Vita TU, Occupational Therapist and Project Manager
Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation
The balance between flexor and extensor muscles of the fingers should be maintained, whether at rest or in motion, in order to ensure normal hand functions. Under normal circumstances, the extensor digitorum communis (EDC), intrinsic muscles, flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS), and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) should be in a balanced state. However, post-burn intrinsic tightness disrupts this balance, and the hand will end up presenting in MP flexion and IP extension.
When confronted with intrinsic tightness, strengthening the FDS, FDP, and EDC muscles can help combat the tightness of the intrinsic muscles and maintain balance between extensor and flexor muscles. In a previous post and video, we demonstrated how hook grasp training can be used to strengthen FDS and FDP muscles. In this short video, we’ll demonstrate a simple and easy-to-execute EDC muscle strengthening exercise for post-burn intrinsic tightness that promotes MP extension. You’ll also learn that not every exercise involving MP extension actually targets the EDC muscle, so the therapist needs to choose the type of exercise carefully to target the right muscles.
To learn more about the management of intrinsic tightness and other common post-burn hand deformities, check out our comprehensive online course Rehabilitation of the Burned Hand - Management of Common Hand Deformities.