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How to deal with an injury to your dominant hand

Coping With Injury to Dominant Hand
3 minutes, 40 seconds

If you’ve recently sustained an injury to your dominant hand, you’re probably having trouble coping with the way you go about your new daily routine. You probably also didn’t realize how much you used your dominant hand until it became injured. 

A hand injury can seriously affect the way you carry out your everyday activities. It can impact your ability to carry out work tasks, how you get dressed in the morning, the way you eat, and many other processes both large and small. You may not be able to pick up a pen and write yourself a note, type quickly on your computer, or comfortably pick up your favorite coffee mug. For people whose livelihoods depend on their dominant hand, like musicians, an injury can be potentially devastating. Not being able to efficiently complete your routine processes can be frustrating, but fortunately it often can be made easier to manage. 

How can someone practically cope with an injury to their dominant hand?

  • Seek the guidance of a physical therapist — Physical therapists are specialists in coming up with unique plans to help you treat your injuries. If you’re coping with an injury to the hand, they can help guide you through a variety of exercises and movements, within your pain threshold, to help you reduce your uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Undergo a surgical procedure — Another option for coping with an injury to your dominant hand is to undergo a surgical procedure if deemed medically necessary. Surgeries have the potential to help with painful symptoms but can also cause complications for some.
  • Rest their injury — Another option for coping with a hand injury is to rest it. Some injuries may be rooted in overuse, so taking a break from using it for a period of time may give it time to heal. However, strengthening exercises to the surrounding muscles and areas around the injury can help prevent injury from cropping up in the future.

What types of injuries could someone sustain to their dominant hand?

  • Fracture — Fractures to the hand often occur from traumatic impacts, like a hard fall or hit. These types of injuries typically take several weeks to a few months to heal, depending on the severity of the break. In the case that a hand fracture were to consist of splintered pieces of bone, a surgical procedure might be necessary. This would likely cause the recovery time to take even longer and leave someone without the use of their dominant hand for an extended period of time.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome — Carpal tunnel syndrome can be disruptive and uncomfortable for someone who regularly experiences this condition. It’s often the result of a repetitive motion injury from a job with physically repetitive work tasks. Some examples of these types of jobs include office jobs and factory assembly line jobs. 
  • Dislocation — Dislocations happen when a ligament moves out of place due to pressure or force. When the ligament moves, this causes the bone to move out of a joint. After a dislocation in your hand or finger, it may be painful to use your hand for some time.
  • Muscle strain — Muscle strain in the hand is when the muscles or tendons stretch past their capacity. Muscle strains can be painful to cope with when they occur in the hand, and most often get better with minimal use. This can be inconvenient if your strain has occurred in your dominant hand.
  • Tendinitis — Tendinitis is a condition in which the tendons in the body become inflamed and painful. The tendons in your body keep your muscles connected to your bones. This condition is most often caused by strain or overuse of the joints. With tendon inflammation, using your hands can quickly become painful.

No matter the type of injury you may have sustained to your dominant hand, physical therapy is likely a good option to help you cope with it a little easier. Physical therapists can help you strengthen your hand to improve function or help you retrain your nondominant hand to boost your efficiency. It’s a great long-term option to help you manage your symptoms and return to a quality of life that you’re comfortable with.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT to help you cope with an injury to your dominant hand

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you cope with an injury to your dominant hand.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!