Category Archives for "finger sprain"

Dequiverians – Texting Syndrome – Adam Mann

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Adam Mann of Insync Physio in Vancouver. How are you doing Adam? 

Adam: Doing well. How are you doing Mark? 

Mark: Good. So we're going to talk about something really a bit bizarre, but very common I think, or more common, perhaps texting disease or the dequiverians syndrome. What is this? 

Adam: Dequiverians syndrome is basically a tendonitis of the thumb and so it can be quite painful to the point where it's debilitating. And I was going to talk about a client who is a waitress and also a guitarist. And so she was using her thumb a fair bit to strum and it got to the point it started as like a nagging ache, but then she was carrying coffee pots to her customers and she was constantly turning that pot over. She just felt extreme pain to the point where she almost wasn't able to hold onto the pot. 

And you said it, it's actually kind of nicknamed in the medical field as the texting disease, because when you're using your thumb a lot to text, which we all do nowadays, it's an overuse injury. So it can typically cause inflammation of the muscles on the outside of the thumb. 

Mark: So how do you go about assessing this and determining what exactly is going on?

Adam: Yeah. So in this case, a big clue is pain location and then we do a thorough orthopedic assessments. We looked at her grip strength. We looked at her wrist range of motion. We also looked at her thumb movements. We checked the ligaments and bones in the area, and then we found where the inflammation was. And there's a couple of special tests, which stress that area. So we gently perform those tasks and were able to find out that there was some inflammation in the tendon called the extensor pollicis longus, and at that point we had a diagnosis. 

Mark: So, how did you go about treating, I guess does it vary from the first treatment onwards or how did that protocol work?

Adam: So a lot of this is education because it is an overuse injury. So we explain how to stretch some of the muscles in the hand that might be excessively tight when strong, and then how to strengthen the muscles that were aggravated in a safe manner. So the idea is that the thumb muscles on the outside of the hand are not strong enough to handle the load that she's putting in on it.

So there is a period of rest. And then, eventually we have to increase load capacity so the tendon can handle that load. First session, though, we definitely did some gentle isometric contractions, which are just contractions without movement of the inflamed tissue. And that really did take the pain away.

So there is some research that shows that isometric contractions can reduce pain or have an analgesic effect. The other thing we did since she was actually off work, she wasn't able to carry coffee and we all know how grumpy we get when we don't get our coffee, we taped her thumb. So we restricted range of motion into the painful direction, so she could actually work and she could trust herself that she wasn't going to stress the thumb in any way and be able to lift things.

We taught her a couple of stretches of the thenar eminence or those tight muscles in the front, in the palm part of the hand, in here. And together that was our first treatment basically. 

Mark: So future sessions, how did it progress from there? 

Adam: Yeah. So again, just a bit of load management. We start with kind of increasing the intensity of the isometric contractions. We start to make sure that we address some of the deficits that we found in grip strength. So we found that she was a lot weaker, even in her dominant hand in terms of grip strength. And then we taught some more advanced thumb strengthening exercises with movement and that sort of thing. And we were able to increase her amount of time without the tape on her hands. So she could start working without tape. And that was really helpful. 

Mark: And how is she doing now? 

Adam: Well, she's playing guitar. I don't think she has any shows due to COVID-19, but, she's working and she has no pain. So we were able to get this problem under control pretty quickly. 

Mark: Well, allow me to throw a curve at you. This is something that I have. Oh, are these things any good? 

Adam: Well, I would say certainly they're good. One of, interestingly enough, I just read a study that shows that grip strength, especially for elderly females, not necessarily you Mark, is one of the best indicators of longevity. So grip strength as we get older is really important. And so if you're working on your grip strength I'm impressed.  

Mark: So if you're having any issues with your hands from texting too much, it might even be bothering your neck a little bit. 

Adam: Absolutely. 

Mark: Insync Physio in Vancouver. You can book Adam Mann online at insyncphysio.com. They have two offices, one in Vancouver and if you want to talk to human being (604) 566-9716 is in Vancouver or in North Burnaby, six Oh four, two nine eight four eight seven eight to book. You have to book, they're always busy. Adam's always busy. He's an expert in this kind of stuff, but he'll get you feeling better and back doing all your favourite activities as soon as possible. Thanks Adam. 

Adam: Hey, have a good day. Keep on working out that grip strength.

Hand and Finger Injuries – Intrinsic Muscle Strengthening

Have you sustained a hand or finger injury, whether it’s a minor sprain by jamming it or something more serious like an annular pulley ligament tear? After letting the injury heal enough, then you need to work on strengthening the intrinsic hand muscles.

Start with the forearm vertically with the fingers pointing straight up. Keep your wrist straight and avoid bending it by bracing it with your other hand. Then perform finger flexion with your “MCP joints” or the knuckle joints of your index to pinky fingers. Do 3 sets of 30 reps daily.

If you’re unsure about the exercise or have any uncertainty about where you’re at with the recovery of your hand or fingers, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Rock Climbing Hand Recovery – Healing Self Massage & Injury Prevention For The Hand

Having good contact strength is one of the most important things to have as an avid and competitive rock climber. Knowing how to help yourself in the recovery of your hand after a good climbing session is just as important as knowing how to train to increase that strength. This will help you reduce and prevent injuries which can help you be a stronger climber.

