Thursday, 22 December 2016

Surf safe

I certainly haven’t been all over social media this year in the way in which allied health marketing guru Amy Geach of @MaidaLearning tells me I should. However, all good things take time and given that we are perilously close to the end of the year, I thought I’d have a final crack at spreading the word about the rehab of wrists and sport. Specifically a sport close to my heart, surfing. 

Gnarly tatt dude

A therapist wrote to me this week about a patient of hers with a wrist injury who wanted to go back to surfing. In short, she didn’t know whether he could do so safely and without significant risk to his wrist. I suggested she try and replicate what he needed to do in the water in the clinic. “But I don’t surf” said she. “That’s ok”, said I, “...he should know, and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t really surf!” 

If he can do it...

My comment wasn’t supposed to be as flippant as it sounded. Instead what I meant was that if you have a patient who needs to do something with their hand that you are unfamiliar with, be that work or sport, ask them to show you. Put them in the splint or the tape that you think is best suited to protect the injury. Then have them teach you how to hold a golf club, or show you what the western grip of a tennis racquet looks like, or have them demonstrate popping up from a surfboard by lying down on the floor in your clinic with their hand gripping the sides of a 5cm thick text book. It won’t be the same as going out for a paddle with them, but it will be as close as you can get.

Santa drops in
If the patient is educated in the precautions of their injury, and can gain an expectation of what they might feel during a particular activity, then they will truly be in a position to control their condition without you sitting on their shoulder. 

All the best for 2017 everyone. My New Years resolution is to get amongst it (and to surf at least once a week!) 

Look after those fingers,


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