Coffs Harbour Physiotherapy's Faye Wiffen promoting hand therapy.
Coffs Harbour Physiotherapy's Faye Wiffen promoting hand therapy.

Focussing on the physio of the hands

IMAGINE a little finger you cannot fully flex?

Working with the ring finger, these two digits are the main stabilisers in any grip requiring power.

Check out how much force you loose trying to use a hammer with your little pinkie out to the side.

Hand Therapy is about the rehabilitation from the shoulder right through to the hand, with the most common injuries coming from blunt trauma, followed by sharp trauma.

With 27 bones and associated nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, the potential for injury is high.

"People often suffer a minor hand injury such as dislocated finger, and just pop it back in,” Coffs Harbour Physiotherapy hand therapist Sean Wiffen said.

"But a dislocation is often associated with a fracture passing through the joint, torn ligaments or tendons, or a rupture of the volar plate- a cartilage plate on the palm side of the joint, important in stopping the joint from bending backwards i.e. it stabilises it.

"Even though you may be able to fully bend the finger the next day, without proper acute management the finger becomes progressively stiffer as it heals until exercises achieve nothing and more aggressive treatment is required."

"Our upper limb has very intricate anatomy and complex mechanics, so potential for any injury leading to long term disability is high" continues Faye "Early assessment, diagnosis and treatment by a skilled professional is vital to avoid unnecessary complications or long term effects.”

The Australian Hand Therapy Association is the only body representing practioners of Hand Therapy and the role they play in the specialized treatment of delicate wrists, hand and fingers.

It includes detailed assessment, acute care post-injury or surgery, fabrication or prescription of custom made braces or splints, scar care, exercise and strengthening programs as well as ergonomic advice.

Faye and Sean Wiffen of Coffs Shoulder to Hand Clinic are the only fully Accredited Hand Therapists as per awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association across the MNC.

"We are super keen on spreading the word on prevention, along with early intervention of any injuries - It makes our job easier and the clients outcomes better,” Faye said.

"Use if RICE after any injury is appropriate- but please gives us a call or come along and speak to us for expert advice early on so as to minimize any complications and maximise your recovery.”