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Joint Protection of the Hands Romina Astifidis MS, PT, CHT Curtis National Hand Center at Lutherville 410-823-4263

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Presentation on theme: "Joint Protection of the Hands Romina Astifidis MS, PT, CHT Curtis National Hand Center at Lutherville 410-823-4263"— Presentation transcript:

1 Joint Protection of the Hands Romina Astifidis MS, PT, CHT Curtis National Hand Center at Lutherville 410-823-4263

2 Goals Review basic joint protection techniques Provide helpful hints

3 Basic Anatomy Hands and wrists rely almost exclusively on ligaments to maintain stability Loose ligaments allow joints to sublux/dislocate which will cause weakness and pain and further injure the tissues Cannot strengthen these joints to prevent problems

4 Joint Protection Principles Respect pain – Pain is body’s method of letting you know that damage may be occurring – Signs of pain include fatigue, weakness, stiffness, swelling, aching at night – Pain is good guideline that you are doing too much and need to take a break – Pain may occur after and not during the activity

5 Joint Protection Principles Avoid tight, excessive and/or prolonged grip or pinch – Avoid using more force than is actually needed – Choose tools that decrease need for tight grip or pinch – Choose whole hand grip instead of pinch whenever possible – Choose tools that fit your hand – Choose tools that minimize grip needed

6 Joint Protection Principles Use two hands, larger joints and muscles whenever possible – Avoid carrying heavy items – Lift objects with both hands close to body – Push objects using weight of body rather than pulling with your fingers – Carry objects using back to shoulders to distribute the weight

7 Joint Protection Principles Balance rest and activity – Organize activities to reduce work efforts – Use splints or other devices to rest joints when there is a flare-up – Prioritize activities based on the amount of energy or pain you have – Break down tasks into manageable segments, resting or changing activities as needed

8 Joint Protection Principles Splinting Purpose – Rest – Position – Immobilize Splint types – Thermoplastic – Hybrid – Silver Ring

9 Helpful Hints Cooking Use electric whenever possible for opening cans or jars, mixing, blending, chopping Use built up kitchen tools Use paper towels to avoid having to wring; or press sponge with palm rather than squeezing Use an ‘L’ shaped knife or pizza cutting wheel Put dycem or wet dishrag under bowls when stirring Drag pots filled with liquid to sink or stove. Use extensible kitchen faucet to fill pots Use stainless steel colander in pots to avoid having to tip out liquid Buy lightweight pots/containers Use spring loaded scissors to cut open bags or to cut food Use ‘zipper’ style baggies Buy reusable containers that are easy to open/close Buy food pre-chopped or use a spiked cutting board Use large well sharpened knives and the right knife for the job Use oven mitts to help you carry heavy pots/pans with 2 hands Use tongs to lift foods instead of forks Put groceries in paper bags for 2 hand carry, or in reusable bags for carrying over shoulder or pack light and carry over forearms Use plastic cups and plates



12 Helpful Hints- Dressing/hygiene Use pump soap/shampoo/toothpaste to avoid pinching Use elastic shoelaces with shoehorn to limit tight pinch Buy a brush with a big handle or build up handle and a travel sized hair dryer Use ergonomic/modified nail clippers and tweezers that use hand vs fingers Leave shirts partially buttoned when washing to avoid having to re-button Use a button/zipper aid to limit painful pinch Use electric toothbrush


14 Helpful Hints- Work Use large pens with good easy glide ink, or build up pens with foam Use scissors to open packages Use light touch keyboards and alternate mouse types to avoid pressure in one area Use templates for frequently used documentation Use a head set to talk on phone and use voice activated features/software as much as possible Carry equipment on carts or backpacks Use book stands to hold material open for reading

15 Helpful Hints-Home/Yard Use body to help push vacuum Use ergonomic garden tools- add handles to rakes/brooms for ergonomic 2 handed grasp Throw laundry down in bag and bring up in smaller hamper or backpack Switch to lever door handles Use travel iron to decrease weight


17 Helpful Hints- Driving Add textured wheel cover to steering wheel to increase diameter and allow better grip Use key adaptor Pull seatbelt from bottom or attach loop to make easier to pull Use 2 hands to change gears or behind wheel shifter Use pliers or other tools open and close gas cap


19 Helpful Hints- Websites Ebay Amazon

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