Join the American Occupational Therapy Association’s April 2009 celebration. Occupational Therapy Month month is right around the corner.
Occupational Therapy intervention is one of the most promising, results-oriented job-savers a person can experience within a lifetime. A healthy, healing intervention saves jobs, restores hope, a worker’s self-confidence and self-esteem. This story is about the loss of hand movement, and the positive results of an OT intervention.
Losing the function of a hand can be devastating, especially when the hand is needed to work at the computer all day. Finding a new job is not easy and almost impossible in today’s economic situation. Rehabilitating an injury is a lot of work. Of the two choices, we choose rehabilitation. The alternative of not holding a job isn’t an option.
The loss of the use of a person’s computer mouse hand due to arthritis and poor circulation can make everyday computer tasks painful and dreadful. The pain from a sick computer mouse hand causes the hand to cramp, freeze and fingers become numb. Pills aren’t always the solution and aren’t an attractive idea. The only relief is not working, and it is not a suggested option.
Most occupational interventions rely upon ingenuity and creativity. For our computer mouse hand injury, we relied upon a mouse hand warmer blanket pouch to hold the computer mouse and mouse pad. The blanket is made of fleece and covers the computer user’s hand completely creating a warm house for the mouse and mouse pad. We inserted inside the mouse hand warmer blanket pouch an USB heated mouse and USB heated mouse pad to generate heat inside the blanket pouch housing.
The USB heated devices are designed with a carbon fiber. Carbon fiber generates infrared heat. Infrared heat is healing. The sun is an example of the natural source of infrared heat. The Eastern Medical profession has been using the healing effects of infrared heat for thousands of centuries. The Western world is starting to catch on to the healing effects of infrared heat through infrared saunas and now occupational computer devices.
It is documented proof by therapists and physicians worldwide, 20-30 minutes per day of infrared heat has healing effects on an injury, in this case, of the hand. I conducted a 4 week study using a mouse hand warmer blanket, an infrared heated mouse and infrared heated mouse pad with a person who suffers with arthritis and poor circulation of the computer mouse hand. After three weeks of 30 minutes of daily use, the right hand is healed. There’s no cold, cramp, pain or discomfort in the person’s right mouse hand.
The use of the hand for computer related work is not going to fade or go away soon. As a matter of fact, the occupational related hand injuries will increase based on the continued widespread computer use activity. The first computer mouse turned 40 years old in 2008, and introducing the healing effects of infrared heated computer mouse and mouse pad is being made in 2009. We’ve come a long way, and we have a long road ahead.