High Five to a New Year Tips on how to take care of your hands this New Year
Welcome to 2019! I’m excited about 2019, and I hope you are, too! We are settled into our new office, and we have added another Certified Hand Therapist, Hilary Noe. We are now a team of 5 therapists! We have also added another office support person to help Melissa, who has done an amazing job of keeping all things running smoothly through the move. By: JoAnn Keller, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
What are your goals for the new year? Are your hands or arms keepingyoufromreachingthem? Handandarmpaincan interfere with your job (and therefore finances), your relationships with family and friends (what if you can’t cook as you always have? Or play tennis or do yoga?), your hobbies, and your peace of mind. That’s why we called the clinic “Hands for Living”…. It’s never “just” a hand injury. Please let us know what’s stopping you from reaching your goals! We’d love to help.
Hands for Home Remodeling
By Helen Reilly, OTR/L
The new year can bring a variety of home care projects, like yard projects, home remodeling, painting, and pruning. Some common causes of injuries during home improvements are:
• When using ladders keep in mind the 4:1 ratioforstability.Place ladders1footaway from a wall for every 4 feet of height. • Also, control your environment – before starting projects make sure you have good lightingandwhenyouaremowing, lookfor rocks and sticks. Loose clothing, rings, bracelets, and watches can easily become caught incogs,wheels,andonbranches. In general,think“safetyfirst”andusecommon sense. We look forward to seeing you this year – but hopefully not as a patient again!
injuriesfrompower tools, injuriesfrom ladders, and lawn mower accidents. Here are some things to keep in mind while you are improving your home: •Makesureyouknowhowtousepowertools before starting a project and keep your tools in good order by maintaining them. Pay careful attention to use of powered saws – it only takes a moment to have a life-changing event.
High Five to a New Year
• There is so much more to a manicure than simply making your nails look nice.Awelldonemanicurewillremove dead skin from your hands, give you a brief hand massage, and apply lotions and oils to the skin as needed. Investing inamanicureeverymonthor so can really help improve the health of your hands. Asthewintermonthsmove inandtheNew Year takes its time to thaw, make sure that you are taking precautions and preventing your hands from being overexposed to the elements by wearing the appropriate protective gear at all times. A simple pair of gloves can go a longway inmaking sure that you are staying warm and that your hands and fingers don’t grow too cold or dry thanks to the weather. If you haven’t developed a hand-care routine before, now is definitely the time to get started. You rely on your hands everydayforallsortsofdifferentactivities. Takingcareofyourhandsmeans improving comfort and utility in all of those day to day actions. For guidance and support in developing a hand-care routine, contact our office.
It is often said, “New Year, New You,” but the older you get, the wiser you get, and the more you realize that while the year maybenew,youareverymuch leftwiththe same “you.”There are old injuries that will continue to bother you, and pain that you are going to continue to experience—that is, unless, you are ready to finally take the steps to do something about it. If you’ve experienced hand pain in the past, and it is something that is severelybotheringyou, now is the time to do something about it. Make this New Year the best New Year by taking action and calling our office to scheduleaconsultationtofinallyovercome pain with targeted hand therapy options. There are a lot of things thatyou can hope for intheNewYear,butanewpairofhands aren’t one of them.You’ve got to take care of the pair that you’ve got, and the best way to do that is by developing a strong hand-care routine.
Here are some tips on how to take care of your hands this New Year: Treat cracks or calluses as they develop—don’t let them linger! The quicker you are able to address these issues by applying lotion, the quicker they will heal and the more comfortable your hands will be. Prevent dryness byregularlyapplying lotion. Find a hand lotion that you preferandmakearoutine inapplying it everyevening.Thiswillhelptoprevent dryness from building. Whileyoumaywashyour entire body with whatever soap you choose at the store, your hands kind of get the most of it in the process. If you are usingacheapersoap,thiscouldcause irritation or even cause your hands to dryout.Considerupgradingyoursoap and investing in a loofa or washcloth that will take some of that pressure off your hands.
Patient Spotlights “Kind-hearted!” “My therapist informed me well in the do’s and don’ts of healing, was considerate of my pain tolerance and helped me not rush the healing process. My therapist was kind- hearted and truly values her patients and puts their well- being first.” - Stefan H.
THUMB IP EXTENSION STRETCH
Grasp the affected thumb below the last knuckle and gently stretch it into a more straightened position.
Always consultyour therapistorphysicianbefore startingexercisesyouareunsureofdoing.
4Ways toWarm Up Your Hands
1. Put them in warmwater.Water conducts heat 25 times faster than air.
Why Choose Hands For Living?
2. Let a pal with warm hands rub yours.
3. Stay hydrated. This helps increase the volume of blood flowing to your digits.
• Expert, caring, and cost-effective evaluation ofyour injury or concern. • Information about what has happened and what can be done to help. • Specialized exercises and instructions to complete between sessions. • Comfortable and precise custom orthoses (splints), if needed, to protectyour elbow, wrist, or hand or improve motion. • Care of wounds, scars, swelling, and injuries to tendon, nerve, bone, muscle or soft tissue.
4. Don’t smoke.
• Practical ergonomic instructions to prevent injuries.
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