Insure A Successful Return To Work After A Hand Injury

Hand injury

Being able to successfully return to work is often the most important outcome for a person with a hand injury. The loss of the ability to work can have psychological, as well as financial and familial repercussions. Time off from work can range from a few days up to a year.

The most prevalent hand injury in the workplace is a crush injury. The aggravation of carpal tunnel syndrome is the next most-frequently-reported injury, with Extensor Tendon Injury following that. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is also represented, as are digital (finger) injuries and nerve repair.

Some of the factors that influence successful return to work include:

  • The necessity of a personalized treatment plan
  • The understanding that no two patients are alike, and that no two injuries are alike
  • Severity of the injury influences the outcome
  • Individual factors such as genetics, pain tolerance, coping styles and participation in therapy have an influence
  • The workplace culture and employee support influences success
  • The availability and suitability of light duties influences successful return to work

Only a certified hand therapist can evaluate whether a person is ready to return to work. The longer workers are away from the job, the more difficult it can be to return, but returning too soon can put the worker at risk for another injury.

Work conditioning programs, provided by specially trained Occupational Therapists, can help the injured person recover their strength, mobility, flexibility and range of motion. Before being released to return to work, the therapist will evaluate the patient’s physical as well as emotional state, and help them make the transition from “patient” to “worker”.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a hand injury, reach out to Dr. Rehman today. She will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine the exact source of the problem, and her team of hand therapists will implement activities and therapies to help you return to work safely and in a timely fashion. Injuries that are left untreated can often become permanent disabilities. Contact Dr. Rehman today to learn more about how she and her team can help you take back your life and your career!

586-532-0803

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Hot Tips for Extreme Cold

Hot tips for extreme cold

With unusually frigid temperatures settling over much of the country, new strategies for coping may be needed.

Review these tips to stay safe and comfortable in the bitter winter weather.

Stay indoors if you can.

Especially if you are older, or have arthritis or difficulty walking, try to rely on neighbors, friends or church family to help you secure groceries, meds and other necessities until the weather breaks. Many stores now offer delivery services – sometimes for free.

Be especially careful on snow-covered parking lots or sidewalks.

With temps staying so cold, snow that melts during the day can quickly re-freeze at night, creating black ice that is difficult to detect, or that may be covered by freshly fallen snow. Potholes in parking lots can also be disguised by snowfall. Try to park close to the cart storage area, and use the cart to help support and stabilize you if you are shopping.

If you do have to go out, wear protective clothing.

Multiple layers of clothing are best, as they trap air and help to keep your torso warm. Mittens are warmer than gloves for the hands, and hats and scarves help to conserve body heat as well. Particularly if you have a distance you must travel, be sure to wear the right gear just in case of a breakdown or you get stranded in inclement weather.

Minimize travel as much as you can.

Keep a full tank of gas in your car, so that if an emergency arises you can get on the road with minimal fuss. Keep extra clothing, a blanket and a few high-protein snack bars in the car just in case. Only travel if it is absolutely necessary.

Keep your pets indoors.

Animals are especially vulnerable to extreme cold, as they are typically much smaller than humans. High winds can carry heat away from an animal’s or a person’s body, and paws are susceptible to frostbite. Keep your pets indoors as much as you can, until the weather warms up.

Stay safe with auxiliary heat in your home.

Poorly operating or damaged heating units in your home can release carbon monoxide gas. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are in place, and that battery-powered units have a full charge. Keep blankets and anything flammable away from space heaters, and do not use these units in a child’s or an elderly person’s bedroom.

If you do suffer a fall, or some other weather-related injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Minor injuries that are left untreated can advance into more problematic conditions if not treated correctly and promptly. For any injury to the hand, wrist, fingers, elbow or upper extremity, contact Dr. Rehman right away.

Dr. Rehman is an orthopedic doctor specializing in upper body injuries and conditions. She will conduct a thorough evaluation and design a minimally-invasive, comprehensive plan to return you to full strength, mobility and range of motion.  If you or someone you know is dealing with pain, numbness, tingling or stiffness in an upper body extremity, reach out to Dr. Rehman today!

586-532-0803

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Enjoy the Fun of Winter Sports and Stay Safe

 

Winter Sport Safety Tips

The excitement, the challenge, the thrill! Winter sports have something going for them that sports any other time of the year don’t – they are FAST!

Ice, slippery snow, and frozen lakes all make for incredible action. But this very action is what contributes to the injury rate in winter sports.

