Hyperaesthesia: A Study on Hand injuries

Hyperaesthesia commonly occurs in hand rehabilitation, for patients who have experienced hand injury or surgery. I found one study which was particularly interesting, using a desensitization programme in occupational therapy to treat hyperaesthesia. This paper investigated self-perceived pain/discomfort by using touch, in the sensitive skin area over a six-week desensitization programme to change the perception of the sensation of sensitivity.

There was a total of thirty-nine patients with pain or over-sensitivity near scars from hand injury or surgery who participated in this study. I believe this sample size could have been larger, as this would have given results which could be further generalised to a wider population. The participants were given directions to massage the sensitive skin area three times a day using a piece of texture until numbness occurred, which typically took 2–5 minutes. The textures changed as time went on. Using a questionnaire, sensitivity and pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale. Fortunately, the results revealed major improvements to the area of skin and reports of patient satisfaction with the results. These results highlight just how important it is to pay attention to sensory disturbances and perception changes during rehabilitation.

With further research like this study, individuals experiencing hyperaesthesia can get the help they need treating their symptoms. To read this paper, please refer to the reference below:

Göransson, I. and Cederlund, R., (2011). A study of the effect of desensitization on hyperaesthesia in the hand and upper extremity after injury or surgery. Hand Therapy16(1), pp.12-18.

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