Not all hand injuries are created the same.
But, where we put our focus generally can be.
I’m going to share with you what I teach every day to my students – and that’s where you can place your focus if you or someone you know has suffered a hand injury.
This is true for:
- Finger, thumb, or hand sprains or fractures.
- Flexor tendon surgeries – if you cut the palm of your hand or fingers. Tendons on the back of your hand are entirely different!
- Wrist injuries.
This is NOT a comprehensive list, so if you are NOT sure, just give us a call at the clinic!
Our client’s story
We had a client that injured her thumb at the wrist level. Once she was cleared at the urgent care center for a fracture, she decided to self-treat, using different types of splints that you can buy at the drug store.
She did not know these two key positions for her hand and ended up causing even MORE damage to her hand. She ended up having more pain. More stiffness. And needed more therapy!
When you position your hands incorrectly for too long, this can cause you to need surgery where you might have required surgery to begin with.
These are the two key positions that can shorten your need for hand therapy and reduce the pain that you have to suffer.
- Keep your big knuckles in a bent position of at least 60 degrees, or keep them free to bend.
- Keep your middle knuckles completely straight or allow them to move to be completely straight.
Whether you have a hand injury or a wrist injury, if your big knuckles (the MP) are not allowed to move, they can get stuck in a straight position.
Once the big knuckles are stuck straight, the ligaments that support them get very tight and lose their flexibility. This problem becomes what is known as a “stiff hand.” Therapy becomes very painful and long.
This can happen when you are unsure about how to move, how much to move, wearing an incorrect size splint, or staying in one too long.
Worst-case scenario, surgery is needed. If you can not make a fist, you can’t grab objects, open doors, and be functional in your everyday living.
Based on your type of injury, the best option is to know what you are allowed to do and when you are safe to move. It may be sooner than you may think.
So ask your Certified Hand Therapist to get clear on what’s wrong so that you can work towards getting rid of your hand pain faster.
Keep your middle knuckles completely straight or allow them to move to be completely straight.
This is one of the most common problems that we see and treat in our clinic.
When there is a wrist, hand, or finger injury, the middle knuckles (PIP) like to sit in a bent position.
This is the “natural attitude” of your fingers. Because this is the natural way your fingers like to sit, this is why they get stuck.
Once stuck in that bent position, it can be painful and resistant to movement.
Can it get better? It’s a MUST that the middle knuckle gets straight in order for you to get rid of hand pain for good.
If someone tells you that you don’t need it to be straight and you keep having pain, the middle knuckle WANTS to be straight and needs work in a particular direction to get 100% better.
I’m a big believer in getting 100% so that you don’t have recurring issues that pop up a year or later in your life after an injury.
If you had a hand injury and are unsure what you can do to get rid of the pain, stiffness, or swelling, request to speak to one of our specialists today.
Getting clear on what you can do to recover can be the difference between needing only a handful of visits to needing months of painful therapy.
Post therapists and clinics are quick to rush people out the door without warning them of the consequences. This has happened to me after a knee injury and my husband after an elbow fracture.
So, I’m always sure to tell my patients how they can get 100% after an injury.
When you have a hand injury, look to work with a certified hand therapist, and make sure you are working with an Occupational Therapist and not an aide or assistant.
Accidents happen all day. Everyday.
Hand injuries are one of the most painful injuries that we treat. But some techniques can ease your hand and get you great results.
If you have suffered a hand injury or surgery, give us a call and request to speak with our specialist. It never hurts to ask questions.
Actually, we want to work with proactive people who want to ask questions! We get the best results for our clients when they are as committed as we are.
Written by Hoang Tran
About the author – Hoang Tran
Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist , the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her Miami occupational therapy practice is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care.
If you are struggling with hand and wrist pain, including
or any other hand, elbow or neck injuries, speak with one of our specialists for FREE by signing up for a 30-minute Discovery Visit here! Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.
In these difficult times, we are here to help. Telehealth and online sessions are available!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.