In one recent year, nearly 250,000 people in the US were treated for winter sports-related injuries.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Skiing – 88,000 injuries
  • Snowboarding – 61,000 injuries
  • Sledding, tobogganing or snow tubing – 47,000 injuries
  • Ice Skating – 50,000 injuries

So what can you do to keep you and your family safe, while still enjoying your favorite outdoor winter sport?

Follow these tips:

  • If you are new to the sport, be sure to invest in a few lessons from a qualified coach, who can help you adapt to the rigors of the sport, teach you how to fall, and check to be sure your equipment fits you correctly.
  • And – check your equipment every time before you go out, to be sure it is in proper working order.
  • Never participate in a winter sport alone.
  • Be sure to make adequate hydration part of your daily plan to stay in shape. Individuals should drink one-half their weight in ounces of water each day to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is especially important at the end of the day, too.
  • Keep your muscles in good condition and be sure to stretch and warm-up before hitting the slopes or the rink.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear; especially helmets. At the fast pace of many winter sports, brain-injuring concussions can occur.
  • Layer your clothing, so you can shed layers or add them as the temperature fluctuates.
  • Know and abide by all rules of the sport.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and forecasts, and heed the warnings of personnel if stormy weather approaches.
  • Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you or anyone in your group is experiencing frostbite or hypothermia. Make sure everyone is aware of procedures for getting help, if an injury should occur.
  • Monitor your energy level and don’t engage in the sport if you are tired or in pain.

A fresh snowfall will call many to come and play outside. Just follow a few simple rules to insure your day of fun doesn’t turn into a disaster. If an injury to the hand, wrist, arm or upper extremity does occur, seek medical attention immediately and then follow up with Dr. Rehman.

She is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in upper body injuries, and she will do a comprehensive evaluation before designing an individualized program of least-invasive recovery and rehabilitation. Don’t suffer with pain, stiffness, tingling or numbness. These can all be signs of a serious injury which, if left untreated, could sideline you from your sport permanently. Dr. Rehman and her team of hand therapists can help you return to recovery with full range of motion and strength.

Reach out to Dr. Rehman today for more information.

586-532-0803

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Soft Tissue Massage to Aid Healing and Prevent Injury

Soft Tissue massage

Massage.

We know professional athletes get them, we know movie stars get them, and we know they’re a great activity for a girls’ outing. They can be relaxing, rejuvenating and refreshing. But a special kind of massage, called soft tissue massage, can also assist with healing and injury prevention.

Soft tissue massage involves direct pressure on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia in your body. By manipulating these in specific ways, specially-trained therapists can help a person prepare for a grueling event, like an important athletic event, or even a surgery such as carpal tunnel or joint replacement. Following soft tissue massage, muscles, tendons and ligaments are less tight, and therefore less likely to be as painful after the event or surgery.

In much the same way, soft tissue massage can also help following an athletic event or  as an aid to healing after an injury. Especially for injuries to the wrist, hand or arm, this technique can be helpful.

In the case of a hand injury, soft tissue massage can help with relaxation, pain alleviation and a return to full mobility. Swelling following an injury or surgery can sometimes cause discomfort, and soft tissue massage can help to increase the absorption of the excess fluids and reduce the swelling that is pressing on sensitive nerves and muscles. And for those who have experienced burns, scars, old wounds, and even breaks and amputations, soft tissue massage can bring relief from chronic pain and discomfort.

Dr. Rehman specializes in injuries and diseases that affect the upper body. If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, stiffness, tingling or numbness in the hand, fingers, wrist or arm, reach out to Dr. Rehman today. Using state-of-the-art techniques, she will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of the discomfort, and will design an individualized program to alleviate pain, heal the affected area, and return you to full range of motion and strength. Her team of trained hand therapists will guide you to a successful recovery. Contact Dr. Rehman today!

586-532-0803

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Make Home Chores Easier When You Have Arthritis

 

Make Household Chores Easier With Arthritis

If you struggle with the pain and stiffness of arthritis, you know how challenging even simple tasks around the home can be. Follow these tips to make projects easier and less painful, and you’ll have your house in top shape for the upcoming holiday season!

Keep Things Close

Try to avoid reaching overhead or bending low, to help you maintain your balance and make jobs and daily tasks easier. Keep frequently-used items within easy reach. Store clothes, food and toiletries between your waist and should level. Keep a sturdy stool on hand for times when you have to reach for things overhead.

