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Brace

So, I *finally* got a resting brace for my right hand/arm. The people at the OT place were surprised I hadn't had one before this. Yep, Stanford screwed up, didn't brace my hand. Fortunately, I've kept it stretched enough that I don't have a curled knot of rotting flesh attached to my wrist. Go me.

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18mos
Feb. 12th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Brace yourselves...
Can I ask? How do you stretch your right hand? I'd never had OT as for group therapy after my surgery and all they do was help move my left shoulder. My left hand curls and doesn't stay flat. I got myself a resting brace for sleep, but no one told me there was more that could be done.

18months
ravan
Feb. 12th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Brace yourselves...
A resting brace helps keep it flexible. But as for stretches, I do several:
1) When lying down, I grab the gimpy hand with the good one, and then bring both arms above my head, like I was going to put my hands behind my head. This helps the shoulder flexibility.
2) When seated at a table, I grab the gimpy hand with the good hand like I was imitating a police shooter's grip, and then I stretch as far forward as I can.
3) When seated in a chair with armrests, I lean on the gimpy elbow, making the upper arm support my weight. This can also be done while lying down.
4) While seated, and leaning on the gimpy elbow, I take the hand and fingers and gently stretch them out and back, working the hand into an upward position, like a crossing guard halt. I will also take individual fingers and flex them backwards, but not too hard.
5) In a store, I will wrap the gimpy hand around the bar of a shopping cart, making sure my palm is in the right position to push, and then I use both hands to push the cart. This also lets me use the cart like a rolling walker. It's more work as you load more on the cart, but that's good. I stick my cane in the cart.

Apparently, the best thing for avoiding permanent curl is weight bearing and stretching. The stretching is obvious, the weight bearing through the elbow and shoulder is not.

The thing with any stretching program is to start easy, don't overstretch, and do it often. When I'm riding the train, or waiting for something, I'll often stretch out my hand. It reminds the nerves in the hand of what motion feels like, and stretches out the mucles that cramp up.

Hope this helps.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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