HFL 11x17_Scar Care and Mobilization for Upper Extremities

Living Hands for

SPECIALTY EXPERTISE For Shoulders, Arms, and Hands


Scar Care and Mobilization forYour Upper Extremities


NEWSLETTER Living Hands for

SPECIALTY EXPERTISE For Shoulders, Arms, and Hands

Scar Care and Mobilization for Your Upper Extremities

Scarring is natural but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating. When the body heals from an injury or surgery, it is not uncommon for a scar to form. Depending on the area of scarring, this can lead to physical limitations and feelings of insecurity in a patient. Fortunately, there is a solution to treating scars with the help of hand therapy. Our certified hand therapists (CHTs) can provide you with the care you need for helping relieve your scarred areas. If you have recentlyformed a scar in an area that was injured or surgically repaired, don’t hesitatetocontactHandsforLivingtoday. Tips for Scar Care It is important to note that there are several stages of scarring.Therefore, the wayyour scar looks nowmay not be how it will look once it is completely healed. It is normal for a scar to become enlarged and redden in the first 4-6 weeks after an injury or surgical procedure. This alarms manypatientsand isoftenmistakenforan infection. However, it is simplythe body’s natural way of healing itself.

After this phase, the scar should become smaller or paler in the next 2-3 months. Once it is finally healed, the scar should become soft, and it may even return to your natural skin color. Our hand therapists can help you speed up this healing process, so you do not have to wait several months foryour scar toheal.AccordingtotheAmericanSociety for Surgeryof the Hand, some of themost effective tips for scar care include: • Massagingthescar.Ourhandtherapists are highly experienced in performing targeted massage to affected areas. Massage can help decrease the sensitivity you feel in the scarred area and loosen up the deep scar tissue.You can also help do this on your own by massaging over-the-counter creams, such as Vaseline, onto the scar. • Using different modes of massage. Deeper and more sensitive scars may be in need of a massage that includes different techniques.This may include adding different tools to our hands-on treatments,suchas IASTM (instrument- assisted soft tissue mobilization). This will help desensitize the scar and reach

the deeper tissues that are affected. With some severe scarring, this may take up to 4 months. • Taping/wrapping the scar. Your hand therapist mayrecommend keeping the scarwrappedduring itshealingprocess in order to avoid additional strain to the affected area. In some cases, a special gel (such as silicone gel) may be used inside of the wrap, which can further reduce your swelling and tension. • Using special gloves or topical treatments. Especially for burn scars, it is likely that your hand therapist will recommendwearingspecialglovesand applying a topical treatment to the area every day.This will help keep the scars safefromharmfulenvironmentalfactors (such as sunlight or rough materials) and will enhance the healing process. In some more severe cases, your hand therapist may recommend injections or surgical correction for burn scars. For more information about howwe can help restore your body and get your life back, call our office today at 425-368-7943.



MCLOUGHLIN SCAR TISSUE RELEASE (MSTR) The McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release (MSTR) technique is an advancement in the treatment of scar tissue. It can provide significant changes in functional outcomes, improve sensation, reduce pain, and improve the cosmetic appearance of scars. It can be used for post-surgical scars, trauma scars, amputation scars, certain cases of frozen shoulder, caesarian scars, spinal surgeryscars,hysterectomyscars,andanyareasofdensefibrous tissue. The technique involves small targeted movements in different directions over the scar to reach both superficial and deep fibers of scar tissue. Written by Kari Ketner, Certified Hand Therapist

