How no tie laces can aid in hand health
By: Hayley Goodman
No tie shoelaces can be a game changer in the medical community. Especially in occupational therapy. A few questions might be going through your head right now. First, you might be thinking to yourself “what the heck is occupational therapy?” You might also be thinking “what does this have to do with Caterpy?” Totally valid questions and the answer is actually pretty simple. Occupational therapists help the general population to develop, recover, or maintain meaningful activities and independence in their lives. Hand therapy is a specialization within this field and also where we see some of the most common orthopedic injuries.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm because of compression on the median nerve in the wrist. The numbness is typically in the thumb, index and middle fingers. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), carpal tunnel syndrome is prevalent in 5% of the general population and accounts for 90% of all entrapment neuropathies. As you might imagine it would be hard to have the tight grasp required for tying your shoes if you have no feeling in three out of the five fingers in your hand. So instead of awkwardly fumbling with shoelaces in the morning when you’re getting ready for work or trying to get in a run, Caterpy provides an option to just slide on your shoes and get out the door.
Trigger finger is when a tendon in the affected finger becomes inflamed, usually caused by repetitive gripping. Over time it gets stuck in a bent position more often, has to be snapped and released like a trigger, and becomes more painful. Since this condition is caused and aggravated by repetitive gripping, you could see why gripping your shoelaces tightly might not be the best idea. In fact, this could accelerate the progression of trigger finger over time, which leaves less chance for conservative treatment and a higher likelihood of surgical intervention. Plus, right now with everything that’s going on in the world, who wants to touch their dirty shoelaces anyway?
Caterpy can allow for greater independence after injury. It takes time to recover from these conditions, even with occupational therapy interventions. But honestly by the time that happens Caterpy will probably be a staple in your wardrobe.
Hayley Goodman is a third year student getting her doctorate in Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida. She likes to run, do yoga, and bike ride in her free time. She is hoping to complete her first half marathon by the end of this year.