All About Raynaud’s Discorder

Raynaud’s is a disorder that affects the arteries by restricting blood flow to toes and, most commonly, fingers. There are two types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary.

Primary Raynaud’s (also called Raynaud’s disease) comes from an unknown origin and tends to be less severe than secondary Raynaud’s. Secondary Raynaud’s is sparked by another unknown illness, condition, or something else, often called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Causes of secondary Raynaud’s include:

  • Diseases/conditions that directly harm the arteries or nerves in the hands or feet
  • Damages to the arteries in the hands and feet caused by repetitive actions
  • Injuries to the hands and feet
  • Chemical exposures
  • Medicines that minimize blood pressure and narrow arteries

Raynaud’s attacks can be triggered by either cold temperatures or stress, marked by little- to no blood flow to the extremities. As flood flow diminishes, the skin might turn white and then blue for a short time. Once blood flow returns, the fingers (or toes) might turn red, throb, tingle, burn, or go numb.

People who have Raynaud’s typically do not experience long-term tissue damage or disability, though they can form skin sores or gangrene from extended attacks.

Roughly five percent of the American population experiences Raynaud’s, and for most, it’s a bother rather than a severe illness. Researchers continue to explore Raynaud’s.

Treatments for Raynaud’s include lifestyle changes, medicines, and in rare cases, surgery. Those with Raynaud’s can take preventative measures such as wearing a hat, mittens (not gloves), scarf, coat, and warm socks during cold weather. Warming up your surroundings before entering (warming up the car, for example) can help ease Raynaud’s. Avoiding stressful situations can also help reduce Raynaud’s symptoms. Certain medicines can be prescribed to Raynaud’s patients to minimize attacks as well.

Do you think you might suffer from Raynaud’s? Contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist to schedule an appointment today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Tumbling on An Extended Hand

When falling while standing or walking, our first instinct is to lower our hands to soften the force. Did you know this simple act is also one of the most common culprits of hand and wrist injuries? Fractures, breaks, sprains, and more can result from these small yet impactful motions.

Lingering pain, swelling at the impact site, discomfort, etc., are all reasons for x-rays to be performed. Once diagnosed, the best course of action will be determined for recovery.

The navicular bone (also known as the scaphoid) is between the base of the thumb and the radius, which is one of the two long bones in the forearm. This bone is generally the most affected in falling injuries. Gripping can be especially painful in the presence of navicular fractures, along with pain and swelling near the thumb.

In older adults, fractures in the radius are common following a fall on the hand. Pain, swelling, and bruising indicate an issue with the extremity. Treatments for navicular fractures include casts, splinters, and a post-heal physical therapy session. Since the blood flow in that region is poor, hand and wrist pain can last weeks or months after a fall.

Some of the treatments and physiotherapy programs for sprains include:

  • Splints
  • Cold therapy
  • Exercises
  • NSAIDs
  • Injections

Rehabilitation is a vital aspect of healing navicular bone injuries since a long immobilization time is needed to recover in the first place.

If you’ve fallen on your hand or wrist, we can help! The experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist can assist in getting your healing underway.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Trigger Finger Treatment

Trigger finger is identified by the inability to control a finger’s movement after getting stuck in a bent position. When trying to straighten the finger(s), it rapidly snaps out with a swift motion.

The flexor tendon is responsible for bending fingers and runs through the palm. These rope-like tendons connect muscle to bone, and many are located in the forearm. Tendons connect the fingers to the palm, wrist, forearm, and so on.

Trigger finger forms when the tendon that bends fingers cannot fit through the pulley system that holds it close to the bone. This tight sheath is located in the palm, near the base of each finger. While bending a finger, a small lump can usually be felt moving up and down. Trigger finger can be relatively painful and complaints are more prominent in the morning.

Treatments for trigger finger include:

  • Splints
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery

Generally, non-invasive treatments are sought out before surgery is advised. During a surgical procedure, the tight pulley (called the A1) is divided so the tendon can move freely without getting stuck. A relatively simple outpatient surgery can be done in-office with a local anesthetic or in an operating room, with or without sedation.

After treatment for trigger finger, the most important thing is to keep bending your fingers as much as possible. Finger motion should be executed every waking hour. Elevation and light lifting can be done immediately. In about two- to three weeks, patients can resume normal activities.

