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Hands of hope NY

Hand and Wrist Rehabilitation

Hands and wrists are vulnerable areas. They are critical for all our functions. Most injuries of the hand affect its function, that’s why it’s critical to get hand physical therapy. The most common conditions are arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and small fractures which can be painful and be limiting to everyday life activities.

 

Arthritis

Where two bones meet, there is cartilage, the muscular fibres that keep our bodies held together. Arthritis is the disease when this cartilage breaks down making movements more sluggish and reducing range of motion. It can affect any joint in the body but when it strikes in the hands and wrists, it can make everyday actions difficult and even painful. The most common types of arthritis that affect the hand and wrist areas are:

Post-traumatic arthritis – This develops after an injury happens and does not heal completely such as a broken finger or fractured wrist.

Rheumatoid arthritis – A chronic condition that starts with smaller joints of the body like the hand and wrist. Causes remain unclear since it is an autoimmune disease, not genetic or environmental.

Osteoarthritis – This is the most common type that you probably hear about frequently in elder people that arises out of the wear and tear of joints over natural progression of time. It also tends to arise more commonly in families with a genetic history of this type of arthritis.

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Symptoms of Arthritis

These include pain or:

– Clicking with movement,

– Stiffness,

– Deformity

– Loss of mobility.

Not everyone experiences these symptoms right away, some patients don’t feel these effects till arthritis progresses more.

Treatment of arthritis

This is trickier territory since there is no known medical cure for degradation, but at Hands of Hope there is always hope to be found in healing our patients.

We have treatment therapies based on the latest research that slow arthritis’ progression and relieve your pain. These include physical therapy exercises tailored to increase mobility of the hand and build strength. Immobilizing the joint by using a splint for a short time  is also an effective strategy for managing arthritis.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A common disorder we come across at our Hands of Hope NYC clinics is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is caused by nerves being compressed in the wrist, different to sprains and tendonitis.

Basically, there is a median nerve that is a major nerve to the hand that gives sensation to your thumb, index, long and ring fingers and also muscle functions of the thumb. This nerve along with nine tendons pass through a small, inflexible bony ‘tunnel’ created by the arch-like arrangement of the small bones that make up your wrist. 

If you feel pain, tingling, or numbness in the hand, especially the thumb and index finger, see a doctor. Early signs can be pain radiating from the wrist into the hand and tingling/numbness in the fingers. This can later progress to constant numbness, weakness of the hand, and even losing grip strength.


Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

– Night splinting with the wrist in a neutral position

– Altering hand use habits

– Anti-inflammatory medication along with the rest can bring relief after weeks of constant care.

– Serious cases, surgery can be done to relieve the pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel

– Physical therapy can help manage hypersensitivity and scarring and to build strength and regain motion if there is stiffness

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