Bowling Finger Injuries Can be Caused by Age
Bowling finger injuries are a bit more common than you may think. As we age they tend to get more and more common.If you have bowled for years, say 40 or so like I have, that is a lot of wear and tear on those digits.
How many thousand times have you pitched the ball down the lanes and used those bowling fingers on a good release to lift and turn the ball, so it works it’s devastating magic crushing pins for strikes?
Sometimes, you have painful fingers and can’t seem to get all that hook anymore. The harder you try the worse it gets.
What can you do about it? Well, that’s a fair question, but not so simple to answer. It depends a lot on where exactly you hurt.
My particular bowling finger injury is due to a impact injury to my middle finger that results in pain on the front nail bed mostly and some pain in the joint.
As I get older, arthritis is setting in and making the situation worse. If you have been reading my posts, you have been along on my journey to find a way to relieve the pain.
My most comfortable relief so far was bowling with a glove, and by far was the best for relief for me. However, as I stated before, it was harder for me to get the amount of turn on the ball that I liked, so I decided to try something else I had in mind.
I decided to simple try a bigger finger insert. If this doesn’t work out, I may just go back to using the glove and throw a straighter ball to the pocket, but I know this will reduce my number of strikes, by cutting down on the angle to the pocket. So, I am not satisfied with that until it becomes my absolute last choice.
Irregular Release Without That Snug Fit
I had already tried using no inserts in the middle finger and a ring finger insert,(not using a glove) and had mixed results. What happened for me was a irregular release, in which the ring finger ( your lift finger) would sometimes impart more lift and turn the ball harder than I wanted. Then, as I tried to reduce the pressure on that finger, it would result in a ball that did not have enough turn. So, my conclusion was, it was just to touchy or erratic for me, and the result was an irregular release.
Another problem with one insert on the ring finger only, was the fact that the ring finger quickly became sore from all the pressure being on the ring finger for every shot. I am sure that I could have improved that situation somewhat with some exercise conditioning of that finger, but that is just simply a pain in the butt. I am still experimenting, so I don’t want to decide too quickly.
In the end,(for now anyway) I settled on just using slightly bigger inserts in both fingers, much like a worn out insert feel.I know what your are thinking, “why use inserts then”. Well, for me personally, I like the feel of inserts better than no inserts.
It also gives me more turn easier when I need it, than I can get with out inserts. But, it still is a bit of an irregular release at times, because it just doesn’t have that nice snug fit and feel, and you give up some turn because they are loose.
So for now I guess this is the compromise that I am probably going to settle on, at least until the next brainstorm hits. My bowling finger injury is probably a bit unique, because it is not totally caused by bowling itself, but the game does aggravate it and cause finger pain for me.
Types of Bowling Finger Injuries
Bowling finger injuries can include the pain bowlers feel in the fingers between the knuckle and first finger joint. Joint pain could be cause by the insidious results osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or simply trauma from overuse or injury.
Diabetes and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Diabetes can cause nerve damage know as peripheral neuropathy. Carpal Tunnel syndrome also causes peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetes in particular, can cause numbness and nerve problems in arms and legs as well. Carpal tunnel can progress from numbness and tingling in the fingers to pain, cramping and burning in the fingers as well.
Injury and Overuse
Sometimes bowlers who bowl 5 times a week, suffer because they just bowl too much. I had to cut down from 4 days a week to 2, and it did make a difference. It gives yourbody a chance to heal up some, in between, and also gives those fingers some rest.
Today people are typing out texts on their phones and home computers, and a lot of typing can cause our fingers to get sore and painful also. Then, we go bowling and can’t figure out why our bowling fingers hurt? Or how about those games we play on Xbox?
What the reason is doesn’t matter as much as “how” to get relief from the cause and still bowl. One type of brace for bowlers that helps sore fingers is known as SteelFingers. It is a brace that gives extra support to the fingers and allows you to continue bowling with less pain. If you have these issues, check it out.
Until we find that fountain of youth where we all stay young forever, I guess we have no choice but to try to take care of ourselves, eat healthy and get plenty of exercise, fresh air, and warm up well before we play hard at such games as bowling.
Using finger strength exercises with hand strengtheners, and stretching exercises used for carpal tunnel rehab is about the best thing we have to keep our fingers working as well as we can.
Please leave a comment below and tell what you think. Did you like this article?
