As a physician, with a focus on Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, I have diagnosed and treated most forms of arthritis, along with other related conditions that affect the fingers and hands. It probably goes without saying that the two most common are Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (chronic). The majority of patients with either of these conditions suffer with symptoms involving their fingers, and hands. Other conditions zeroing in on the fingers and hands include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and trigger finger. These conditions can cause severe pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints or surrounding soft tissue, leading to underuse of the hands and fingers, which inevitably take the patient down a road toward immobility.
With any type of hand arthritis, tendonitis or really any other hand conditions, it is imperative for the patient to keep the muscles surrounding the inflamed areas as strong as they can. The more powerful the muscles around the involved joint, the better they will be able to support, and protect. If patients do not exercise the muscles, they will atrophy, and if the joints stay in one position for too long without any additional movement, they will inevitably forego the ability to straighten or bend, again, leading the patient down a road toward immobility and/or deformity. Prevention is incredibly important as once you reach a certain point, there's no reversing course.
In the past, most doctors might prescribe “rest," which while less painful, often times was to the patients detriment. However, more recent research has shown that exercise, and general strengthening, is essential in treating many conditions that affect the fingers and hands.
Benefits of Exercise:
- Maintain Joint Flexibility
- Strengthen Muscles Surrounding Joint
- Sustain Proper Range of Motion
- Prevent Bone Loss
- Increase Ability to Perform Daily Activities
- Improve Quality of Life
Until recently, I typically recommended physical therapy for patients when the pain involved the back, hip or knee. I rarely referred a patient with hand symptoms for any type of therapy, or exercise program, strictly due to limited treatment options. Besides stretching, and /or hot wax regimens, there was simply very little to offer. With the introduction of FingerWeights, the recommendations, and prognosis for patients with hand and finger conditions has improved dramatically. Patients can start a structured exercise program for their fingers, which they can use at home, work, or during physical therapy. Therapists can incorporate these into any treatment plan targeting the fingers and hands. Providing patients with an effective, uncomplicated and non-strenuous exercise program, FingerWeights can be used anywhere, any time. Not only do patients see an increase in endurance and flexibility, the hands feel stronger as the patient moves through the exercises. The added strength, and overall finger, and hand, performance, can help in activities like grooming, cooking, cleaning, or even something as simple as typing an email.
Although FingerWeights are not a “cure,” they can help keep the fingers and hands, strong and flexible, allowing patients to continue being as independent as possible.
Board Certified Rheumatologist
For more information visit us at FingerWeights.com, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.