A hand fracture is a condition characterized by discontinuity in the alignment of bones of the hand. The bones in the hand include the bones that are present in the wrist, palm and fingers. A fracture of the hand tends to occur commonly due to a fall on the outstretched hand. It may also be caused by injuries related to sports and falls.
Swelling and pain are the most common symptoms of fracture. The range of motion for the affected hand will be reduced as well. The knuckle bone may appear to have been sunken in due to swelling in case of fracture in the palm bones (metacarpal bones). Most obviously, it will be difficult in carrying out regular tasks like squeezing or gripping which need the hands.
The initial treatment for a hand fracture will be focused on reducing the pain. Pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen will be administered which provides relief from the pain. The next step will be to keep the affected hand immobilized to enhance the healing process. Once stability is restored, therapeutically relevant exercises are prescribed to help normalize the regular hand movements and hand functions.
The following exercises are relevant in case of a hand fracture:
1. Wringing a towel: This is an exercise wherein you wring a towel to improve flexibility and strength in the hand. Simply grab a towel and twist it in both directions; imagine wringing water from the towel.
2. Rolls of the wrist: Wrist rolls aim to increase the ROM (range of motion) in your wrists and the hands. Hold the hand steady and rotate your wrists both clockwise and anticlockwise. You can also hold a lightweight in your hand to make it more challenging.
3. Prayer stretch: A prayer stretch is another exercise that can help boost your wrist flexibility. You start by positioning the palms together like in prayer, then hold up the elbows while pushing the hands against each other. You should feel a stretch in your wrists and hands.
4. Grasping: This is a technique wherein you grasp objects to improve your grip strength. Try gripping objects such as a tennis ball or stress balls to get your gripping ability up to normal levels.
Caution: If pain or swelling appears, stop the exercises immediately. Consult a physiotherapist for advice specific to your condition.