Save Steps

If you live in a two-story home, trudging up and down the stairs can be difficult. Try to keep items that you use frequently on the level where you spend most of your time.

Embrace Today’s Devices

A raised toilet seat can reduce the pain and discomfort of sitting on a too-low toilet. Pincer-grasp reachers are available in a variety of price points, and they are invaluable for picking items up from the floor. Tap turners can help you get a better grip on faucets, and tools with ergonomically designed handles will ease the pain of doing home projects.

Get Into Position

It’s easier and less stressful to push your vacuum cleaner, rather than to pull it. Focus on using good posture: keep you head aligned with your spine and try not to bend your wrists when holding handles.

Invest in a Foldable Dolly

Make light work of heavy loads. Use a wheeled cart to move boxes, bags of groceries or other heavy objects.

Clean Smarter

Switch up how you move. Do some back and forth motions, then change to circular motions, to avoid repetitive injuries. Give cleaning products time to work before you start scrubbing. Once they’ve had a chance to break down the grime, it’s easier to wipe it away.

Add Some Softness to Your Life

Wrap foam or tape around the handles of knives, pans and other objects, to make them easier to grip. The extra padding may help to ease pressure on your hands.

If you or someone you know is dealing with pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness or swelling in the hands, wrist, arms or shoulders, contact Dr. Rehman today. She is a specially trained orthopedic doctor who specializes in injuries and diseases of the upper extremities. She will conduct a complete evaluation to determine the exact cause of the problem, and then design an individualized, comprehensive program utilizing the least-invasive approaches to help you return to full use of the affected area.

Call Dr. Rehman’s office today! 586-532-0803

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Why Do My Hands Hurt At Night?

Hand pain at night

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is: for our immune system, our mood, our overall health and our happiness. So anything that disturbs it during the night is problematic. From too-light or too-noisy rooms, TV’s in the bedroom that flicker all night, or that annoying ache in your hands, lack of deep, restful sleep can result in even more problems.

Simple tasks that you perform throughout the day, such as opening jars, turning keys, using silverware, gardening or typing on a computer, can come back to haunt you with pain at night. Sometimes inflammation occurs over the course of the day, and puts pressure on the joints and nerves in the hand at night.

But other conditions can cause aching hands at night too:

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons; the thick cords of the body that attach muscles to bones. Repetitive, minor injuries can result in this condition, such as raking, gardening, house cleaning, painting and even some sports like tennis or throwing/pitching a ball.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In this condition, there is numbness, weakness, tingling or pain in the fingers or hand, from pressure being exerted on the median nerve. The median nerve controls feeling in your thumb and the first three fingers of your hand. Repetitive motion activities can sometimes cause this problem; in other cases, it may a genetic predisposition to a narrow carpal tunnel – the passageway that encases the median nerve.

CMC and Thumb Arthritis

In this condition, pain is located near the base of the thumb.  The CMC joint (carpalmetacarpal joint) is located here, and can be susceptible to arthritis. You’ll notice pain at the base of your thumb, and discomfort when gripping or pinching small objects like pens or keys

Dupuytren’s Disease

Dupuytren’s Disease or Duputren’s Contracture affects the fascia in the palm and the fingers of the hand. The fascia is a layer of tissue that functions to anchor and stabilize the skin on the palm side of the hand. In patients with this condition, the fascia thickens, then tightens, over time. This can cause a pulling back of the fingers; it the condition persists and is not treated, the patient may not be able to straighten the affected fingers at all.

As can be seen from the above descriptions, many conditions can affect the delicate structures of the hand, and lead to pain, stiffness, and discomfort at night or any time. If you or someone you know is dealing with these issues, reach out to Dr. Rehman today. Dr. Rehman is an orthopedic hand specialist, who will do a thorough and comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your discomfort. Her team of hand therapists will implement an individualized program of rehabilitation to help you return to a pain-free lifestyle. Don’t spend another sleepless night tossing and turning because of hand pain!

Call Dr. Rehman today!

586-532-0803

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Fall Yard Cleanup: Do’s and Don’ts

Fall cleanup do's and don'ts

Maintaining your home and your property can be a big job. Summer is great for painting projects, new decking, and power washing the siding, but fall brings its own set of priorities for the homeowner. Copious amounts of leaves, on the lawn and in the gutters – perennials and shrubs that need transplanting – bushes that need trimming and prep for their spring growth – all weigh heavily on the homeowner’s mind. But, with a little planning and prevention, you can get it all done and still maintain your health and mobility, so you’re ready for dancing at the company holiday party!

