Melbourne Hand Therapy team members are putting on their running shoes to complete a marathon (42.2 kilometres) in the month of October, to raise funds for lifesaving heart disease research. Around 50 lives are lost each day in Australia due to coronary heart disease, and it has a profound effect on the families left behind.
Please support our team by making a donation on the MyMarathon webpage at: www.mymarathon.com.au/ fundraisers/melbournehandtherapy or by simply visiting the Heart Foundation website to find out how you can look after your own health and lower the risk of heart disease at heartfoundation.org.au.
Our clinical team recently engaged in a wound management refresher presentation conducted by Jan Rice, Wound Nurse Consultant. The latest research on wound dressings constantly changes so it’s really important that we stay up to date. The flow on effect of wounds with scar management is an important part of our practice, particularly dealing with patients following trauma or surgery.
Our main aim is to promote healing as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of scarring, which is often the result of delayed healing. Our clinics have access to dressings that are appropriate to the “stage of wound healing”. We streamline dressings to enable early active movement of the hand and reduce joint stiffness. When scarring does occur, we provide education on massage techniques to reduce adhesions and recommend and supply various silicone products to help improve the appearance and pliability of scars.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist. It usually presents with numbness or pins and needles of the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger, weakness/clumsiness "I keep dropping things" and in more advanced cases, it can also cause pain and cramping in the hand/forearm and thumb muscle wasting.
Causes for CTS can include increases in swelling due to medical conditions (eg. diabetes), increase in fluid in the hands (eg. during pregnancy), inflammation of the flexor tendons going through the carpal tunnel (eg. through repetitive gripping or squeezing). Symptoms are often worse overnight due to the wrist position when sleeping and are commonly brought on by holding a phone or driving.
Conservative treatment for CTS includes wearing a wrist splint overnight, keeping the wrist in a neutral position, activity modification or pacing and soft tissue massage to the forearm.
Indications for carpal tunnel release surgery are having constant symptoms for 3 or more months, no relief from conservative treatment or high levels of pain.
Hand therapy plays an important role in both the conservative and post-operative management of carpal tunnel syndrome or release. Our role is to individually assess your unique presentation and guide you through your treatment process.
We will commence consulting in Hawthorn East in late October.