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Saving Your Thumbs: Elastic Taping, Customizing Orthoses, Joint Protection Techniques, and Adaptive Equipment

presented by Virginia O'Brien, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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If the thumb has less pain with dynamic stability, why still protect the thumb joint? This course will review basic principles of light joint support with taping or customizing orthoses. Additionally, we'll present joint protection as a way to continue to save patients' thumbs for a lifetime, including options like elastic taping and appropriate adaptive techniques and equipment. It is important to have the patient learn how to protect their own thumb, to have these options for their thumb, and to have the adaptive equipment in your clinic for the patient to learn experientially. Also included is a review of proper pen holding postures.

CHTs, when submitting this for recertification through HTCC, this course can be used for CAT B (hand therapy courses < 3 hours in length); however, if this course certificate is submitted with the following course certificates listed below (or any combination totaling 3 hours or more), they can be submitted under CAT A (hand therapy courses > 3 hours in length).

  • Evaluation of the Thumb (1 hour)
  • Why is Thumb Pain Such a Pain? An Introduction to Dynamic Stability of the Thumb (2 hours)
  • Saving Your Thumbs: Elastic Taping, Customizing Orthosis, Joint Protection Techniques, and Adaptive Equipment (1 hour)
  • o What About a Thumb Orthosis? (2 hours)
  • Meet Your Instructor

    Virginia O'Brien, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

    A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (Provo, Utah), Virginia first became interested in hand architecture during her fieldwork days. She is actively involved in clinical and biomechanical research of the thumb and the wrist, is a member of the AOTA Evidence Exchange committee and a member of…

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    Chapters & Learning Objectives

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    Download the learning objectives for Saving Your Thumbs: Elastic Taping, Customizing Orthoses, Joint Protection Techniques, and Adaptive Equipment.

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    1. Elastic Taping, Customizing Orthoses, and Joint Protection

    Some thumbs need light support, which the option of elastic taping can provide. Two simple options are presented. At times, even creative customization of “traditional” orthoses can provide necessary support for painful thumbs. No two thumbs are alike, so be creative for your patient.

    2. Saving Your Thumbs: Joint Protection Principles, Adaptive Equipment, and Thermal Modalities

    Intervention also includes saving the hand and thumb with joint protection and appropriate adaptive equipment instruction. This chapter reviews joint protection principles, as well as pen holding postures. Also, what is the role of modalities and home heat?

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