can you reverse contracture?

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Kristina1

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Is it possible to reverse contacture? I have curling fingers, I now wear a splint/orthotic as often as i can to stop it getting worse, but is there a way to reverse the damage already done? Two of my fingers have a lot of pain from it.
 

Nikki J

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With a lot of patience we were able to stretch my sister’s fingers out from a contracture. It needed genetle stretching several times a day as well as spints. I don’t remember how many weeks. We did genetle massage first and then very gentle stretching. It isn’t a process to rush through. I am thinking each session at least 10 minutes
 

Kristina1

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Thanks Nikki, what kind of stretches? I dont know any stretching exercises for the fingers.
 

Nikki J

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Slowly straightening each finger as tolerated hodking for a bit. Several times. Ask for ot to show you/ your family. When my sister was able to move her arm she used to press her palm as flat as she could against the table top. Stretched fingers and wrist
 

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It helps when heat is applied prior to stretches, just like stretching a muscle for running.

My right leg would not straighten out but I got it about 80% better with physical therapy, warm water therapy, and gentle massage. It hurt like heck every time I tried to do it without heat. PT used untrasound and laser therapy along with massage.
 

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Stretching, massage, heat, passive ROM such as someone else moving the joint itself to the extent that it can, a range of motion that should increase as the other methods are applied.

The passive ROM helps lubricate the joint as to prevent a relapse.
 

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Kristina1

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Thank you Tillie! That makes a lot of sense to me because my forearms cramp a lot and when they do it gets my fingers stuck in claws, so whatever is happening runs from the forearm all the way down my fingers.

Nikki, regarding finger stretches- most I cannot straighten (i push as hard as I can and it doesn't move, it's paralyzed in the "up" direction, though I can still move it "down"). So for those you mean have someone else open them straight for me?
 

Nikki J

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Yes you need help to do this. As Tillie said before the stretching massage thr whole area. And as someone also noted warm is good. You know how in workouts your muscles loosen up as you warm up. Same principle. I do think asking for an ot visit when your husband and any others can be there would be helpful.
 

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Kristina did you go to that link and watch the video where I demonstrate how to release the fingers? Chris could not do it for himself by the time we made this video but in the early stages he would do his own stretching.
 

Kristina1

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Tillie, yes i did thank you! I sent it to my husband he is going to try with me.
 
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