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  • susanherdman

Gotta Hand it to Ya!

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Hands are amazingly versatile structures that can handle (pun intended!) everything from heavy gripping and forceful activities (such as shoveling snow, using tools, and rock climbing) to light, but extremely delicate work (such as threading a needle, buttoning your shirt, and painting the Mona Lisa).

You can attribute all of these fantastic skills to the incredible engineering of your fingers, palm, and forearm as well as to the wiring in your brain and nervous system.


A complex system of cables and pulleys allows the muscles that control each finger and joint to live in the forearm. This gives the muscles more strength and mechanical advantage and each joint more motion than if all muscles for the fingers, resided in the palm or the fingers themselves! (1)


Even though the skin surface of both hands is only a mere 5% of your total skin area (2), the brain devotes 25% of its sensory system to the hand (3).


Your skin is inundated with teeny, tiny sensory receptors allowing you to feel heat, vibration, pressure, and light touch. But your fingertips actually have TWICE the density of nerve receptors as your palm! (4)

But when things go wrong (from injury, pain, or numbness) – this incredible versatility can also mean that a LOT of your normal activities of daily living (or what you do to make a living) can be affected.

Virtual rehab (aka telephysio / telerehab) is both possible AND effective with InReach Online Physio! Via an easy-to-use and secure video conference program, we can accurately assess your hand and upper extremity issues and give YOU the tools to help best manage and treat your condition.

Feel free to book a Telehealth/Telephysio appointment with Susan Herdman – one of our physiotherapists – who is specializing in the upper extremity and has a passion for hands and hand therapy!


(1) Levangie, PK & Norkin, CC. (2001) Joint Structure and Function: A Comprehensive Analysis 3rd Edition (Chapter 9 – The Wrist and Hand Complex). F.A. Davis Company – Philadelphia.

(2) BC Provincial Health Services Authorities (Oct 2011) TBSA Burn Estimation Chart - Adult Major Burn Clinical Practice Guideline. Accessed Nov 29/2020.

(3) Eaton, Charles MD. E-Hand – The Electronic Textbook of Hand Surgery: Hand Facts and Trivia. Accessed Nov 28/2020.

(4) Kelly EJ, Terenghi G, Hazari A, & Wiberg, M. (2005) Nerve fibre and sensory end organ density in the epidermis and papillary dermis of the human hand. Br J Plast Surg 58 (6): 774-9. doi: 10.1016/j/bjps.2004.12.017 Accessed Nov 28/2020.

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