Monthly Archives: Feb 2017

Hand Therapy Joint Pain Joints

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Techniques to Reduce Joint Pain

For this post, we are sharing a video that demonstrates many techniques you can use on a daily basis to protect your joints. In past posts, we’ve discussed joint protection and gave some examples and illustrations of this. (See Protecting Your Joints and Living With(out) Thumb Pain.)

The video below shows some of those examples in action. The video has no sound, so don’t worry about turning up the volume. As you watch, you will be given some practical pointers. There are some questions in the video, so put on your thinking cap and see what ideas you come up with to take care of your joints.

After watching the video, you may have questions about specific activities and how to make changes to decrease your joint pain. Talking to a certified hand therapist can help you apply these principles to your specific activities, which can help you to keep doing what you want in life.

Read More
Bones Casts and Splints Hand

How to Take Care of a Cast

Read More
Hand Hand Surgery Therapy Dog

Making the rounds: Therapy dogs team up with hand surgeon to comfort patients

from the Chicago Tribune

When Ceil Johnson fell on the ice and broke her wrist last month, she went to hand surgeon Leon Benson for treatment.

Benson had taken care of her before, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t nervous when the doctor, who practices in Wilmette and Glenview, removed the staples in her arm a few weeks later. But Johnson had a companion to help steady her as Benson carefully removed each staple: Benson’s Portuguese water dog, Cooper.

Cooper sat patiently on the exam table beside Johnson, letting her put her arms around him and bury her face in his glossy black side until the doctor’s work was completed.

Johnson, who has dogs herself, said she was glad Cooper had been there for her.

“I’m not a kid about stuff like this, but without Cooper there, it would have felt a lot worse,” she said.

Benson, who is affiliated with both the NorthShore Orthopaedic Institute and the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, is used to that kind of response to 7-year-old Cooper, and to Chelsea, Cooper’s 11-year-old Portuguese water dog colleague. That’s exactly the reason he brings one or both of them in to see patients.

Read the full story.

Read More
Arthritis Hand Stiff Hands

5 Potential Causes of Stiff Hands

Stiff Hands

We use our hands for nearly everything. When stiff hands come about, it prevents us from doing daily activities that we take for granted. If a hand becomes stiff, it can be a variety of issues, some more serious than others. Here are five potential causes of stiff hands:

  1. Arthritis: There are many different types of arthritis that can affect the hands, including thumb arthritis, MP joint arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Fractures: A hand fracture is a medical term for a broken hand. Even if you can still move the hand, it may be broken.
  3. Dislocations: Any upper extremity dislocation can cause hands to feel stiff.
  4. Bad sprains: A thumb sprain is an example of an injury that could cause stiffness.
  5. Tendon and muscle injuries: Extensor tendon injuries can happen due to an injury or even a cut on the hand. Flexor tendon injuries can happen from a deep cut.
Read More
Anatomy Arteries Hand

Anatomy 101: Arteries of the Hand

Arteries of the Hand

Arteries are multi-layered tubes that take blood from the heart to other places in the body. There are six arteries that travel into the hand. They are:

Deep Palmar Arch
Named for its shape of an arch, the deep palmar arch is small but important. This vessel sends off small branches to supply blood to the thumb and index finger.

Superficial Palmar Arch
Also named for its shape of an arch, this vessel communicates with the deep palmar arch and also gives off important branches that supply blood to the fingers.  These are called the common digital arteries.

Common Digital Arteries
The common digital arteries are small vessels that come from the palmar arches and supply blood to the fingers.  They are called “common” because when they split to become the proper digital arteries, most of these vessels provide blood to two different fingers.

Digital Arteries to the Thumb
The thumb receives its blood supply from the digital arteries.

Read More