HandWorks Hand Therapy provides evaluation and certified hand therapy/treatment of upper extremity injuries and disorders by Sally P. Gillenson, certified hand therapist and clinic director. We are conveniently located in Saddle Brook, NJ in the heart of Bergen County. We fabricate custom dynamic and static splints (orthotics) as prescribed by the patient's doctor. We effectively treat and restore the patient's functional abilities through postoperative rehabilitation, preventive, non-operative, and/or conservative management. We work closely with hand surgeons and other physicians, nurse case managers, and patients to provide a continuum of care. Ideally, this starts within days of the injury or surgery — and continues until return to work and/or attainment of maximum functional levels in activities of daily living.
Hand Surgeons Warn of Pumpkin Carving Dangers
Use caution during the Halloween season, and take steps to prevent hand injuries when carving.
"Every Halloween season we see four or five patients — both adults and children — who come into our office with severe injuries to their hands and fingers," says Jeffrey Wint, MD, in Springfield, Mass. "Treatment can often run three to four months, from the time of surgery through rehabilitation."
To prevent hand injuries, HandWorks suggests the following safety tips:
* Carve in a Clean, Dry, Well-lit Area
* Wash and thoroughly dry all of the tools that you will use to carve the pumpkin: carving tools, knife, cutting surface, and your hands. Any moisture on your tools, hands, or table can cause slipping that can lead to injuries.
* Always Have Adult Supervision
* "All too often, we see adolescent patients with injuries because adults feel the kids are responsible enough to be left on their own," says Wint. "Even though the carving may be going great, it only takes a second for an injury to occur."
* Leave the Carving to Adults
* Never let children do the carving. Wint suggests letting kids draw a pattern on the pumpkin and having them be responsible for cleaning out the inside pulp and seeds. When the adults do start cutting, they should always cut away from themselves and cut in small, controlled strokes.
* Sharper is Not Better
* "A sharper knife is not necessarily better, because it often becomes wedged in the thicker part of the pumpkin, requiring force to remove it," says Wint. "An injury can occur if your hand is in the wrong place when the knife finally dislodges from the thick skin of the pumpkin. Injuries are also sustained when the knife slips and comes out the other side of the pumpkin where your hand may be holding it steady."
* Use a Pumpkin Carving Kit
* Special pumpkin carving kits are available in stores and include small serrated pumpkin saws that work better because they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue. "If they do get jammed and then wedged free, they are not sharp enough to cause a deep, penetrating cut," says Wint.
* Help for a Pumpkin Carving Injury
* Should you cut your finger or hand, bleeding from minor cuts will often stop on its own by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be required. Surgery may be required if the laceration is deep enough or you cut through tendons or other structures in the hand. After surgery, hand therapy may be required.
Tips for Leaf Raking to Minimize Arthritis Joint Pain
Although it is hard to believe, fall has arrived. In many parts of the country the beauty of autumn is unfolding with breathtaking foliage. The dry, cool air, the smell of warm apple cider, the colorful leaves fluttering down are reasons why fall is our favorite season.
Raking those colorful leaves is another story though, especially if you suffer from painful arthritis, an injury, or other limiting conditions. Here are some common sense ideas to make leaf raking less of a painful chore, and more of an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors.
Tips for Reducing Arthritis Joint Pain when Raking Leaves
If you are bagging your leaves, make sure you have the bags so you don’t have to stop your project to make a trip to the store in order to finish.
If you compost, you could also use a wheelbarrow to move the leaves. A large capacity option that lays flat so you can rake directly into it is the “Rake and go Cart” by Ames True Temper.
Get comfortable work gloves. If you have arthritis in your hands good gloves are particularly important as your hands may be sensitive to the cold.
Be sure to wear any finger splints or wrist splints you use regularly to support your joints. The gloves mentioned above may also help keep your splints in place and clean.
Pull on your sturdy work shoes that provide good support and a jacket appropriate for the weather and you are ready to go!
Be physically prepared for your task. Perform some light stretches before you begin work and do a cool down stretch after you’ve finished.
Hydrate before you head out and have water available while you are working. Staying well hydrated decreases arthritis joint pain.
Make raking a family or neighborhood affair. Leaf raking is a great way to connect with your family and friends by doing something active together. Provide some of that apple cider and cookies to celebrate each other and a job well done.
Pace yourself. Whether you work alone or with a group make sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you and rest as necessary. The leaves will wait for you! If the job is more than you want to tackle, enlist the help of enterprising neighborhood youth to help you get the job done.
Give yourself some time to rest after you've been working. Raking leaves is hard, physical work and can aggravate painful joints. Be sure to rest afterward and follow other instructions from your doctor that you follow after any workout.
With a bit of planning autumn leaf raking will be easier on your joints and maybe even fun. By having a plan, taking your time, and asking for the help you need, pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other painful conditions won't keep you from doing what you need to do. Happy (and comfortable) raking!!
WHAT WE DO
In a private outpatient clinic, conveniently located in Saddle Brook, Bergen County, in northern NJ, patients receive certified hand therapy services for rehabilitation of injuries and disorders of the fingers, hand, wrist, and elbow. Our services include:
We are open weekdays and evenings; Saturdays and Sundays on an emergency basis. Splints can be fabricated on a same-day emergency basis if your doctor deems it medically necessary.
We can be reached by phone, fax, or email.
DO YOU NEED HAND THERAPY ?
HERE ARE SOME HINTS:
INJURY: Did you hurt your hand, wrist, or elbow? ● Have you undergone a surgery on your hand, wrist, or elbow?
DAILY ACTIVITIES: Do you experience burning, numbness/tingling, pain, or stiffness in your fingers or hand during activities or upon waking up ● Do you have painful cramps in your hand when cooking, cleaning, getting dressed, holding a book, or writing ● Do you drop or have trouble picking up items?
PAIN MANAGEMENT: Do you rely on medication to lessen hand, wrist, or elbow pain? ● Does pain prevent you from using your hand normally?
If you have experienced any of these problems or symptoms, we would advise you to see a hand surgeon, who may prescribe certified hand therapy. If you receive a prescription for hand therapy, and your surgeon would like you to be seen by a certified hand therapist,
please give us a call @ 201.820.4020 to schedule an appointment.