Scar tissue develops as a normal response to tissue injury. Damaged skin and tissue is replaced by collagen and fibrous tissue that has less elastic properties, according to The Spinal Columns. Scar tissue can interfere with normal hand function by inhibiting movement or causing pain when collagen proliferates or is laid down in a haphazard fashion. Scar tissue can form in the muscle, tendon, sheaths surrounding tendons. ligaments, or fascia in the fingers. Scar massage, finger joint blocking exercises, and composite flexion exercises can help reduce the impairments caused by scar tissue.
Scar massage can help decrease adhesions to underlying tissue allowing more free motion to occur within the fingers. Deep transverse friction massage is when deep pressure is applied directly and perpendicular to the scar moving down the entire length of the scar, according to The Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies. Another type of scar massage is myofascial release. Pressure is applied parallel to the scar in a circular motion moving down the entire length of the scar. Lotion or vitamin E can be applied in conjunction with scar massage to increase moisture and pliability of the scar.
Finger Joint Blocking
Finger joint blocking exercises improve tendon gliding and can reduce scar adhesions to the underlying tendon sheaths in the fingers. Place your hand on the table with the palm facing up. Start at the most distal joint in the finger and with the opposite hand restrain the finger just below the distal joint at the middle portion of the finger. Actively flex and extend the distal joint. Repeat with each finger. Next, restrain the finger just below the next joint in the finger at the ring level and actively flex and extend the middle joint. Repeat with each finger, according to the Hand Surgical Associates of New England Baptist Hospital.
Two different composite flexion exercises, the hook and fist, can also improve tendon gliding and reduce adhesions to underlying tendon sheaths for improved finger mobility, according to the Hand Surgical Associates of New England Baptist Hospital. The hook exercise starts with the fingers fully extended. Next, slowly flex the most distal and middle finger joints keeping the knuckle straight to form a hook in the fingers. The fist exercise starts with the fingers fully extended. Slowly flex all the joints in the fingers to fully make a fist.