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3 Best Exercises After a PIP Fracture

a hand with bandaged fingers Flexor tendon lacerations.

PIP fractures, this middle knuckle, can be really frustrating. And PIPs can become really stiff after a fracture. So I’m going to share with you my top three exercises for a PIP fracture.

My name is Hoang. I’m an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist. And here are my top three that I always, always tell my own patients.

If you’ve experienced a PIP (Proximal Interphalangeal) joint fracture, you understand the challenges it presents in daily activities. The PIP joint is critical for finger movement, and regaining strength and flexibility after an injury is vital. Below, we delve into the three best exercises after a PIP fracture, designed to help you recover mobility and function.

Understanding PIP Fracture Exercises

Before jumping into the exercises, it’s essential to understand the goal of PIP fracture exercises. The primary objectives are to reduce stiffness, increase the range of motion, and strengthen the joint for healthy recovery.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistent practice of these exercises is crucial. Regular, gentle movements can help the healing process, prevent joint stiffness, and improve circulation, which is vital for 

Safety and Pain Management

Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen, especially after a fracture. It’s normal to experience some discomfort while exercising a healing PIP joint, but if you encounter sharp or increasing pain, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.

Top 3 PIP Fracture Exercises for Recovery

Let’s explore the three most effective exercises that you can incorporate into your rehabilitation routine to ensure a speedy and complete recovery from a PIP fracture.

Exercise 1: PIP Joint Extension

To improve straightening of the middle knuckle:

  • Gently support the injured finger at the base with one hand.
  • With the other hand, lightly press the middle joint to extend it towards full straightness.
  • Hold the extension for 5-10 seconds and release.
  • Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day.

This exercise aids in stretching the soft tissues and prevents the joint from becoming fixed in a bent position.

Exercise 2: PIP Joint Flexion

For restoring bending capability:

  • Support the base of the finger.
  • Use your other hand to gently bend the PIP joint without moving the base or tip of your finger.
  • Hold the bent position for 5-10 seconds and release.
  • Perform this 10 times, 3 sessions daily.

This helps to maintain the bending motion that’s essential for grasping objects.

Exercise 3: PIP Blocking Exercises

To strengthen the joint:

  • With one hand, hold the finger just below the PIP joint.
  • Use the thumb and index finger of your other hand to bend and straighten the PIP joint.
  • Do 10 repetitions, three times a day.

Blocking exercises help isolate the movement to the PIP joint, ensuring it receives targeted strengthening.

Enhancing Your Recovery Through Professional Care

While these exercises are beneficial, personalized care from a certified hand therapist can provide tailored rehabilitation plans to meet your specific recovery needs. They can also offer additional treatment options, such as splinting or modalities for pain relief.

Recovering from a PIP fracture can be a gradual process, but with the right exercises and professional guidance, you can regain function and return to your daily activities without pain or limitation. Remember, healing is not just about the physical recovery; it’s about regaining the confidence and ability to perform movements that are critical for everyday life.

Conclusion:

Embarking on your rehabilitation journey after a PIP fracture can be daunting, but incorporating these exercises into your daily routine is a step towards reclaiming your hand’s functionality. While these PIP fracture exercises are designed to strengthen and restore movement, the true key to recovery lies in patience and persistence. Remember, every small movement counts towards your goal of a full recovery.

Regularly performing these exercises, seeking professional guidance, and monitoring your progress can make a significant difference in your healing process. Stay motivated, and know that each day brings you closer to regaining the full use of your hand. With the right approach, your PIP joint will become more flexible, stronger, and ready to handle the tasks at hand—literally.

As you continue to heal, keep in touch with your healthcare provider, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Your journey to recovery is not one you have to take alone. With expert care and a dedicated mindset, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and complete recovery.

Regularly performing these exercises, seeking professional guidance, and monitoring your progress can make a significant difference in your healing process. Stay motivated, and know that each day brings you closer to regaining the full use of your hand. With the right approach, your PIP joint will become more flexible, stronger, and ready to handle the tasks at hand—literally.

As you continue to heal, keep in touch with your healthcare provider, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Your journey to recovery is not one you have to take alone. With expert care and a dedicated mindset, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and complete recovery.

CLICK HERE! to learn more about PIP Rehab

About Hoang Tran – an expert in physical & occupational therapy  

Hoang Tran is a Miami certified hand therapist , the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and the 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 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. 

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