Relative Motion Splinting s a concept that has been in practice for many years and was recently presented at the Annual American Association of Hand Surgeons with recent studies out of Australia confirming its effectiveness. It was originally developed by Julieanne Howell PT, CHT and Dr. Wyndell Merritt. It is low profile and very easy for patients to wear, thus improving function and overall compliance with use.
The concept is simple – it’s all about the MP joint and how it’s position effects the tendons and joints in the hand. It works by positioning the involved digit(s) in either relative extension or flexion to the other digits. The Relative Motion Extension (RME) splint positions the MP joint in 15-20 degrees of extension. This splint is appropriate for dysfunctions flexion issues such as trigger finger, unloading extensor tendons following repair as well as chronic sagittal band ruptures and ulnar drift. It is also helpful with management of ligament problems of the MP joint. The Relative Motion Flexion splint (RMF) is positioned in 15 to 20 degrees of flexion to work on extension issues: acute and chronic boutonniere deformities, to unload the tension on flexor tendon and nerve repairs and digital PIP stiffness. A study presented at the AAHS conference by Melissa Hirth, and occupational therapist from Australia, supported this theory about effectiveness and compliance with use of this splint.
Graston Technique Update
Recently our staff completed the advanced certification course for the Graston Technique. This soft tissue technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. The advanced technique incorporates movement, including active and passive stretching and even soft tissue loading. It is very useful in a number of areas including the treatment of lateral and medial epicondylitis as well as postural muscle tightness.