ASHT member shares approaches to exercising with hand pain

Posted by MSN on 10/14/2020

by Victoria Moorhouse via MSN Lifestyle
August 28,2020

ASHT member Lucy McLeod shared information on exercising with hand pain.

How to Approach Exercise When You Have Hand Pain, According to a Physical Therapist

I've been working out around my knee pain for years - swapping in low-impact exercises and joint-friendly moves for jumps and squats on the days where my discomfort is at a peak. But figuring out how to exercise without worsening hand pain is brand new to me - and unfortunately, still a work in progress.

Yoga was out, since I couldn't bear weight on my thumb without wincing, and gripping a dumbbell in my hand was not happening - to be honest, I didn't realize just how much I relied on my hands in all of my go-to workouts. Thankfully, the pain was a one-day affair, but it did make me curious if working out with a hand injury was possible, or even advised, so I checked in with Lucy McLeod, B. Physio, DPT,CHT, physical therapist and certified hand therapist at HSS. Ahead, the tips that are essential to keep in mind before getting in a sweat.

Understand Your Injury - and Check in With an Expert

This isn't the time to self-diagnose. If you're dealing with pain or an injury, it's of your best interest to speak with a professional, so you can care for it in the proper way - and prevent hanging up your sneakers for even longer! McLeod says it's crucial to understand your individual injury before exercising, or modifying your routine.

"Hands, wrists, fingers, and thumbs are a complex part of the body!" McLeod says. "There are a lot of different types of injury, or causes of pain, that need completely different types of treatment. Some injuries need rest, some injuries do better with exercise."

So, reach out to your doctor, or as McLeod suggests, a certified hand therapist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist that specializes in hand pain. "We have at least 4,000 hours of direct experience treating hand injuries and have passed a rigorous examination," McLeod says. "A certified hand therapist will be able to work with you to give you the best advice for your specific injury and workout preferences."

To find an expert in your area, McLeod suggests visiting the hand therapy certification commission website.

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