Do you have trigger finger or know someone who does? Contact our office today to learn how we can help mitigate this issue for you.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Tennis Elbow Treatment and Prevention

The term tennis elbow might be more misleading than you think – this tendon injury can occur without any tennis games whatsoever. Aching arm and elbow pain are most prevalent in patients who are diagnosed with tennis elbow. The proper term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis; this injury is categorized by causing chronic pain and weakness near the elbow. Gripping or lifting motions infamously make this condition feel more painful.

Tennis elbow affects the forearm muscle, extensor carpi radialis brevis, which helps move the hand away from the body at the wrist. Repetitive strain suddenly or gradually can damage the tendon attached to the outer elbow, resulting in pain. As we age, our muscles and joints deteriorate, which influences injuries. Overtime, inflammation and degeneration from overuse can result, causing further discomfort.

The initial treatment for tennis elbow is rest, as this allows the damaged tendon to heal. At-home exercise and stretching procedures, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals, braces, steroid injections, or extracorporeal shock wave therapy might be recommended as a treatment plan. Surgery is seldomly needed to treat tennis elbow. 

Small efforts have big impacts when it comes to preventing tennis elbow. Some of which include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and physical appearance by strengthening your shoulders, arms, and upper back muscles.
  • Ensure all sports equipment fits correctly.
  • Focus on moving, using the proper techniques while doing activities.
  • Try to minimize or be aware of repetitive arm motions.

While tennis elbow can be frustrating, there are a variety of treatment options available.

To experience relief from tennis elbow or receive a proper diagnosis, contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Potential Culprits of Stiff Hands

Our hands are used for practically everything. Stiff hands can prevent us from performing everyday tasks such as opening a jar, picking up children, cooking, painting, writing, and more. For some people, stiffness can be debilitatingly chronic, while others only experience acute pain. If your hands are stiff, explore these potential causes:

  1. Arthritis: Many different types of arthritis can affect the hands, including:
  2. Thumb: also known as basal joint arthritis, this can gradually get worse over time or get sparked by trauma. Pain or stiffness is common at the base of the thumb.
  3. MCP (Metacarpophalangeal) joint: this type of knuckle arthritis allows fingers to bend, straighten, and move fluidly. Weakness in the hands is a common sign of this arthritis.
  4. Osteoarthritis: the smooth cartilage in your joints is affected by this type of arthritis, which can also cause stiffness, pain, and swollen fingers.
  5. Psoriatic: this type of arthritis is sometimes accompanied by psoriasis, a skin condition, and is evident when joints feel stiff. Oftentimes the middle joint of the finger is inflamed and swollen.
  6. Rheumatoid: affecting the entire body, this type of arthritis is caused by joint inflammation. Typically, the wrist and finger joints are most affected as they are swollen and painful.
  7. Fractures: otherwise known as a broken hand, this results in stiffness and pain that might remain even during recovery. In some people, the stiffness might never subside.
  8. Dislocations: similar to a broken bone, this upper extremity dislocation can cause hands to feel stiff both during and after an injury. Moving or exercising the affected joints might be prescribed to alleviate stiffness.
  9. Sprains: this ligament injury can cause stiffness and prevent you from using your hand to perform daily tasks while in recovery.
  10. Tendon and muscle injuries: common in an injury or cut on the hand, this sometimes prevents you from moving the affected area at all. Stiffness is common while in recovery.

If you feel stiffness in your hands, ensure you receive a diagnosis as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can sometimes result in permanent stiffness.

Do you need some advice or want a physician opinion on your hand or wrist stiffness? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Signs of a Sprained Thumb

Thumb sprains are injuries to a ligament, a soft tissue that connects bones at the joints. Thumb fractures, on the other hand, are bone breaks, and different injuries altogether. The most injured ligament is the ulnar collateral, which connects the thumb to the hand on the side closest to the index finger.

These injuries are commonly stemmed from falls or sports injuries. Skiing, basketball, and other contact sports result in many thumb injuries. People generally try to catch themselves while falling, resulting in bent thumbs in awkward positions.

Signs of a thumb sprain

  1. Swelling
  2. Pain
  3. Bruising
  4. Weakness
  5. Inability to hold a glass or write

Jammed fingers are another common issue and can result in similar symptoms. However, jammed fingers can still be used and moved, whereas sprains cannot.

Treatments for thumb sprains

Until you can get into a doctors’ office, elevate and ice the injured hand. Apply bandages, so the thumb is immobilized until a doctor examines the injury.

To determine the severity of your injury, visit a hand surgeon as soon as possible. X-rays might be taken to see whether ligaments are torn or bones are broken. Casts or splints might be prescribed for torn ligaments. If treatment is delayed, damage to the thumb could be permanent. Don’t delay in visiting a medical professional.

