Are you suffering from hand pain? Hand injuries are some of the most common injuries, so chances are you know what it’s like to experience this type of discomfort. Unfortunately, hand pain can lead to limited mobility and even disability in the long run, but with the right approach, you can manage your hand injury and get back to doing the things you love or visit hand therapy in Melbourne to heal your injury in no time. To get started, try out these eight things to do if you get a hand injury.
Is it reliable to heal your hand injury?
It’s great that you’re willing to be your health care provider, but there are some conditions where it may be best left to professionals. For example, if you broke your hand in any way, you should seek medical attention. Any injury to your hand (or any body part) that makes it hard for you to walk or grip normally should be seen by a doctor.
1) Buy an ice pack
Whether you sprain your wrist or injure your fingers, an ice pack is crucial. Keep one in your freezer at all times so that when you get injured, you can apply cold therapy right away. It helps reduce swelling and pain by decreasing blood flow to affected areas. Be sure not to use ice for more than 15 minutes at a time though—it’s best used intermittently throughout any given day. Apply it 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off for maximum effectiveness.
2) Put ice on it
The first thing most people think of doing when they get a hand injury is icing it. Placing ice on your injured hand will help control pain and swelling. And while you should never put ice directly on your skin, using something like an ice pack or even some towels wrapped in ice can be effective. One caveat, though: if you’re able to move your fingers without trouble, placing them in an ice bath could hinder blood flow and increase the risk of further injury. Ice therapy usually isn’t recommended for more than 20 minutes at a time.
3) RICE it
It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. You should apply these four steps immediately if you experience hand pain. The first step is rest—don’t do anything that hurts or could aggravate your injury. Next, cool down your injury by applying ice (again, no reason not to use some of those frozen peas sitting in your freezer). This can help prevent inflammation as well as ease pain and stiffness. After you’ve rested and iced it, put on a compression bandage; using an elastic wrap like an ACE bandage or wrist-supporting athletic tape will help keep swelling at bay while protecting against further injury.
4) Take Ibuprofen/Aspirin
Taking ibuprofen, also known as Advil or Motrin, can reduce inflammation and help with pain management. Taking acetaminophen, or Tylenol is also often recommended for hand injuries because it helps ease pain without causing any harm to bones. Research has shown that combining both these medications can be most effective for alleviating chronic pain. This could mean taking an ibuprofen pill first and then following up with acetaminophen at regular intervals during your day. For example, you might take one tablet of ibuprofen every six hours while taking acetaminophen once or twice daily.
5) Avoid gripping and twisting
Hand injuries can come from doing anything that involves gripping and twisting. For example, if you play tennis or another racquet sport, be sure not to grip your racket too tightly or twist your wrist when swinging. Doing so could lead to tendon tears and other problems. To avoid injury from hand gripping, consider splinting your hand during high-risk activities (like powerlifting) by wearing an elastic bandage around it for support. This simple precaution can help prevent injuries like flexor tendon strain and even carpal tunnel syndrome.
6) Give it time
Most hand injuries need time for recovery and often, that can mean weeks. While your hand is healing, you should avoid using it as much as possible—even if you’re not sure if it’s broken or sprained. This will allow it to heal faster and prevent further injury. Taking some time off from work isn’t ideal, but getting better quickly is more important than work when you’re dealing with an injury. After all, what’s next on your agenda? Check out these great tips for how long various injuries take to heal.
7) Seek Medical Help
Seek medical help if you’re unable to use your hand properly or if you feel any pain in your wrist, fingers, or forearm. Even though it may not seem like an emergency, sometimes hand injuries need professional treatment right away. Treating minor issues early can help them resolve them more quickly. If you suspect that you may have broken your hand (or anything else in your arm), take immediate action by going to see a doctor who specializes in hand therapy in Melbourne.
Having someone knowledgeable who can accurately diagnose and treat what is wrong will greatly improve recovery time, meaning you can get back on track sooner rather than later. The worst thing about recovering from these kinds of injuries is putting off getting medical attention until it’s too late.
Don’t ignore your hand injury. Treat it right away and do what you can to mitigate swelling and avoid further injury by focusing on hand therapy in Melbourne and other exercises that will help you strengthen your hands. These first aid tips may not be fun, but they’re crucial. On top of that, there are other ways you can maintain functionality with better postures, ergonomic keyboards and mouse devices, wrist splints or adjustments, stress-reduction techniques (meditation), or a combination of these approaches for faster recovery. To keep injuries from reoccurring, see if physical therapy is necessary; usually, physiotherapists specialize in particular body parts and can assess you for biomechanical problems that predispose you to get injured.
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with specific exercises and stretches. But if your pain persists, you may need surgery. Although nerve damage is permanent after surgery, it can often be minimized by removing scar tissue and improving your range of motion. The following hand therapy exercises may help you prevent or recover from carpal tunnel syndrome.