The effect of temperature on hand function in patients with tremor

C. Cooper, V. G H Evidente, J. G. Hentz, Charles Howard Adler, John Nathaniel Caviness, K. Gwinn-Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hand therapists may notice a patient's tremor when treating another diagnostic problem, such as arthritis or a fracture. In these instances, the tremor may become apparent as the patient attempts to don or doff a splint or to practice a home exercise program, or it may be reported in terms of difficulty with dressing or eating. The authors hypothesized that limb cooling would temporarily improve hand function among patients with essential tremor (ET) and that limb warming would temporarily improve hand function among patients with resting tremor secondary to Parkinson disease (PD). Twenty patients with ET and 20 patients with PD completed this single-blind randomized crossover study. Scores following exposure to cold water were compared with scores following exposure to warm water. For patients with ET, subtest scores for the Archimedes spiral, simulated feeding, and checkers were, statistically, significantly lower (i.e., improved) following exposure to cold water than following exposure to warm water; scores for Archimedes spiral, card turning, simulated feeding, and checkers were significantly lower following exposure to cold water than at baseline. Scores for Archimedes spiral and card turning were also significantly lower following exposure to warm water than at baseline. For patients with PD, no statistically significant differences were noted between treatments or from baseline except the score for small common objects, which was lower (improved) following exposure to warm water than at baseline. The significant findings from this study support the therapeutic use of cooling to temporarily decrease tremor, thereby improving hand function among patients with ET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Volume13
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Tremor
Hand
Temperature
Essential Tremor
Water
Parkinson Disease
Extremities
Secondary Parkinson Disease
Splints
Therapeutic Uses
Bandages
Cross-Over Studies
Arthritis
Eating
Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Cooper, C., Evidente, V. G. H., Hentz, J. G., Adler, C. H., Caviness, J. N., & Gwinn-Hardy, K. (2000). The effect of temperature on hand function in patients with tremor. Journal of Hand Therapy, 13(4), 276-288.

The effect of temperature on hand function in patients with tremor. / Cooper, C.; Evidente, V. G H; Hentz, J. G.; Adler, Charles Howard; Caviness, John Nathaniel; Gwinn-Hardy, K.

In: Journal of Hand Therapy, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2000, p. 276-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cooper, C, Evidente, VGH, Hentz, JG, Adler, CH, Caviness, JN & Gwinn-Hardy, K 2000, 'The effect of temperature on hand function in patients with tremor', Journal of Hand Therapy, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 276-288.
Cooper, C. ; Evidente, V. G H ; Hentz, J. G. ; Adler, Charles Howard ; Caviness, John Nathaniel ; Gwinn-Hardy, K. / The effect of temperature on hand function in patients with tremor. In: Journal of Hand Therapy. 2000 ; Vol. 13, No. 4. pp. 276-288.
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