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Occupational Therapy with Susan Dorne Susan Dorne is a licensed occupational therapist with over 25 years experience. As a healthcare professional and an individual with MS, Susan is volunteering her time to help us in a question and answer format.

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  #1  
Old 08-30-2011, 02:29 PM
BigA
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Index Finger

Hi,

the index finger on my left hand sometimes moves slightly by itself. Today, I noticed that the area between my middle and top knuckle seems to be getting thinner, even though I use my hand normally every day (typing right now).

Is this muscle atrophy and should I be doing exercises for it? Can it be helped?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2011, 04:19 AM
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poohb3ar poohb3ar is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: illinois
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oh, Big A you usually have all the answers.
my toes and fingers sometimes jump around all by themselves. but the thinness seems odd. have you called dr. yet?

i'll be praying that everything is ok. glad you can still type!

take care & God bless ya!
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2011, 12:10 PM
SusanD SusanD is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 215
Sounds like muscle twitches which is involuntary muscle contractions. It's just like when your eye twitches for no reason. I get that once in a while especially if my fingers are fatigued.

When you use words like 'jumping around', that may be more related to spasticity.

In either case, it is important to let you doctor know. Any time you get something new, especially if it happens more than once, it is time to contact them.

The loss of muscle mass may me atrophy but again, the dr would be better to let you know if it's an issue. Perhaps may be related to age, osteoporosis, or nothing. Whatever it may be related to (if anything), hand exercise is just as important as any other part of the body. There are many reasons why the strength of hands should be maintained. You may be comfortable with what you do for exercise but if you would like more, just let me know.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2011, 06:16 PM
BigA
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Susan,

I think I was obcessing about my finger, but only since a PT told me about hand atrophy. Nevermind she told me that I had none, I had learned something new to worry about/prevent, lol.

But I do have twitches and I do believe it's related to spasticity. My hands are what bother me the most in my MS adventure. My left index finger is often painful. The only thing new is lots and lots of stretching, which relives the pain and tingling, but may be causing the pain.

In any case, I ordered a gripmaster after "discovering" my issue. So I'll give it a try. I showed my finger to my PCP and she said it looked normal. I don't like going to my Neuro because it costs me $100 for the pleasure. Since I am anxious, I tend to wait to find out if something is genuinely serious.

If you have any stretches or info, I'd appreciate it. Of course everything comes with the caveot, same as on the exercise bike, "See your doctor first before starting a new program..."

And thanks for the compliment, pooh. A wise man knows when to ask for help and I hope I am.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2011, 07:57 AM
SusanD SusanD is offline
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Location: Miami, Florida
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My hands get sore too. Stretching helps by starting with the wrists and then each finger. I also use heat (warm water; heating pad) to relax the hand either before stretching or just to soothe. Sometimes I use creams such as icy/hot which helps but make sure you don't touch your face especially eyes!! There are different creams and natural essential oils that can help.

Stretching:
I learned this in yoga- for wrists
on all fours, gently lean on hands,
then move one at a time to do these exercises-
Lean on top of hand (move closer or further depending on comfort to get good stretch) so fingers are pointed to body; next
Move hand so leaning on top of hand but fingers pointing inward-toward other hand

Fingers- I massage the hand and fingers;
Then I bend forward/back - gentle going back- at every joint followed by stretching full fingers.
Resistance helps too.
Squeezing items of different resistance or simply making tight fists and relaxing provides full hand stretch

Hope this helps!

BTW- write down what's going on to see if things get better/worse and what exercises help
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2011, 02:20 PM
BigA
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Susan,

I started doing my yoga every Saturday and Sunday and have added one during the week. I'm now doing sun salutations at home in the morning.

I feel so fantastic and the down dogs and planks turned out to be the most magnificent thing for my hands. Kind of counter-intuitive, but putting weight on them has helped and the positioning make them feel so good.

I'm also continuing with stretches.

Thanks!

BigA
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2011, 07:34 AM
SusanD SusanD is offline
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Location: Miami, Florida
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Excellent! I like to do yoga despite the awkward and often challenging positions!
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