Heat is used as part of hand and wrist therapy after an injury or surgery for several reasons. Heat increases the blood flow to the area, which promotes healing. Heat is also used as a relaxer. The application of heat will relax your muscles and joints, making your exercises easier.
We recommend the following steps:
- Moist heat
- Massage using hand cream
- Exercises as prescribed
- Reapply your splint
The following instructions for heat application should be followed closely. If you have any questions, please call your doctor for further instructions.
Applying Moist Heat
- When applying heat to your hand, use extra towels to prop the hand higher than your elbow. DO NOT soak your hand in hot water — this can increase swelling.
- Warm Towel Method — Soak towels in hot water (not burning hot, but comfortably warm). Wring out the towel and wrap it around your hand. Cover the towel with a plastic wrap or bag, and wrap a dry towel around the plastic to help hold the heat in. You can also heat a damp towel in the microwave for a minute and then follow the warm towel method to administer the heat to your hand or wrist.
Heat should be left on the problem area for 10 minutes. Reheat the towel if necessary. Your doctor can advise you on how many times a day you should use the moist heat therapy.
For more information about the moist heat home program, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).