03 Jun Hand Therapy Week – Tiff Hall
Fitness queen Tiff Hall finds way back to the gym after injuries
In recognition of Hand Therapy Week, we are sharing stories about the importance of hand therapy and the involvement of hand therapists in injury management and recovery.
Hands are our life, so when someone has a problem with their hand, an injury or a condition, it is important to get the correct information and diagnosis, to then know how to treat it.
Tiffiny Hall, a personal trainer, entrepreneur, author and mum was puzzled when presented with the news that she needed a wrist reconstruction. Despite only experiencing mild symptoms, her MRI report stated something a lot more sinister.
Tiff was experiencing pain when pushing up on her wrist in the gym and lifting her son, Arnold. She noticed that the pain settled down with rest and activity modification, so had assumed it was ‘parent’s wrist’. Thankfully she decided to ‘listen to her body’ and seek a professional diagnosis. “If I had my time again I would have investigated sooner.” Tiff said.
Tests revealed that Tiff’s wrist was in fact badly damaged and would need surgery to reconstruct the scapholunate ligament in her wrist as the instability had progressed further to a collapsed wrist.
Prior to undergoing orthopaedic surgery, Tiff attended Melbourne Hand Rehab and began treatment with Occupational Therapist and AHTA associate member Claire Robinson. Claire worked with Tiff to prepare her for surgery and included fabricating a custom orthosis to protect her wrist and soft tissue structures.
Following the surgery, Tiff had a period of immobilisation in a custom made splint before moving on to get her movement and strength back. Tiffany attended hand therapy appointments for 3 months weekly both in person and via telehealth for scar management, pain management techniques, massage, range of motion, strengthening and proprioception exercises.
But as proof to Tiff’s endurance and determination, her injury story does not end there. Seven months later, due to an accidental fall, Tiff underwent another surgery to re-stabilise her scapholunate joint. Working with her hand therapist Claire she was motivated by two clear goals – to get back to caring for her son Arnold and getting the safe ‘all clear’ to train and film upcoming exercises for her online health and fitness program, TXO.
Claire says Tiff has had to learn to adjust the way she uses her hand due to her decreased wrist movement and stability. It was, and still is, a long rehabilitation period where we had to re-teach her hand and wrist how to do basic tasks again such as dressing herself and tying her hair. But with consistency and motivation we were able to get Tiff back to engaging in her meaningful and important activities and she is now doing safe and controlled workouts.
CEO of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, Wendy Rowland said “it is important to consult a hand therapy practitioner as soon as an injury occurs. A hand therapy practitioner is a qualified physiotherapist or occupational therapist with expertise in the finger, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.”
If you are experiencing thumb, hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.
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