Pain in your hands can significantly affect the way that you live your life. But knowing how to prevent and treat hand injuries when you have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or hypermobility can help you live your life to the fullest, regardless of your chronic illness.
In order to be able to understand how we straint the ligaments and joints in our hands, we need to understand just exactly what our hands are made up of and how they work. Fingers actually have no skeletal muscles, instead, they are controlled by tendons that are attached to muscles that are located in the hands and the wrists. These ligaments also connect the bones of the finger segments, and when we use our hands, these tendons contract and relax.
Hypermobility and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome affects the structure of these tendons and ligaments, which results in hand pain. For example, those hypermobile party tricks that you do with your hands can stretch and strain the tendons further, causing more instability, resulting in more pain. Continued overuse or stretching can cause conditions related to hand and wrist pain like carpal tunnel, “tennis elbow”, and paresthesia of the hands.
Thankfully, there are always ways to prevent and aid. Dr. Perretto is a huge advocate for finger splints for patients that fit the criteria. These can help reduce pain and prevent hyperextension, which can in turn prevent further pain and injury. In addition, seeking physical therapy treatment is the best long term course of treatment. But why is this?
Physical therapy for the hands and wrists does not just include exercises for your phalanges! Dr. Perretto is always sure to take in the full scope of a patient's condition. Sometimes wrist and hand pain could be caused by tightness further up the muscle chain. Physical therapy for hypermobility will also help teach patients how to align their upper body correctly (since many EDS/HSD patience lack proper proprioception), which includes the shoulders, which can have huge effects on your wrists.
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