Status
Not open for further replies.

RICHPD

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
20
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
3/2008
Country
US
State
ma
City
weymouth
Dad has been living in a nursing home since early July. Lately his right hand and fingers have become very swollen and is nearly closed as in a fist. The physical therapist is supposed to place some type of brace tomorrow. He says there is no pain but if you pry the fingers open it hurts quite a bit. I thought ALS was without physical pain, am I wrong and does this swelling sound rather odd.
 

Al

Moderator emeritus
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
The swelling does sound odd. Lack of use and atrophy in the hands will cause them to curl and trying to pull them straight pulls on the contracted tendons which hurts like a son of a gun. Ask if someone can do range of motion exercises with him to loosen them.

AL.
 

wright

Very helpful member
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
1,160
Country
US
State
xx
City
xxxx
Blood gets back to the heart in large part by muscle contraction. If muscles don't contract, then blood will "pool" and result in swelling. Range of motion exercise is therefore important to help reduce this, as well as simple massage.
 

RICHPD

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
20
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
3/2008
Country
US
State
ma
City
weymouth
Thanks I will talk to the staff about doing range of motion tests.
 

Coach's Wife

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
20
Country
US
State
Ohio
City
A small village
Help for finger/hand swelling

Wright is correct in sharing that the lack of use causes things to swell. As an early sign of ALS, my PALS had the finger and hand swelling. It was pretty scary at first because we didn't understand what was happening. But, then Jeff's Physical Therapist showed us how to "disperse" the fluid by massaging each finger. For example, have a caregiver hold the tip of the pinky finger - using all 5 (caregivers!) fingers pursed around the tip... pretend that you are putting on a ring that is way too small...and gently, but firmly, push the fluid up into the hand. Do this to each of the PALS fingers (a few times each) and, depending on the level of swelling, you may even see the fluid moving. Then, apply a silimilar technique to your PALS' hands to push the fluid further up into his arms. My PALS' swelling was pretty bad so we had to incorporate this type of massaging into our daily routine (2-3 times a day) for many months eventually adding the feet/ankles/legs. This provided Jeff with much relief. I hope this helps!

Louie
Former CALS to husband, Jeff: 7-5-2007
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top