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Hand Splints


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#1 linda lou

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:24 AM

i was wondering if anyone has used splints for hands and arms? does it work to rest them?linda lou

#2 Sam

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:39 AM

I use to use them years back and yes they do help. I know many people who use them at night. Thinking about using them again at night . My hands are going numb at night.
Sam

#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 03:23 AM

Hi Linda Lou,

That's a good question. What brings to mind the topic of splints, for you?

Splints for the hands and arms should only be used under the advice and supervision of a physical or occupational therapist. My O.T. made custom splints for day and nighttime use. The full night splints form my hand into a gentle curve and go up to my elbows.

I used them in conjunction with physical therapy treatments, parrafin bath treatments, finger splints, and at-home hand and mouth exercises. My first 18 months were the worst for skin and joint involvement and carpal tunnel, and itching, oh that itching! After things settled down, I was able to relax the regimen considerably, but I return to it when things flare up occasionally.

I'd venture to say that splints are not at all useful for people who do not have hand involvement. They are quite a bother, very uncomfortable and virtually useless without the accompanying exercises and self-care.

However, the hand splints really did help me enormously with carpal tunnel, and the PT and finger splints did straighten out my fingers that were suddenly twisting sideways and pulling in, and also helped me with ulnar drift (and I learned how to hold my wrists and to correct them immediately when my hands go numb now).

It also helps me to pay great attention to ergonomics for proper set-up of desk, keyboard, chair, posture, and hand positioning.

Some people just stop using their hands when skin tightening begins. A far better plan is to work with your medical team to immediately find ways to reduce inflammation and to actively resist the process.

An important concept with the nighttime (larger) splints is that if skin hardening sets in suddenly, the hands will be frozen into the most useful shape, so that one can open doors or jars, get dressed, etc. If they freeze all the way into a tight claw, they become an even more extreme handicap.

For more info, see our Skeletal Involvement page.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#4 Bunky

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 12:27 PM

I have elbow splints for ulnar nerve compression that I wear at night. They were given to me by my hand orthopedist. They have helped a great deal. I have chosen not to have surgery, but to splint long term instead. If I forget to wear them for a while, the pain level and numbness increases. They are made to keep my elbows mostly straight.
I sometimes where wrist splints when my hand/finger pain is bad. It seems to help somewhat, although I don't seem to have carpal tunnel.

I hope this is helpful,
Bunky