covers the tendon at the base of the thumb becomes irritated, it can force the thumb into a permanently bent position. At its worst, the tendon can painfully squeeze through the covering with a loud snap every time the thumb is extended. It sounds like the release of a trigger. Physical therapists can recommend a combination of rest and splinting to help, along with several joint mobilizations that can reduce pain and enable the tendon to glide properly. Then there’s gamekeeper’s/skier’s thumb , which occurs from either blunt trauma or repetitive hyperextension of the thumb. Usually, treatment includes a particular kind of splint for four to six weeks followed by physical therapy. This may help restore healthy thumb function.
Our hands are of the most important tools we use in our daily life. Whether you’re typing emails for work, making a 3-foot putt, or driving the car to your extended family’s home for Thanksgiving, functioning hands are vital for the average person’s well-being. When we suffer damage to our hands or wrists from overuse, an underlying systemic pathology, or traumatic injury, it’s more than a painful nuisance. It can stop you from doing the activities you need and love to do. Luckily, physical therapy can help with most hand and wrist injuries. Take carpal tunnel syndrome , for example. This occurs when the median nerve of the wrist is pinched as it passes through the titular carpal tunnel on the way to the fingers. Often, symptoms include sharp pain, tingling, and even numbness, which often worsens at night. For most patients, hand therapy can relieve the aches and tingling without resorting to drastic and expensive surgery. We can stretch the affected areas while increasing hand, wrist, and forearm strength. Trigger thumb is another common hand injury that can be remedied with physical therapy. When the tissue that
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Brussels Sprouts WITH SAUSAGE
• • • • •
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 ounces fresh, hot Italian sausage
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup water Salt and pepper
1. Trim sprouts and cut in half. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, 3–5 minutes.
3. Add sprouts to skillet. Add 1/2 cup water. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until just tender. Check them periodically and add a bit more water, if necessary. 4. When sprouts are just about done, remove cover and raise heat to medium- high. Cook, stirring just once or twice, for a couple more minutes. The liquid
should evaporate, and the sprouts should start to brown. 5. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or warm.
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