FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does WHFO stand for when referring to a wrist brace?
WHFO stands for Wrist-Hand-Finger Orthosis. A WHFO splint is similar to other hand wrist orthoses; however, the hand and wrist support in a WHFO device extends to the fingers and thumb of the hand.
A wrist, hand, and finger orthosis is designed to minimize the risk of loss of motion in the wrist and finger joints. The preformed functional hand splint by North Coast Medical is an example of this type of wrist brace.
How and when should I wear a wrist, hand, and finger orthosis?
A wrist, hand, and finger orthosis (WHFO) was originally designed to be worn by people who have suffered from stroke or a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, as well as those with multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. WHFOs, however, are also suitable for individuals with conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, radial nerve palsy, injury to the wrist ligaments, and for those who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Upper extremity braces and supports like WHFOs should be worn carefully to avoid irritating the joints further. Be sure to tighten the straps from the wrist first.
What types of supports improve grip strength?
Grip strength is the measure of the strength you can exert through your forearm and hand muscles when grasping. Having proper grip strength, or doing exercises to enhance grip strength, can be beneficial in many ways. For example, it can decrease the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and arthritis.
One of the best ways of improving grip strength is by using a hand grip exerciser. A hand grip will increase the clasping or crushing strength in your hand. To use it, simply squeeze the hand grip with full force, while keeping your arm straight.
There is a range of both hand grip and grip splint options available, such as the ULTRApadded™ Grip Orthosis and the Freedom Ultimate Grip Splint. It may take some experimentation to find what works best for your needs.
What causes hand contractures?
Hand contractures are caused by an abnormal thickening of the tissue layer under the skin, mostly around the base of the fingers and in the palm of the hand. This can be caused by injury or burns.
Over time, this thicker layer develops into a band or hard lump that causes the surrounding fingers to contract, curl inwards, or pull sideways. The ring and little finger are often the most affected by hand contractures.
People who suffer from arthritis and other diseases that cause joint stiffness may find themselves at a higher risk of developing hand contractures. Cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis are also risk factors for hand contractures.
How can I treat hand contractures?
Hand contractures can be treated with physical therapy. Wearing a hand contracture splint or cast can also be helpful during the treatment period. People who suffer from Dupuytren’s contractures may be able to find a specific Dupuytren’s contractures splint.
Are WHFO and resting splints the same devices?
Not quite. Resting splints are splints that provide support to the joints while at rest. They are designed to reduce pain levels and bring down inflammation in the affected area. Resting splints are used for short time periods only, while a WHFO may often be used for longer periods of time.
Which WHFO brands offer the highest quality?
Allegromedical.com offers a wide range of orthopedic supplies by some of the most trusted brands in the industry. For WHFO splints, in particular, AliMed and North Coast Medical both offer high-quality options.
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The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.