Thursday, May 15, 2008

Assistive Technology -- Finger Splints

Amanda Baggs posts a clear description of her newly acquired finger splints. Years ago I saw a woman with arthritis who wore custom-made finger splints that looked very much like these to help her hands work better as the disease progressed. (This would have been almost thirty years ago and hers were custom-made of silver by a jeweler/artist.)
If you think this is an obscure problem read the comments thread.

Check it out.

This also makes a difference in handwriting. Here’s one of my versions of a grip on a pen without a splint (sometimes I use 3 fingers to stabilize things, sometimes 2, but same result):

It hurts just to hold a pen like that for less than a minute.
And here’s my grip on a pen with the splint:

So there’s a big difference there.
And the difference it’s making for me is less pain while handwriting, less pain while typing, less pain in general. The actual bending itself doesn’t directly cause the pain. What does cause pain is the constantly having to press harder and further on everything because if I press more lightly my fingers just bend back instead of accomplishing whatever they’re supposed to accomplish.

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