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Cannot open his left hand

Hello All,

My dad cannot open his left hand anymore and when we try to  open it for him he screams from pain.. doctor suggested to use hand splints to separate his fingers from his palm.. Anyone used anything similar ? Do you know if it works and which type to get?

This website has a lot of types but not sure which one works better.




11 Replies

Have you gotten an MRI? Chiropractors advice might be helpful also that of an acupuncturists....the longer it stays that way the more painful the movement!

I'd say go for MRI first...sorry that's all I got!

Someone, PSPLife is getting some Stemcell therapy on leg pain.....maybe something to consider.......



We started of with a palm protector. Its like a pad of sheepskin. What we had to do was gently massage the hand wich will relax the muscles and tendons. Should be able to then get the palm protector in. You must remember to massage the hand before you even try to open it up because the muscles will be set.

As time goes on with massage and increasing the amount of padding in the hand you will get it more open. I wouldn't advise trying to get a splint in untill you have managed to streach his muscles out a bit more.

It is the shortening of the muscles that make the hand clench. So the key is to massage to relax and slowly increase the gap of the fingers.

Hope this helps. Janexx 


I am going to take this as a warning of what may happen if I don't act now to keep his hands openable.  He does tend to clench his fists hard, and even in repose his hand is contorted.  Maybe I will talk to the OT about getting one of those supports to keep his tendons from contracting permanently. 


Ec i would act now. Even if it just gentle massage and streaching exercise. Brian is now able to use a splint during the day that keeps his hand open but it did take a lot of time and effort to get it to this stage. Janexx 


Will do, thanks!


My mother had constricted fingers, exactly as you describe.  She found all the splints that we tried uncomfortable so we did not use them.  The important thing is to be extremely careful with hygiene; the palm gets sweaty and unless you keep it clean and dry the skin can break down and sores will development.  So wash with soap and dry carefully twice daily.  You need to train carers and make sure they do this extremely gently - pulling the fingers open will be very painful, but it can be done gently.  Also, massage and gentle stretching can slow give a degree of flexibility back over time.  But it cannot really be fixed without surgery. 

On a positive note, my mother retained the ability to move finger and thumb to the end, so she could still pick things up - I do hope you Dad also retains this flexibility and its just the three other fingers that are constricted.

I am so very sorry that you and your Dad are in this situation, Julia.

Thinking of you.



Hi , my wife (CBD) also has an immobile left hand, if she concentrates she can 'tell' it to open. A nurse, recently told us we need to see the orthotics hospital department for either a static splint or a Saebo glove, a dynamic splint. My wife's hand and arm has been locked onto her body for the past 18 months, and being left handed makes life hard. She so misses being able to paint or play the piano. Best wishes

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As a temporary measure it was suggested I use a pair of balled up socks to stop the hand closing to the point that the nails dug into the palm. The OT had a special leather covered pad made that had a thumbhole so that should the hand relax the pad remained in place. Splints sound a bit severe - the socks worked well until the special pad arrived. Kind regards, Jerry.


If you have an occupational therapist they should be able to help you decide.


Ask your GP for a referral to an OT trained in splinting. They will do a full assessment and make a custom made splint for your Dad which will be better than an "off the shelf" one. Massage and gentle stretching can help. In some cases they may try Botox injections into the wrist flexors and there are medications that act as muscle relaxants which may also be beneficial. One drawback of the medications is that they can make the person rather sleepy.


My mom got a custom made brace. She also had botox shots to loosen up her arm and hand. She was pretty frozen up and getting worse. (She had a stroke years ago as well). The shots helped her hand as well as her arm movement so she could get dressed.


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