January 21, 2019

Arthrokinetics for the Hand

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The word Arthrokinetics comes from the Greek Arthron meaning joint, and the Greek Kineticos relating to movement. It is basically a fancy way of saying joint movement.

Arthrokinetic work can be very helpful for reducing stiffness in clients with arthritis, but care must be taken that the work is gentle and pain-free. Do not work on any joints that are acutely inflamed. Acute inflammation will have signs of redness, swelling, heat, and pain.

Before doing arthrokinetic work it is important to first massage the muscles that affect the joints. If the muscles are tight then there are more compressive forces on the joints and the work will not be as effective.

To do arthrokinetic work to a joint hold the bones on either side of a joint and press them together, squeezing the joint. Hold this for up to 30 seconds. This squeezes fluid from the cartilage and joint capsule. Then traction the joint to draw fluids back in. Alternate squeezing and contraction to pump the joint. follow that with gentle twisting, flexing and extending of the joint, introducing asynchronous movement. The movement should be random so your client will not be able to anticipate the movements.

This can be done to all the joints in the hand. The same principle can be applied to other joints in the body as well.

I learned this originally from James Waslaski. I highly recommend his DVDs and workshops at www.orthomassage.net.