Should I try to straighten my contracted fingers with physical force?

What are your thoughts on physical therapy while I am using Alternative Medicine for my Dupuytren’s contracture treatment?   Should I try to straighten my fingers with physical force?



Greetings Virginia,

While going through a formal PT series is not inappropriate for someone with Dupuytren’s contracture, it is usually unnecessary.

A person can avoid the cost, inconvenience and interruption of the daily schedule of attending PT appointments by simply applying a very light but prolonged stretch to the affected fingers. Simply apply an extremely light (perhaps a one pound force) to the tips of the involved fingers for a prolonged time. This is best done by doing frequent and prolonged light stretches during times of the day that are not otherwise productive when two things can be done at once – while talking on the telephone, while watching TV, while using the toilet, while sitting in traffic at a red light, etc.

When you use the term “physical force” I think I know what you mean, but I must be certain you understand. “Force” is not the correct concept to use when applying this light stretching to your hand when stretching out the palm by hyperextending the fingers; “force” makes it sound like you will be heavy-handed or using excessive and potentially injurious force to stretch the contracted hand tissue. The best way to explain how this should be done is to say that you should apply so little stretching of the hand tissue that you think while you are doing it that it could not be effective. When your stretch is so light that you think it will not work, you are probably doing it correctly.

Let me know if you have any more questions. TRH


2 thoughts on “Should I try to straighten my contracted fingers with physical force?

  1. Janine says:

    A short video to illustrate the light stretch described above, would be most welcome. Thank you.

  2. Dr. Herazy says:

    Greetings Janine,

    It is difficult to show the lightness of the Dupuytren’s contracture stretch. Perhaps the best way is to say that the light traction force used is about equal to the pressure that you can tolerate on your eyeball when your eyelid is closed. Or, to say it another way, the traction force is no more than the force needed to press with your fingertip to flatten the end of your nose. In both case this is not much effort; perhaps less than a pound of force.

    I hope this helps you understand better how to deal with your Dupuytren’s contracture. If not, let me know. TRH

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