Sprained thumbs can be treated with a brace or cast. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary; otherwise, recovery takes roughly three- to six weeks to fully heal.

Patient treatments vary, so ensure you receive the best treatment possible by visiting the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Protecting Your Hands While Gardening

It’s that time of year again and gardening is a great way to get physical activity while improving your surroundings. Unfortunately, many people are injured while using mechanical and non-mechanical gardening tools. Emergency rooms treat many outdoor garden enthusiasts due to tool-related accidents annually. Ensure you are using proper safety techniques to avoid paying a hospital visit.

Gloves: Wearing gloves will not only minimize blistering; they will also protect your skin from bacteria, fungi, fertilizers, pesticides, and such. Even the tiniest cuts can develop into a significant problem if left untreated. Leather or thick rubber gloves also shield your hands from poison ivy, thorns, insect bites, and skin irritants. Not to mention, gloves prevent fingernail damage and keep your hands sparkly clean.

Repetition: It’s best to avoid repetition that your hands or wrists aren’t used to such as digging, raking, trimming, pruning, or planting. Skin, tendon, and nerve irritation can occur, along with blistering. To minimize pain or other issues, rotate your tasks every 15 minutes with a small rest between them to ensure the same muscle is not repeatedly being exercised.

Tools: Tools are made for a reason! Utilize them, rather than your hands, for digging. Sharp objects or other debris can poke through deep soil and cut your hands. Remove objects from your work area before beginning to avoid damage to your hands or tools. Use the correct instrument based on the job you are trying to accomplish. Purchase brands with safety locks and ergonomic handles when possible. Unplug and disconnect equipment when not in use and remember to keep sharp items away from children.

Posture: Relative to your entire body position, ensure your wrist is at an angle that is adequate for using hand tools. When the wrist is in a relaxed or neutral position, grip strength is at its maximum. When the wrist is bent, grip strength can be reduced significantly.

If you experience severe injury, visit the emergency room as soon as possible. Remember to enjoy gardening by using your hands with care and with the assistance of proper tools.

Are you experiencing hand or wrist pain from gardening?

 Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist today for remediation.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Osteoarthritis and Turmeric

One of the most common human ailments, arthritis, comes from the Greek words artho and itis, which translates to “joint inflammation.” Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, which affects millions of people worldwide. Also referred to as a degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is caused by age, genetics, inflammation, stress, and overuse.

After years of research, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. Standard treatment involves NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) combined with topical medications, braces, weight loss, and exercise. Side-effects of NSAIDs are well-documented and include stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Due to these facts, patients have begun turning to alternatives for relief. Turmeric is one popular option.

A well-known spice, turmeric is native to Asia and is related to ginger root. It is yellowish-orange and widely used in Indian and Asian cuisine. Turmeric has an extensive history in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and traditional Eastern medicine practices for many centuries. Curcumin, one of the active components in turmeric root, is thought to have the biggest role in health. It has many anti-inflammatory properties similar to NSAIDs. In excessive in vitro and in vivo studies, curcumin exhibits anticancer, antiviral, antiarthritic, anti-amyloid, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

A majority of these trials included 1,000 mg per day of curcumin, with adverse effects uncommon and mild but including nausea, acid reflux, and diarrhea. No serious side effects are listed in any studies. Caution should be used in patients who are on strong blood thinners such as Warfarin since turmeric can act as a mild blood thinner.

A new study suggested that curcumin is effective for combatting osteoarthritis. Researchers studied 139 people who exhibited moderately severe knee osteoarthritis and were prescribed NSAIDs. For one month, the participants were given either the NSAID or curcumin. Both treatments helped: 94 percent of those taking curcumin and 97 percent of those taking NSAIDs reported at least 50 percent improvement. None of the study subjects taking curcumin needed treatment for stomach trouble, compared to 28 percent of those who needed treatment after taking NSAIDs. Those taking curcumin lost nearly two percent of their total body weight in only four weeks. 

While the study was one of many, it’s important to consult with your doctor. A hand surgeon can assist in offering treatment options and develop a comprehensive care approach for osteoarthritis in the hand.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Minimize Your Chances of Injuring Your Hand or Wrist

With the transition to home offices, hand therapists are witnessing an increase in clients with arm, shoulder, and neck pain. Whether musculoskeletal or nerve in origin, people are working from their laptops, tablets, or cell phones. The daily breaks those people were accustomed to, such as a lunch break, interacting with coworkers in the office, stepping away from the desk, walking to-and-from a car, etc., are nonexistent while working from home. We are moving less and hunching over our electronics in home dining rooms or coffee tables to cope with the pandemic. These positions put stress on the upper extremities.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help minimize your chances of experiencing hand, wrist, shoulder, arm, and neck pain.

