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Old 02-21-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
Tharis
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: May 2004
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Hand Sprain Help

I accidentally injured my left hand a week ago in training . We were doing a sort of sideways-koshinage (hug-throw?) from yokomenuchi where nage entered deeply, wrapped his arms around uke and continued uke's momentum into the ground. I was uke and my hand got jammed against nage the first time I took ukemi, resulting in a popping noise and a great deal of pain . Immediately got off the mat, calmed down and iced the injury.

Based on the symptoms, I am pretty sure that it's a sprain and not a break. I have been using a brace and the swelling has gone down considerably, to the point that I'm going to tentatively start training again tomorrow (with brace and precautions). The problem is that the area around my left thumb, index, middle fingers, and wrist are still very stiff and tender to the point that I can't lift without being really careful and can only make a fist very carefully under hot water. In fact, I can feel my fingers complaining as I type this (though I am also impressed that I have recovered to the point of being able to type semi-reasonably).

Any advice on how to rebuild strength and flexibility in my hands/fingers? Reasonable time-line before I'll be whole enough to tie my shoes without hassle?

Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

It's been my experience with hand/finger injuries that time is your best healer. I would be extremely careful in my training if you do go back onto the mat tomorrow and might go sofar as to not allow any techniques to be performed on that side.

Keep working it under the hot water 3-5 times/day and work on slow, gentle stretching / loosening exercies.

Last time I had a major (heard a popping) finger injury was a couple of years ago rock climbing. I rushed back after about 10 days off and I'm still having problems with that one finger.

Other finger/hand injuries I've incured since then usually heal to the point that they don't give me any problems anymore within 3-5 weeks of time off.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:25 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

if you heard a pop you may have a tendon rupture -- even if it is partial, you really want/need to let it heal (6 wks) brcause otherwise you are asking for chronic problems. personally, i'd use rest and alternating hot/cold soaking, not active exercising, at this point.

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:54 PM   #4
mikeym
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

Quote:
Thomas Harris wrote:
...I'm going to tentatively start training again tomorrow (with brace and precautions). The problem is that the area around my left thumb, index, middle fingers, and wrist are still very stiff and tender to the point that I can't lift without being really careful and can only make a fist very carefully under hot water. In fact, I can feel my fingers complaining as I type this...
It doesn't sound to me like it's healed enough to train. Have you seen a doctor? I think that hand injuries tend to heal slowly, so be careful.

I've had very good experiences with physical therapists. Injuries that had been nagging me for months went away in a week after a visit to the physical therapist.

- Mike
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
Tharis
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

Thanks to all for the advice. I'll bear that in mind and start soaking it in hot/cold water.

Re: training, I'm planning basically to avoid falls that would involve that arm, stopping at kuzushi, and to generally focus on my right side. If it starts getting uncomfortable, then I'll sit the rest of class out.

We'll see how this goes...
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:23 PM   #6
Bronson
 
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

I've told this story before and I guess I'll tell it again

A training partner of mine dislocated his thumb while we were training. He said "it was no big deal, it used to happen in karate all the time". He popped it back in and went about his business. Long story short, almost three weeks later he still had swelling and considerable pain. He finally went to a doctor and ended up having surgery to repair the damaged structures. He was told he will most likely never get back to pre-surgery function. The doctor also told him the surgery could have easily been avoided if he'd come in soon after it happened.

A student of mine (a veterinarian no less) recently stepped off a ladder and had a loud pop in his first big toe joint. The joint is now displaced and painful. He's waited a couple of weeks to see a doctor and he's worried that he may have to go under the knife because he waited.

Moral of these stories is: Get your ass to a professional and have it evaluated!! Don't mess around, get a referral to a hand specialist. Taking some time off training is a small price to pay if it means you can keep normal hand function into your old age.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:07 PM   #7
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

One thing I like to do is to put a hot liniment ( I usually use tiger balm) on the injury at night, then put a sock over the aria ( I have lots of socks that I've cut the toe out of because of this) and sleep that way with it. I find this seems to speed the healing process, it has done wonders for wrist problems I've had in the past.

Hope it helps,
Chris Hein
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:17 PM   #8
Tharis
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
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Re: Hand Sprain Help

Thanks for the advice. Just got back from the orthopedist, and it turns out I've broken my hand in 2 places, mainly in the third metacarpal and a small break near the base of the thumb. As expected, doc gave me a better splint, told me not to lift anything heavier than paper, and warned me that while it doesn't currently require surgery, if the bone gets twisted it will.


So, yeah. Broken bone. Will heal. Glad I saw a doctor.
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