How Do I Know If I Have Carpal Tunnel?
In the United States, 1-3 per 1000 persons are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome Yearly. When identified and addressed early, carpal tunnel can be easily treated with therapy, splinting, exercises, and ergonomic modifications, preventing surgery. This blog will discuss common symptoms, causes, and treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Writer’s cramp is a form of dystonia, or involuntary muscle contractions, which makes the fingers and hand move into abnormal postures when writing or performing other intensive hand activities, such as typing, playing an instrument, eating/feeding, brushing teeth, or brushing hair. This can cause pain, spasms, fatigue, and decreased legibility of penmanship or decreased task performance. A specific activity or movement can bring on the symptoms. The fingers may extend straight, or the wrist may flex and bend while the elbow extends straight. One might lose their grip or feel uncoordinated. Muscle spasms and hand cramps are more common in men than women. Poor posture and increased writing or playing time of an instrument can play a part in the symptoms, as well as increased stress or anxiety.
Joint Protection Strategies
Since April is Occupational Therapy Month, our OT’s have put together a list of modifications that can help to decrease forces on hands and other joints. This chart has modifications that many people encounter daily. These adaptations will allow you to use less force which will avoid pain, prevent arthritic changes, and help to prevent deforming forces and injury.
Occupational Therapy Or Hand Therapy? How To Decide Which Is Best For You
When you think of Occupational Therapy, do you think “work”? Many do! But that is too narrow. Occupational Therapy focuses on returning the student, client, or patient to daily tasks they need/want to do throughout their life. These functional tasks are labeled “occupations” and include feeding, dressing, bathing, house and yard chores, meal preparation, school work, driving, caregiving, recreation, and work too! This list is not exhaustive, and the different “occupations” importance varies with age, injury/illness, and individual goals. For example, in pediatrics, an Occupational Therapist obviously will not work on driving skills with a preschooler. Occupational Therapists evaluate and collaborate with the individual to implement a customized treatment plan and re-evaluate with functional outcome measures to assess progress toward the individual’s goals.
Textbooks to Tablets: How to Prevent Upper Body Pain in an Increasingly Digital Learning Environment
Our digital world is ever expanding, and one may find themselves required to spend more time using technology for work, learning, and leisure. If this applies to you or your family members, it is important to be aware of how we interact to the digital world to prevent injuries that can result from prolonged positions which compromise good posture and ergonomics, resulting in pain.
Hand and Wrist Injuries in Gymnasts
Gymnastics is a unique sport where athletes spend a large amount of time on their hands. Handstands, tumbling, rings, and bars require the athlete to place their entire body weight through the arms and into the hands. Other sports do not place these heavy demands on the upper extremity. When tumbling, the athlete puts not only their entire body weight through the hands but can have up to 16 times their body weight in force going across the wrist2. No wonder 80% of gymnasts will experience wrist pain at some point in their career!6 In a study comparing injuries in male and female collegiate gymnasts, men suffered more hand and wrist injuries than their female counterparts1. We will be taking a closer look at the types of hand and wrist injuries both male and female gymnasts may experience and how to treat or prevent these injuries.
Why Does My Hand Fall Asleep at Night?
Numbness and tingling in your hand can be described as “your hand falling asleep.” But what does this really mean? Tingling and numbness is a type of nerve pain that typically subsides with the limb’s movement. In this case, the pain is usually due to restricted blood flow. The tingling can feel uncomfortable and unpleasant, but it is only temporary. Sometimes people complain of waking up in the middle of the night with numbness or tingling in their hand or arm, they may not experience these symptoms during the day, or the symptoms are not as noticeable.
The Bare Hand Necessities for Grip Strength and Function
Tools and technologies can help complete our daily routines, but they are only as skillful as the user. In some instances, our bodies, specifically the hands, are the required tools, yet one might have physical limitations impeding performance and independence. Often, muscle weakness can be the main limiting factor for getting work done. To increase performance, improving one’s grip strength can be most beneficial.