Restoring Function After Nerve Damage in the Hands

Restoring Function After Nerve Damage in the Hands

Posted on 07/10/2023

Nerve damage in the hands can be a debilitating condition. It can impact your ability to perform everyday tasks. The damage can occur from an injury, a medical condition, or a surgical procedure. Restoring function to the hands is a crucial aspect of rehabilitation.

Nerves help in transmitting signals between the brain and the hands. They allow for movement, sensation, and coordination. When nerves get damaged, these functions can become compromised, resulting in weakness.

You may also experience the following:

·      Tingling.

·      Numbness.

·      Loss of control in the hands.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy helps restore hand function after nerve damage. These therapies focus on exercises and activities that aim to improve strength. They also enhance flexibility and coordination. Physical therapists may use techniques like massage and stretching exercises.

Electrical stimulation also helps stimulate nerve regeneration and improve motor function. Occupational therapists help individuals relearn essential daily tasks. They may recommend assistive devices to aid in hand function. They teach strategies and techniques to compensate for any deficits in hand function.

Nerve Regeneration and Repair 

Nerve damage in the hands can be repaired or regenerated in some cases. Several surgical techniques can help mend damaged nerves and improper function. Nerve grafts can be effective in restoring function.

It entails taking a nerve from another part of the body and used to bridge the gap. Additionally, nerve transfer surgeries involve rerouting healthy nerves to bypass the damaged ones. It allows for improved communication between the brain and the hands.

Skilled neurosurgeons or hand surgeons do these techniques. The success of your procedure will depend on different factors. These include the location and severity of the nerve damage, your health, and your commitment to rehabilitation.

Medications and Therapies

Some medications and therapies can aid in the restoration of hand function. Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help reduce inflammation. They also relieve the pain associated with nerve damage.

Topical creams containing capsaicin or lidocaine can provide temporary relief from discomfort. Alternative therapies like acupuncture also help. They show promising results in reducing pain and promoting nerve regeneration.

Assistive Devices 

Assistive devices play a significant role in restoring hand function. They enable individuals to perform daily activities by themselves. These devices range from simple splints and braces. They provide support and stability to more complex tools.

These may include the following:

·      Adaptive utensils.

·      Button hooks.

·      Gripping aids.

Using assistive devices enhances the quality of life. Individuals with nerve damage can regain control and functionality in their hands.

Psychological Support 

Nerve damage in the hands can have a significant psychological impact on you. It leads to feelings of frustration, depression, and anxiety. Joining psychological support is crucial. Support groups, counseling, and mindfulness techniques are ideal for coping with the challenges of maintaining a positive outlook.

Mindfulness techniques can aid in reducing stress. They promote a positive mindset. Learning to focus on the present moment and practicing self-compassion can enhance your well-being. It also helps with resilience during the rehabilitation.

For more about nerve damage in the hands, visit East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. Call 510.904.1100 to book an appointment today.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.