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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Prevention of Problems in the Hand

Many problems that occur in the hand can be prevented with knowledge and understanding of mechanisms that cause injury and the warning signs of nerve involvement.  Help stop the clock on deformity progression.

  • Nerve Impairment:   Swelling or inflammation of a nerve, or loss of nerve fibers and end organs from immune reactions and cellular damage can result in primary changes in a patient's ability to sweat, in sensory function and muscle (motor) function.  These losses may become permanent but can sometimes be prevented by early detection and direct treatment of the involved nerve.
  • Disability Progression: Typically, disability intervention programs are designed to help prevent secondary changes in the hand from progressing once nerve impairment has become established and irreversible.  Much can be done to help minimize disability and allow patients to lead a normal, useful life with their hands.

We take care of our best tools in our workshops, but sometimes we forget our most important tool: the hand.  Hands can last a lifetime with proper care.  Even hands which have already developed peripheral nerve or other impairment that can cause disability can often be preserved in remaining function, or improved.

Warning Signs of Nerve Involvement

  • Tenderness or pain of the major nerve branches at the level of the elbow and wrist
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands
  • Muscle weakness or unusual positioning of fingers when the hand is used