Thursday, October 11, 2007

It Puts the Lotion on Its Skin, In Hopes Its Finger Will Bend Again

For the next few weeks I'll be doing physical therapy for my finger Tuesday and Thursday afternoons after I get off of work. My initial evaluation was a couple of days ago, at which point I discovered that my recovering middle finger is about 1 cm bigger in diameter than the other middle finger. I also had confirmed that I haven't quite regained full range of motion in the ring and pinky fingers of the same hand, although their slight resistance to full motion is only a matter of a few degrees, whereas the big troublemaker has between 60-70 degrees of improvement before it's close to being normal* again.

To facilitate this, I've been given a series of exercises to do three to four times a day. First there is a series of stretches at the joints; I'm supposed to start out doing sets of 10, and then work my way up. Next, there is the "tendon glide" exercise, which resembles this image

except my instructions were to go A-D-A-B-A-E-A-C, all of which counts as one rep. I'm also supposed to apply copious amounts of hand lotion in order to massage the area around the scar for about 3-4 minutes 3-4 times a day in order to flatten out and break up the scar tissue. Then, once an hour I'm supposed to raise my hand above my head an open and close it in order to get the blood pumping and reduce swelling; three to four times a day I'm supposed to follow this up by propping my elbow on a towel, applying more hand lotion and massaging from my fingertip down to my forearm for 3-4 minutes, which is also supposed to help with improving circulation and reducing swelling. Sounds like a blast, huh?

My second appointment is this afternoon; we'll see much progress has been made in the whole two days since I started.