To help you stay safe during this busy time of year, follow these tips:

DO warm up for at least ten minutes before raking or starting any other heavy yard work. Be sure to warm up your hands, wrists and fingers, too, by flexing your wrists and fingers and “washing” your hands to stimulate circulation.

DON’T do too much bending at the waist. To avoid straining your back, bend at the knees and squat to pick up heavy items. Avoid twisting your back.

DO stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Water helps your body manufacture synovial fluid, and you need this to keep your joints flexible and mobile.

DON’T use excessive force when grasping yard and gardening tools. Most people grip too tightly, and this puts extra strain on your hands, fingers and wrists. Put foam rubber around gardening tool handles to make them easier to grasp with less stress.

DO be sure to wear shoes with slip-resistant soles. Wet leaves can be very slippery, and the proper footwear could help you recover your balance and avoid a fall.

DON’T use a ladder or operate power yard equipment if you take medications that interfere with your balance or cause you to feel dizzy. Reach out to family, neighbors, or even the pros if you have any concerns in this area.

DO take frequent breaks, and break larger projects into smaller steps that can be spread out over the course of several days. At the first sign of numbness, tingling or pain, stop what you are doing and rest for ten minutes or so. Stretch and flex the area, and then go back to the task. If the sensation persists, you know it’s time to quit for the day to avoid a repetitive motion injury.

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to outdoor work and getting your home ready for winter. No one wants to begin a new season with an injury, so take your time and follow these tips to stay safe during fall cleanup.

And, if you or someone you know is experiencing hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder pain, reach out to Dr. Rehman to learn what solutions are available. As with other challenges in life, the sooner the difficulty is recognized, the more likely it is that you will have a successful outcome. Dr. Rehman is a highly experienced orthopedic doctor who specializes in upper extremity injuries. She will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the exact cause of the condition, and will design an individualized program of recovery to help you return to full strength, mobility and range of motion in the affected area.

Call Dr. Rehman today at 586-532-0803.

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Ways to Minimize the Stress of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The initial symptoms may be innocuous and fleeting; an ache in the wrist which may then extend into the forearm or into the hand. Later, as the condition develops, you may notice numbness or tingling in the hands or fingers, or pain that begins radiating through the entire arm. Sometimes weakness is present in the arms or the hand, and grasping objects can be difficult. Oftentimes the symptoms will be most severe upon waking up in the morning, or when using your hands.

Here are some ways to minimize the stress on your hands:

  • When doing tasks, reduce your force and relax your grip. Try putting foam padding around gardening or other tools to cushion your grip. Most people use more force than is required when gripping an object.
  • Watch how you hold your wrists. Repetitive motions performed by cashiers, hairdressers, sewers and workers using a keyboard can contribute to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Ideally, you should keep your wrists straight or very slightly bent.
  • Take frequent breaks; set a timer for every hour or two to remind you to take a break. Stretch, bend and massage your wrists and hands to promote circulation and blood flow
  • Be sure your form is correct when performing repetitive tasks on the computer, with tools, or in sports. Be sure your equipment fits you properly and consult a coach to make sure your posture and form are correct. When working on a keyboard, make sure your posture is correct. Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward, and shorten the muscles in the neck and shoulders, causing the nerves in your neck to be compressed. This in turn can affect your wrist, fingers and hands.
  • Ice can be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can often help.
  • Wearing a wrist splint may also help, especially to keep the wrist straight at night, when many people have a tendency to curl the wrists. Bracing the wrist at night will help you keep it straight, reducing the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome in the morning.

If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, tingling, numbness or pain in the wrist and hand, contact Dr. Rehman’s office today. She will do a complete evaluation, and her experienced team of hand therapists will use a variety of modalities to help you get relief and to return the wrist and hand to full functioning. And, if surgery should be required, Dr. Rehman is a hand specialist, and has performed many successful Carpal Tunnel release procedures. Contact Dr. Rehman today to get relief from the pain and back on the road to full strength and mobility.

586-532-0803

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Corticosteroid Injections: What to Expect

 

Hand and joint pain relief

Corticosteroid injections, sometimes called Cortisone, are often employed to reduce inflammation and pain following an injury, or in the degenerative conditions of arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is best to consult with a doctor who specializes in the area needing treatment. In the case of the hands and arms, a hand specialist should perform the injection. For the foot, ankle and lower extremities, a podiatrist should be consulted.

