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Hand orthoses and hand supports

Wrist supports and hand orthoses offer targeted support, stabilising your hand and wrist, relieving strain and supporting recovery after an injury or surgery.

Hand orthoses and hand supports

Hand orthoses and supports stabilise and support

Orthoses can take the strain off joints or entire regions of the body, right where you need it most. They can also prevent you from making wrong movements. This helps to alleviate pain and ensure therapy is successful. Hand orthoses are specially designed for the hand and wrist area. Depending on the model, they can also be effective for parts of the forearm. If you wear a hand orthosis, you won’t be able to move the affected part as freely as you would with a hand support, wrist support or finger support. A hand orthosis stabilises the joint or immobilises your finger, hand or wrist.

Depending on the design in question, some hand orthoses can correct the position of your hand or be adjusted to allow a specific range and extent of motion. Some can even set the exact position or range of motion for individual fingers. This prevents users from performing movements that would impair their recovery. In short, a suitable hand orthosis will ensure movements are performed in a safe, controlled manner. Straps, bars or rods are generally used to stabilise the hand, wrist and possibly the forearm.

What is a thumb orthosis?

Thumb orthoses are a special subtype of hand orthoses designed to protect and stabilise the thumb and thumb joint as well as to relieve pain. Thumb orthoses are often prescribed after an injury (e.g., skier’s thumb) or an operation. They can be used to relieve pain or discomfort before and after surgery and are also suitable for treating symptoms of arthrosis and irritation.

In addition, a suitable hand orthosis will provide the stability and protection you need to begin rehabilitation therapy. This promotes healing and helps you to improve or regain your health as quickly as possible.

When should I wear a hand support?

Supports are more elastic than orthoses and are made of breathable knitted fabric. Many will include profile inserts to give added support and stability to the affected area and to ligaments and joints. Hand supports, wrist supports and finger supports are all practical devices that use the appropriate amount of compression to improve blood circulation and aid the healing process. However, if you need to control or stabilise the joint to a greater extent, or even immobilise it fully, a hand orthosis is the better option.

How long should I wear a hand orthosis or hand support?

The length of time the orthosis is used can vary widely from patient to patient because it depends on the type of symptoms, the clinical diagnosis and individual factors. The type of support or orthosis can also play a role. If in doubt, wear the respective orthosis or support for as long as your doctor or your therapy plan recommends. Your doctor will also explain exactly which hand orthosis or wrist support is suitable for you and how to wear the respective device properly.

Will a hand orthosis help if I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

A type of hand orthosis also known as a carpal orthosis is frequently prescribed for mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. People wear these types of orthoses especially at night because they immobilise the hand and joint and prevent you from bending your wrist too far in your sleep. It can be very painful if the median nerve, which is partially responsible for helping you move and feel your thumb, forefinger and middle finger, is pinched. Wearing a suitable hand orthosis is a good solution to this problem.

Will a hand orthosis help if I have tenosynovitis?

The connective tissue around a tendon is also called a tendon sheath. Inflammation of the tendon sheath (tenosynovitis) leads to swelling of the tendon and tendon sheath. It is most commonly caused by excessive strain. Due to the inflammation, very little space is left between the tendon and the tendon sheath in this case. As a result, the slightly oily synovial fluid, which serves as the nutrient and lubricant in the tendon sheath, is no longer able to adequately reduce friction. When this occurs, it’s particularly important to immobilise and rest the affected area to relieve pain and counteract loss of function in your hand, wrist or forearm.

Depending on your individual needs, a special, ultra-lightweight hand orthosis for everyday use is the ideal alternative to a cast, support or athletic taping. In most cases, you will also be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication, cold therapy or electrotherapy to support your treatment. If you have tenosynovitis, it’s especially important to make sure the affected area is only completely immobilised on a temporary basis, because the tendon and tendon sheath can otherwise stick together.

Back to everyday activities: three steps to an Ottobock orthosis
  • Here you’ll find an overview of all the orthoses and supports that could potentially help you. Take the list with you to your next doctor’s appointment.
  • Talk to your doctor about which orthosis is best suited to your symptoms and condition. Your doctor can then write you a prescription for the appropriate orthosis.
  • Take your prescription to a medical supply company. They’ll give you your new orthosis and adjust it to fit your exact body measurements.
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