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11 thoughts on “Bowling Finger Injuries”
I have been bowling for many years, I am an active female senior (I turned 85 years old in October 2022) My Family & friends tells me …I looked younger and more active than most of my younger friends… Aren’t they sweet!! Been bowling since my early twenties. Have participate in Local, State & National Tournaments, on a regular basis.. LOVE THE SPORT…
But recently..haven’t bowled, golfed, bowled, etc. and have been experiencing tolerable pain on my left shoulder-had surgery on the left shoulder a year ago. In Sept 2021.. felled @ my home and injured my right wrist in two places. Wore a cast for 10 weeks. and as the result of the injury and wearing of a cast & inability of moving of my right fingers. Not to mention my advanced years…I have developed arthritis on the fingers/specially the ring finger of the right hand. the rest of the fingers on that hand are also sore – But I can tolerate that pain.
I went to see the Local bowling shop-and Pro. in my hometown. He told me various suggestions on what he was going to do to my ball to alleviate the pain I was experiencing. He adjusted the plug, and if the adjusting of the plug doesn’t work he might dig another another hole for my pinky to relieved the pressure of my fingers. One more thing I have not mentioned to you yet… I throw a reverse hook The Shop Pro. told me it should not matter. So does anyone out there has any suggestions for me? I’ll surely appreciate it..
Thank you (Gracias Amigos)
Sorry to hear about all of your issues. I apologize for the late answer, I have been having health issues and cleaning out my sisters house who passed recently. And I really haven’t had time to do much online.
I can tell you that I have gone to rehab for several issues, and they are great for restoring function and relieving pain in shoulders and hips. I don’t know if they can help with arthritis in the fingers. One thing you could consider is the Bowling ball with a retractable handle. It would make gripping the ball a lot easier, but I think you would have to throw that ball straight, it won’t hook much. I don’t think they can put one on a ball with a block inside. You could call and ask them?
You may want to try going to a lighter ball to relieve some pressure on those fingers as well as your shoulder.
I don’t know what else I could recommend for you. I wish you all the best and happy bowling!
I just recently started on a bowling league. I have my own ball but yesterday I went straight from work and forgot my bowling bag. So I used a alley ball. It seemed to be fine but this morning my middle finger is stiff and swollen and it crackles when I bend it. It doesnt hurt, just feels stiff.
That was most likely a ball that had a wrong finger span. If it is still bothering you, get it checked out. Most likely it was putting all the pressure on that finger. And it may have been a heavier ball. Not sure why it crackles now?
Hope that helps?
Hey so I’m not even in my late 20s yet and I get sore knuckles on middle and ring. I haven’t invested in my own ball yet, but one thing I have found to help (tremendously) is to bring an ice pack, preferably with cloth cover. I ice in between frames as well as rub some baby powder for smooth release i have noticed swelling does not occur, and pain is minimal especially when I take a tylenol before. I take my grandma and we both get sore knuckles in second game. Haha pretty funny.
Wow, I have not experienced that much discomfort at a young age. It sounds like the balls(both of) you are using are too heavy and/or the finger/thumb holes are too loose. This is causing you to “clench the ball” too tightly! The span is probably too big as well. If you bowl regularly, and you enjoy the game, get your own ball. You will be amazed at how much of a difference it makes! Check out How To Buy A Bowling Ball Made Easy.
Thanks for leaving a comment, and stop back soon!
I genuinely would love to try your finger strengtheners, because lately I have been dealing with a lot of finger joint pains. I have never used any type of support, but I feel like if I want to continue bowling, I will need to start using some type of support for my fingers. My pain has been with me for a little over a month, and it hurts every time I bowl. Thank you for the opportunity.
I tried Johns product, and it was painful for me to use. I am currently using my extended release wrist support and it is the easiest thing to use if you use a wrist support. Here is an extended wrist support http://shrsl.com/1hlmi These extended release supports give your middle and ring fingers support when you bowl and at the release point. They are doing what steel fingers does and do it more comfortably. Johns product is very small and it hurt my Finger joint. It doesn’t have any padding, and it has a ring that you slip on your fingers. It gets annoying, and not cheap at $25. If you don’t use a wrist support, then the steel fingers are much more comfortable than Johns product.
I would absolutely be interested. I have tried steel fingers and they are ok, but you product looks much simpler to use.I have sent you a PM.
Thanks for contacting me John.
Very interesting and informative. Going to try the steel fingers
I think you might like them. I have used mine a few times. One problem is that they don’t contain good instructions with the product. I have talked with others who have also used the product and found that they use tape to hold the two fingers together, and hold the finger loops so they can be slipped on and off quickly. Once they are set up like that, they really help reduce finger pain, and are easy to put on and take off. Thanks for leaving a comment.