Hand/Finger First Aid (after a mild-moderate accident)


So perhaps you had a fall, were hit or got your hand or finger caught in something, which caused immediate or delayed pain. Firstly, I need you to pause the video and make sure you aren’t experiencing any of the ‘red flags’ below:



If you are experiencing any of the following please consult a doctor asap or go to the emergency department of your hospital.

  • Losing control of your bowel or bladder
  • Feeling dizzy or losing balance
  • Feeling weak or numb anywhere in your body
  • Persistent pins + needles
  • Feeling nauseous or vertigo
  • Feeling faint
  • Have double vision
  • Having problems with your speech or swallowing
  • Have a fever or night sweats

For more information about ‘red flags’ watch this video (click here).


You should apply an ice pack, for up to 20 mins every two hours. Just be sure to put something between the ice pack and your skin, such as a towel or ice pack holder and make sure you check every few minutes for any skin irritation.


Applying compression to the area will help to decrease any swelling and inflammation that may have started to develop. So if it was your hand, using a compression bandage starting below your fingers, overlapping the bandage by half the width each time, come down below your wrist. If it was your finger, use a smaller bandage or tape to splint it to the finger next to it.


You want to apply the compression firmly, but not too tight. Signs that it may be too tight include your fingers going numb or getting pins and needles, or any change in colour of your hand or fingers. Remove the bandage when you go to bed, only wear it during the day.


Avoid massaging or putting heat on the area and avoid drinking alcohol as all of these may increase any inflammation that may be present.


If your hand or finger is painful when, for example making a fist, avoid this action for now but do try and keep moving it in a comfortable range and also try to keep moving your elbow and your shoulder on that side.


One of the most important things is that you try not to get stressed or anxious about your pain. Just try to stay calm and know that pains like this are common and can be treated.


I recommend that you try and see a physiotherapist in the next 48hours, so that they can assess you and work out what’s most likely causing your pain and guide you through rehabilitation.


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