery. Beginning with a splint to encase your finger and encourage its recovery, your hand therapist will then provide you with a set of rehabilitation exercises to fix your netball finger injury and speed up your recovery. This targeted treatment will help reduce swelling after a proper diagnosis and provide you with whatever is needed to get you back on the court. 

Prevention of Injury 

Of course, one of the most effective methods for treating finger injuries in netball is to avoid them altogether! Developing and following a proper catching technique at all times will ensure you are at the lowest risk of receiving any netball finger injuries. Some basic methods include keeping your head up and watching the flight of the ball all the way into the palms of your hands and receiving the ball with an open palm, and cushioning the momentum of the ball with your entire arm and shoulder. Most netball training should place a particular emphasis on catching techniques, and regular practice will keep your focus sharp and minimise the risk of an unexpected netball finger injury.

Seek Professional Hand Therapy

Unfortunately, you will likely sustain some form of netball finger injury at some stage of your netball career. An experienced hand therapist best administers effective treatment and appropriate physical rehab and recovery for netball finger injuries with extensive knowledge of these injuries. Whilst it is possible to treat minor injuries at home, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to your fingers and decreasing your chances of returning to the court without proper diagnosis. A professional assessment is always the recommendation for any netball finger injuries.

The team at Apricus Health are passionate about adequately treating any hand or finger injuries. Our staff have over 25 years of experience treating hand and wrist injuries. They are constantly developing by staying on top of the latest treatments, technologies, and exercises used in hand therapy.

We offer a range of services, including home visits, Telehealth consultations and regular consultations at one of our five well-equipped and conveniently located practices in Townsville, Ingham, and Ayr. Book a discovery call today with Apricus Health today to learn more about our hand therapy or if you have sustained any finger injuries in netball.