Category : Arm

Arm Hand Numbness Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Can a T-Shirt Improve Posture and Help Treat Arm Pain?

Are you someone who suffers from thoracic outlet syndrome and has arm pain? Perhaps this special t-shirt is for you!

Arm pain and tingling is a common symptom of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). TOS is a term used to describe compression in the space between the collarbone and the first rib. Other symptoms include numbness in the arm and hand, pain and aches in the neck, shoulder or hand and arm fatigue with activity. While the cause of TOS is compression, the cause of the compression can be due to a number of factors. One common offender is poor posture. The posture that is often associated with TOS is drooping or rounded shoulders and holding the head in a forward position.

TOS is often treated with rehabilitation, medication and sometimes surgery. During rehabilitation treatment, an emphasis is placed on improving posture through exercises, stretches and use of athletic taping techniques. Taping provides support and gentle feedback to guide the shoulder into a better position. A more recent development is a t-shirt that mimics the taping technology and accomplishes a similar effect with greater ease.

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Anatomy Arm Bones

Anatomy 101: Arm Bones

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While the hand is made up of many small bones, the arm consists of three large bones. The arm bones are:

  1. Humerus: This bone runs from the shoulder to the elbow.
  2. Radius: This is one of two bones in the forearm. It is on the thumb side of the forearm (radial side). This bone spins around the ulna when you move your palm up and down.
  3. Ulna: This is the other bone in the forearm. It is on the pinkie side (ulnar side) of the forearm. This bone does not spin.

Learn more about other bones of the upper extremity, including shoulder bones and hand bones in the anatomy section at www.HandCare.org. Here you can also learn about broken bones (i.e. how to know when your arm is broken and how it can be treated) and search for a hand surgeon to treat your injury.

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Arm Hand Hand Therapy Prosthetics

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Upper Extremity Prosthetics

prosthetic arm cropped

I have seen news stories about robotic arms. What is really out there for people to use? 

Advances in upper extremity prosthetics have come slowly over the last 100 years. The first prosthetics were cable-driven devices or body-powered prostheses. These required the user to be able to move his/her body (usually the shoulder) to pull on a cable to bend and straighten the arm or open and close a hook. Most big leaps forward have, unfortunately, come from wartime injuries. Cable-driven prosthetics became the norm around the time of WWI, WWII and the Korean War. During Vietnam, myoelectric prostheses emerged. Myoelectric prostheses are controlled with the electric signals produced by muscles in the person’s remaining arm. Now, after 15 years of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, the area of upper extremity prosthetics is ready to make another big jump.

Upper extremity prosthetics have made a splash in the news during the past 10 years as a result of the 2006 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Revolutionizing Prosthetics project. The program grew from a desire to make an arm that moves exactly like a human arm. Dean Kamen (creator of the Segway) helped develop the DEKA Arm, sometimes called the “Luke arm” after Luke Skywalker. Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab created the APL limb. While the APL limb is still in the research stage, the DEKA Arm was approved for the market by the FDA in 2014. Other prostheses on the market include the Michaelangelo hand from Ottobock, and the iLimb hand from TouchBionics.

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Arm Cervical Radiculopathy Hand Neck

Do you have Cervical Radiculopathy?

Man holding his hand - pain concept

I’m having numbness and tingling in my hand. Sometimes there is pain that runs down my arm and shoulder. I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome. Someone told me it could be coming from my neck. What does this mean?

Not all hand numbness is carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms you describe are typically caused from a nerve injury or irritation. The nerves that go to your arm start at your neck. If the nerve is being irritated or compressed at your neck, this is called cervical radiculopathy.

What causes cervical radiculopathy? I haven’t done anything to my neck.

The nerves that go to your arms exit the spinal cord through the spaces between bones in your neck. The bones have cushions between them called discs. A nerve can be compressed if the disc material is pressing on the nerve or if the bones develop spurs from arthritis, making the opening for the nerve small. Sometimes the joints in the spine can become inflamed and cause nerve irritation.

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Arm Bones Broken Arm Fracture

How to know if you have a broken arm

Close-up of a young woman's hand in plaster.

It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a broken bone, also known as a fracture, and simply a sprain or other injury. Here are six signs that may mean you have a broken arm:

  1. Arm looks crooked
  2. Bruising
  3. Pain
  4. Swelling
  5. Arm is difficult to move
  6. Arm feels numb or tingly

Visit a hand surgeon if any of these symptoms are true. Any deep cuts that may have occurred during your injury should also be checked immediately since there is a risk of infection. Your hand surgeon or emergency doctor may treat you with a cast or recommend surgery.

Read more about broken arm injuries at www.HandCare.org.

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Arm Hand Steroid Injection

5 facts about steroid injections

Doctor holding medical injection syringe and stethoscope

Steroid injections can be used to treat pain in the hand and arm. Here are five things you should know about steroid injections:

  1. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including carpal tunnel, arthritis, tennis elbow and more.
  2. The injections typically contain a steroid called cortisone, which is different from steroids used by some athletes.
  3. Benefits of an injection may last for several weeks.
  4. Several injections may be needed to solve your problem.
  5. The injection site may be painful for two days after the injection.

The results of steroid injections can be different for everyone. Some may find success, and some may experience one of the many possible side effects, including a “flare,” thinning of skin, weakening of tendons, or an infection. Talk to your hand surgeon about whether a steroid injection is right for you. Find a hand surgeon at www.HandCare.org.

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Arm Casts and Splints Hand Hand Safety

How to take care of your arm cast

Close-up of a young woman's hand in plaster.

Whether it’s an arm cast, wrist splint or finger splint, many types of casts can help your recovery from surgery or an injury. Casts are hard, made with plaster or fiberglass, while splints are lighter and can be taken on and off more easily. These are important to protecting you while your injury heals, so follow these tips to take good care of your cast or splint:

  1. Keep your cast or splint clean and dry. Getting it wet could irritate your skin. Cover it with a plastic bag, seal it with tape or rubber bands to keep it dry, and elevate it overhead while showering.
  2. Do not let dirt, sand or other materials get inside your cast or splint.
  3. Do not stick objects in your cast. If you feel itchy, ask your doctor for advice.
  4. Never attempt to trim your cast. If there are rough edges or your skin is irritated around the ends, contact your doctor.
  5. Contact your doctor if your cast or splint has a crack or soft spot.
  6. Never attempt to remove a cast yourself.

Be sure to contact your doctor if you have worsening pain, excessive swelling, numbness or tingling in your fingers, burning or stinging, or loss of movement in your fingers while wearing a cast. Learn more about casts and splints at www.HandCare.org.

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Arm Hand Prosthetics

A day in the life of Bowen Toomey, the boy with no arms or legs adopted by a U.S. family

Bowen Toomey was adopted 5 years ago by hand surgeon Jeremy Toomey, MD and his wife Devon Toomey. People followed up with the family in their latest issue.

from People.com

The infant had no arms and no legs, but there was a brightness in his deep brown eyes that took Devon Toomey’s breath away. She couldn’t stop staring at the photo on Reese’s Rainbow special-needs adoption website. She just knew, without question, that the boy was meant to be her son.

“I couldn’t pull my eyes away – there was something special about him,” Devon, 40, tells PEOPLE, relaxing at the sunny kitchen table in her Eagle, Idaho, home as her three boys wrestle and laugh on the carpet nearby. “I’d always felt that when the time was right, a child in need would find us. And here he was, waiting for us, thousands of miles away.”

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