In the case of injury or degeneration in the hands or wrists, corticosteroid injections are just one part of an overall plan to return the patient to full health and mobility. Hand exercises, hot and cold modalities and massage therapy may also be employed by the team of hand therapists at Midwest Hand Therapy.

Here is a step by step description of what you can expect from a corticosteroid injection procedure:

  • The patient will be placed in a comfortable position, so that the area requiring the injection is readily accessible to the doctor.
  • The injection site will be disinfected with alcohol or iodine.
  • The patient will be encouraged to relax. If the muscles around the joint are relaxed, the injection will glide more smoothly and with less resistance and discomfort.
  • If ultrasound is being used, a gel will be applied near the injection site, and a technician will gently press an ultrasound transducer against the skin to show an image of the joint space.
  • If the affected joint or bursa contains excess fluid, the doctor may gently draw off the fluid with a needle and syringe. This is known as joint aspiration or arthrocentisis.
  • The doctor will then inject a small amount of cortisone into the joint; the cortisone may be mixed with an anesthetic such as lidocaine or bupivacaine. The patient may notice a pinching or a burning sensation.
  • The injection area will then be cleaned and bandaged, and the patient may be asked to flex the joint several times to help distribute the medication.
  • Usually patients wait about 30 minutes in the doctor’s waiting room, following this procedure, just to insure they have no unusually severe pain or an allergic reaction to the medication.

These injections can be helpful in reducing inflammation and its associated pain over varying periods, depending on the individual. Frequently the pain is reduced for several weeks or even months, allowing the patient to participate in therapy to strengthen and elongate the muscles and tendons around the joint, to help resolve the issue.

If someone you know is struggling with pain, swelling, tenderness or tingling in the fingers, hands, wrists or elbows, contact Dr. Rehman today. She specializes in injuries and conditions of the upper extremities, and will perform an in-depth analysis of the cause of the condition. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, she will design a comprehensive program of therapy to return the affected area to full strength and mobility.

Call Dr. Rehman today at 586-532-0803.

 

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How to Help Your Child Choose a Sport this School Year

Helping your child choose a sport

There’s a frenzy of activity as the ramp-up to the school year descends on families: school supplies, clothing, the perfect shoe, haircuts. All those details for the first day of school. But it’s not just the subjects your kids will be studying this year that are important; it’s the sports your children may want to pursue, that will impact their personality, and possibly even their health, for life.

In helping your child discover what sport he or she is interested in, keep these factors in mind:

Enthusiasm

If your son or daughter already has an interest in a particular sport, if he or she likes to watch it on TV or even live, this is a good first step. Enthusiasm and interest will go a long way toward making the sport a good fit for your child.

Personality

There are the traditional team sports like football, basketball, volleyball and soccer, but individual sports may appeal more to your child, depending on his or her personality and development. Sports like swimming, gymnastics, track, golf or tennis may allow your child to shine individually.

Social Skills

Commensurate with personality, his or her social skill development should be taken into account. Sports are a great way for shy and retiring kids to come out of their shells a bit, but a competitive atmosphere may be daunting. Sports can help kids build team building skills and confidence in their abilities.

Body Type

Children who are short and stocky may excel at football more readily than at basketball. Tall and lanky kids might do better in basketball or track. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but typically kids whose body type is conducive to the sport will meet earlier success, making the experience a positive one.

Time and Financial Commitment

If the practice schedule is grueling it may put too heavy a burden on the child. If parents have work or other weekend commitments that conflict with games, that sport may not be the best fit. Even the cost of equipment must be factored in when deciding which sport or sports your child wants to pursue.

Physical Health

All children should have an examination by a doctor and be given the “OK” to play whatever sport they choose. Sometimes unknown conditions can be aggravated by a particular sport, or a child may be more at risk of injury because of his or her physical development. So whatever sport your child chooses, be sure to get the all clear from a qualified health care professional before your child gets started.

Even in youth sports, injuries can occur. Watch your child carefully, as he or she may not want to miss practice or let team members down by being sidelined with an injury. If you notice signs of tingling, numbness or pain in your child’s hands, fingers, wrists, elbow or shoulder, contact Dr. Rehman for a full evaluation of the condition before you let your child continue. Many sports-related injuries are treatable with minimally invasive techniques, but long-term and permanent damage can occur if injuries are left untreated, especially in children who are still developing.

If anyone in your family is struggling with pain or discomfort, reach out to Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized program to help achieve full recovery, range of motion and strength in the affected area.

Call Dr. Rehman today at 586-532-0803

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