Physical Therapy for a Quilter’s Hands

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I haven’t been quilting that long, but I am very aware of hand problems developed by quilters. These include carpel tunnel, nerve problems, tendonitis, trigger fingers and more. I was burdened with problems in both hands — a trigger thumb in my left hand and a barely-able-to-bend index finger on my right hand. Eventually pain and difficulty sewing sent me to the doctor and to a hand surgeon. The surgeon prescribed physical therapy at a hand therapy clinic (yes, there are specialists in physical therapy too) and my adventure began.

Since early July, I have gone to the therapy clinic three times a week. Yes, it is painful and I think the therapists are fairly aggressive. However I’ve seen amazing results. My right index finger bends completely. I ended up having a cortisone shot in my left thumb (unbelievably painful) and it is about 75% better. All in all, worth it.

I’ve met so many people at therapy that didn’t consult a doctor until they were really bad (sorta like I did). Treatment takes many, many months and often requires surgery. Why do we do this? Our hands are vitally important, especially as quilters, and we owe it to ourselves to take care of them. I’ve promised myself that I will get help at the first sign of repeat problems — or of any new issues.

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