Have you ever felt those strange cord-like sensations, like hard nodules or tendons, in your palm or middle knuckle? I’ve been there, and it’s likely Dupuytren’s Disease or Contracture. Today, I want to share my journey and offer insights on the best ways to tackle this condition.
Unraveling the Mystery of Duyputrens Disease
So, you might be wondering, what’s Dupuytren’s? Well, it’s not your usual painful experience. These cord-like structures don’t hurt; they just show up as these peculiar bumps in your hand.
Hi, I’m Hoang, an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, and I’ve seen my fair share of Dupuytren’s cases in the clinic. Surprisingly, the approach isn’t immediate therapy. Since Dupuytren’s doesn’t typically cause pain, people often delay seeking help until it becomes a more significant concern.
Contrary to the old-school “wait and see” approach, I recommend addressing Dupuytren’s earlier, but not necessarily through therapy. Thanks to advancements in recent decades, surgical options can be considered sooner. It’s a shift from the traditional mindset.
When someone comes to me with Dupuytren’s symptoms, my first goal is to figure out if it’s the fascia causing the pull or if joint stiffness is the main issue. These nodules and cords, originating from the fascia, start wrapping around tendons, pulling fingers down.
To tackle Dupuytren’s early on, I suggest stretching the middle knuckle to maintain joint suppleness. While this won’t miraculously cure the condition, it keeps the area soft. Stretching the big knuckle helps balance the muscles, contributing to overall hand flexibility.
The Therapist’s Touch is the Treatment
While I might not directly treat Dupuytren’s disease, my role as an occupational therapist is crucial. I focus on managing joint stiffness through exercises, ensuring that your hand remains supple and aiding in the recovery process post-surgery.
As a therapist, I play a role in preparing individuals for surgery, ensuring joint flexibility and easing the recovery process. The goal is to avoid situations where therapy becomes a necessity only after the joint has significantly stiffened.
Trusted occupational therapists or certified hand therapists like myself can guide you to reputable hand surgeons in your area. Surgical options include collagenase enzyme injections, breaking the cord and utilizing a splint, or a small incision to release the cords.
Pay attention to early symptoms. If you suspect Dupuytren’s Disease or Contracture, reach out to a therapist and a hand surgeon sooner rather than later. Every hand is unique, and taking proactive measures can make a significant difference in maintaining hand function and overall quality of life.
If you found this information relatable or helpful, consider subscribing for more of my insights. Drop any questions in the comments; I’m here to help. Thanks for joining me on my Dupuytren’s journey, and let’s take good care of our hands!
Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist in Miami and the proud owner of Hands-on Therapy Services. He is also the author of the book “The Hands-On Approach.” Hoang is deeply passionate about assisting individuals facing hand, neck, and shoulder problems, recognizing the potentially debilitating impact if not properly addressed and treated.
In her occupational therapy practice, Hoang’s mission is to restore patients to full functionality without resorting to pills, injections, or surgery. The practice offers a range of hands-on therapy services, providing both Occupational and Physical Therapy. These services are delivered by seasoned therapists who adopt a comprehensive approach to the care of their patients.
If you or someone you know is living with:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Mallet Finger
- Trigger Finger or Trigger Thumb
- Or any other hand or shoulder injuries, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our specialists for FREE by signing up for a 30-minute Discovery Visit.
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