Mobilizing Scar Tissue with Occupational Therapy

Exercise Can Help Your Body Recover From Injury When your body is healing froman injuryorsurgicalscar, it is important to make sure the affected area is able to functionat itsoptimum levels. Our occupational therapists (OTs) can help implement controlledexerciseprograms early on in your recovery period, in order to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and overall mobility. When scar tissue is not treatedrightaway, itcan lead to stiffness and prevent the tendons underneath from beingabletoglide intheways they are supposed to. This can lead to loss of strength, range of motion, flexibility, and function overall. Fortunately, our highly experienced occupational therapists can help with this. Through targeted exercises, occupationaltherapycanhelp you move comfortably while completingdailytaskssoyou can go about your everyday life as easily as possible while your scar is healing. This will help build strength and improve function during the course of your recovery period. Occupational Therapy Aids in Overall Healing Not only do stretches and strengtheningexerciseshelp

a patient regain mobility, it allows a trained medical professionaltoregularlyview theareainquestion.Problems withan incisionorwoundcan bespottedandaddressedby your occupational therapist long before they are severe enough to bother you. Occupational therapy can also speed your recovery along as you strengthen surrounding muscles, learn compensatory strategies in the short term, and begin reusing the scarred limb or joint to its full potential. Have You Developed a Scar That Is in Need of Treatment? Our certifiedhandtherapists and licensed occupational therapists are here to help. Contact Hands for Living todayto find out howwe can enhanceyourhealingprocess and get you back to living your life, free of stiffness, inflammation,and limitations! Struggling with loss of strength and function as a result of your injury? Our therapists at Hands for Living can help! Call us today at 425-368-7943 or visit handsforliving.com for more information. Source: www.assh.org/handcare/ procedures-and-treatment/scar- management

Hand Exercise Helps with Scar Tissue Mobilization






Preparation: You will use two fingertips to firmlypress against the central area of the scar. Do not use any lubricants for this exercise. Execution: Gently push the skin in a circleWITHOUTSLIDING the skin. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then return to start. Repeat this gentle pushing of the skin up and down, and then left to right. Attempt to move the scar in all four directions. If the scar is wider thanyour fingertips, repeat along everypoint of the scar.




1. What was the first song to be broadcast fromspace? 2. How many miles does Santa have to travel on Christmas Eve? 3. What is commonly eaten in Japan for Christmas dinner? 4. Tinsel was first invented in 1610 in Germany. What was it first made of? 5. What is the biggest Christmas gift not only in the United States, but in the world? Hint: 1886. 6. WhenandwherewasthefirstChristmascelebrated? 7. Therearetwo islands intheworldnamed“Christmas.” Where are they? 8. Who gave the gifts of the first Christmas? Test out your trivia knowledge to be entered into a Prize Drawing. Simply call Hands for Living at 425-368-7943 with your answer to each question!

“They have given me hope!” “ My therapist was kind, knowledgeable and a task master, yet very understanding of everyone’s different situations. Hands for Living was able to help me reach my goals by having empathy and understanding of the emotional part of a life changing injury, while keeping me working toward achieving the most improvement. They have given me hope! Thank you to each and every one of you for helping me through this trying time of my life. Your office has truly exceptional customer service.” - M. W.


Living Hands for

FromJoAnn Keller Founder of Hands for Living

2019 Year in Review

It’s been a wonderful year here at the clinic. We’ve reached so many goals ourselves, and so have our patients! Getting rid of pain, getting back to using hands and arms for favorite activities, makingnew friends! WeLOVE seeingyou allback inhere, whether it’s to overcome a new challenge, or just stopping in to say, “Hi.” Personally, I’ve had big changes this year. Many of you know that I amacompetitivedressage(horse)rideraswellasahandtherapist.

For almost 15 years, I have ridden a beautiful mare named Olievia. She had an injury early in the year that seemed like it might end her career. She has recovered, but the time off led to changes for me. I am now riding a new horse, and Olievia will be ridden by one of my friends! Stay tuned for more news. At the office this year, we’ve finally settled into our new clinic. We have a new office coordinator, Lolly, who joined Melissa this fall. Yes, that’s Lolly, like Jolly with an L! We’ve enjoyed having her on the team. In November, we finally got new treatment tables that were custom made for us - they are height adjustable to make it comfortable for our patients of all heights! We’ve been thinking about this for YEARS! We’ve taken care of more people this year than ever before. We’ve added two additional therapists to help take care of you. Do you know anyone who needs our help? Are you struggling with a new issue? Please let us know how we can help - we always have time to help you or your family and friends. – JoAnn Keller

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