External Keyboard
Purchase an external keyboard to place on your lap or a desk with a keyboard-roll out tray. Since external keyboards can be moved, this gives your arms a change in position. Muscles can rest and aren’t necessarily in one position. If you experience numbness in the small and ring fingers, it’s recommended that you straighten your elbows while typing. It’s essential to have your wrists below your elbows while typing to avoid pain or future issues.

Raise Your Laptop
Neck pain and headaches can come from a tilted head forward and downward to view a screen. This position also puts tension on the nerves and muscles in your neck, shoulder, and upper back. To avoid this, set your laptop on a stack of big books to raise your laptop to eye level.

Body Position
Are you sitting slumped on your tailbone, leaning forward? Scoot back, so you sit directly on your sit bones and balance your trunk over your hips. This posture aligns the spine and allows muscles to work more efficiently. Ensure your forearms aren’t resting at an angle and hanging over the edge of your desk. If they are, pull your laptop closer to the edge of the desk and move your chair back, so your forearms aren’t touching the desk. This simple gesture relieves unnecessary pressure on your arms while typing.  Relax your shoulders and allow them to glide down if they are elevated and forward or off-balance. Raise your breastbone to open the chest. A computer camera can sometimes be helpful to determine your best posture.

Move More
When we sit in static positions, our bodies become stiff. Stretch your arms, extend your elbows, wrists, and fingers, and roll your neck and shoulders every 20 to 30 minutes. Stand up, jump around, dance, or do some squats. If you lose track of time while working, set a timer to remind yourself to keep moving.

Breathe Better
While under intense work patterns, people tend to take shallow, quick, incomplete breaths. The absence of deep breathing causes us to feel anxious, stiff, and distracted. Pay attention to your breath and take slower, more deep, complete breaths. Breathe in through the nose and pull a steady stream of air through to your stomach and allow the breath to relax before exhaling.

Set Reasonable Expectations
In our frantic world, working in a different environment and taking care of children during your workday can create chaos. Set reasonable expectations and take frequent movement and hydration breaks. Be kind to yourself; practice self-care. Your work is important, but taking care of yourself allows you to perform better in every aspect.

If you are having arm, shoulder, or neck pain and need assistance, contact the specialists at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Hot vs Cold: When to Ice or Heat an Injury

A common question doctors and physical therapists often hear from patients is whether to use hot or cold therapy on an injury. Both are inexpensive and extremely effective modalities that can assist in healing and speeding up recovery.

Hot Treatments
Heat can come in the form of heated packs, warm compresses, hot baths, or other forms of hydrotherapy. These hot therapies warm up the skin and tissue, which stimulates blood flow in the affected area. Increased blood flow improves range of motion and flexibility by delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints. By reducing tension, muscles can relax, which helps to relieve pain. Gentle stretching and other anaerobic exercises performed at home can also increase the treatment’s effectiveness. People beginning physical or occupational therapy sessions typically benefit most from hot treatments.

Cold Treatments
Ice packs, gel packs, cold wraps, cold baths, or other forms of hydrotherapy are all viable options for cold therapy. By cooling the skin and soft tissues, inflammation is reduced, slowing down blood flow and preventing swelling in the affected area. Following exercise or therapy, cold treatments are particularly effective. People who suffer from sprains, strains, fractures, or other injuries generally benefit most from cold therapy. Also, cold treatments are useful for reducing arthritis swelling.

While both treatments are beneficial in certain instances, it is imperative to mind the following safety tips before applying either therapy.

  1. Never place either treatment directly on the skin. Always use a thin towel or cloth between the hot or cold application and your skin to act as a barrier.
  2. Always treat the affected area for 15 minutes or less. Remove the application and let your skin normalize to room temperature (about 10 minutes) before re-applying the treatment. Never fall asleep or leave either hot or cold treatment on your skin for a prolonged period.
  3. Check the temperature before applying it to your skin. Hot treatments should not be scalding, and cold should be barely uncomfortable but not unbearable.
  4.  While undergoing treatment, check your skin every five minutes to ensure there is no excessive redness, swelling, burning, freezing, or overall inadequate sensations.

For more information about hot or cold therapy or to speak with someone who can advise whether either treatment would be right for you, call the specialists at MI Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.