Start by grasping the webspace of your hand between your thumb and index finger with your other thumb and index finger. Then applying pressure, use your thumb to massage the top portion of the webspace of your hand. Turn the hand over and apply pressure to the palm side of the hand pushing out those knots.

Then, push with deep pressure and massage out the lumbrical muscles that sit in between each finger space on the palm side of the hand. All these spots can get really tight! Spend about 60 seconds on each of them for a total of 5 minutes doing some self massage after each work out session. 

Unlike other bigger muscles in your body, the hand doesn’t have redundant blood supply. So this means a little bit of this after each workout can go a long way for increasing blood supply and helping over worked muscles recover better and faster, so you can be better and stronger on your next climbs. If you’re unsure about the technique or have uncertainty about what you’re doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Hand & Finger Tendon Strains: Tendon Glides

When it comes to particular sports like rock climbing or other activities dependent on finger tendon strength, It’s particularly important to restore their maximal gliding capability. This tendon gliding mobility exercise does just that! Begin by extending the hand and fingers as much as possible. Then bring the fingers into a closed hook position by crimping the fingers down (keeping the knuckles aligned with the wrist). Then make a closed fist by rolling the fingers down. And then finally move into a flat fist with the fingers reaching down. Perform the movement in a slow and rhythmic sequence by moving through a full range of motion and keeping the wrist in neutral. Do this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times per day is excellent for rock climbers, volleyball players and any other activities that require intense finger strength and mobility.

Quick Recovery for Finger Sprains

Finger sprains commonly occur in sports and every day activities that involve heavy lifting or repetitive hand motions. Falls or contact sports such as football may even force a finger out of its normal joint position resulting in a dislocation. The force to the finger may cause joints in the finger to hyperextend or move sideways. Sprains of the finger are classified according to the extent of injury or damage.

Classification:

1) Grade I – Mild: A first degree sprained finger is present when the ligaments are only stretched but not ruptured. There may be localized swelling, slight pain, and slight reduction in range of motion, but strength remains unaffected. An individual may continue to engage in an activity. Taping of the injured finger may be more effective. Recovery is immediate.

2) Grade II – Moderate: A second degree sprained finger occurs when there is partial ligament tears, a greater reduction in range of motion and some loss of strength with more swelling and pain. The joint capsule may also be damaged. Recovery will take longer.

3) Grade III – Severe: A third degree sprained finger involves complete rupture of the ligament, complete loss of range of motion and typically dislocation of the finger. Significant pain and swelling is present. X-ray is required for diagnosis and surgery may be indicated.

Treatment:

In the first 48 to 72 hours after the sprain, the individual should protect the finger by taping it to the adjacent finger or by using a finger brace. Apply ice for about 15 min every two hours with a small ice pack wrapped in a dry towel or use a large cup filled with cold water and some ice for immersion.

Once swelling has gone down, the individual may begin light range of motion exercises by placing a soft object such as a tennis ball or rolled sock in the palm of the hand and gently squeezing the object.  Repeat 10 times and stop if any pain arises. Surgery may be indicated for third degree sprains. Consult a physician for the appropriate diagnosis.

Strengthening:

1) Ball Grip: Hold a ball in the palm of the hand with all fingers enclosing the ball and gently squeeze. Hold, then relax.

2) Pinch: Place a ball between the thumb and index finger. Gently squeeze, then relax.

3) Opposition: Hold a ball with the thumb and pinky finger. Gently squeeze the ball using the two fingers, then relax.

4) Side-Squeeze: Place a ball between any two fingers and gently squeeze, then relax.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Thumb Spica Taping

This taping technique will limit movement in the joint between the thumb and the hand to help the soft tissues heal after a thumb sprain. You use loops of tape around the thumb that attach to the wrist and ‘rein in’ the thumb to prevent it from moving.

Equipment Required

  1. 2.5cm Zinc Oxide Tape
  2. Scissors (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Start by creating an ‘anchor’ on the wrist. Circle the wrist once with the zinc oxide tape as pictured:

Step 2: Now you add the tape strips that will support the thumb itself. With the zinc oxide tape, start on the outside edge of the wrist – i.e. on the same side of the wrist as the little finger is. With a single continuous strip of tape, bring the tape diagonally up the back of the hand, onto the first joint of the thumb. The tape should cross the main knuckle of the thumb (the knuckle where it joins the hand.) Continue all the way around the thumb, so the tape crosses itself, then come down the base of the palm and around the outside of the wrist to finish the strip of tape where it started. The steps are pictured here:

Step 3: Add a second support strip of zinc oxide tape directly over the first strip from step 2:

Step 4: Finally add a second anchor directly over the first anchor from step 1, to lock off the loose ends of tape. That’s it.

Tip: This technique will be helpful for lighter thumb sprains and in situations where you can’t wear a brace but still need to give some support to the thumb. However, a more complete immobilization of the thumb using a splint or brace may be more effective than tape. Therefore, you may wish to consider purchasing a thumb spica brace.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.