What exactly is a contracture?

A contracture is a restriction in the range of motion of a joint. In some cases, you may experience discomfort when moving or completely extending the joint.

People who have a contracture usually have changes in the skin and other parts of the body that surround the joint. These changes can be caused by injury, infection, or disease.

Limbs locked together for lengthy periods of time in this way causes shear, friction, moisture, and heat which are all contributory factors for inflammation followed quickly by pressure ulcers.

The use of low-profile flat silicone gel pads sandwiched between the locked limbs provides an essential layer of cushioning and comfort which mimics the consistency of human fat tissue and prevents or helps heal pressure injuries.

What causes a contracture?

It is caused by disorders that limit or inhibit mobility, impair muscle tone, or create a weakness that results in contractures. A contracture can be caused by any of the factors listed below:

  • Muscle, bone, and joint injuries
  • Scarring after traumatic injury or burns
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Inactivity for an extended length of time
  • Arthritis or an infection of the joints
  • Motor neurone disease (MND)
  • cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Muscular Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

What is the procedure for diagnosing a contracture?

As well as understanding wider contributory conditions causing the contracture, a thorough examination of the afflicted limb includes a check of the joint’s range of motion and movement.  It may be necessary to take X-rays in order to determine the source of the contracture.

What is the treatment for a contracture?

The treatment for the contracture is determined on the aetiology of the contracture and  may require one or more of the following:

  • It is possible that physical treatment will be recommended. A physical therapist will prescribe exercises that will help improve mobility and strength while also decreasing
  • Heat treatment using, for example, ultrasonography can be used to reduce pain and stiffness in the body. Heat treatment and stretching exercises can be utilised in conjunction with one another.
  • A support device, such as a splint, cast, or brace, can also be used to maintain the stretched posture of a contracture. Once every 2 to 3 days, the device should be withdrawn in order for the contracture to be stretched once again. Once again, the assistance device will be used.
  • Flat Silicone Gel pressure relief pads can also be used to place between contractures where limbs are locked together for an extended period of time. They not only help prevent pressure sores, but they can also eliminate moisture, help keep the user cool, and they’re low profile, meaning posture shouldn’t be affected by this treatment.

Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, skin integrity preservation, and improved posture are all benefits of the Gel Ovations product line, which are utilised across the healthcare sector.

  • Pain and spasm-relieving medications may be administered.
  • Surgery may be used to cut and lengthen tendons or ligaments that are too short or too tight to move freely. It is also possible to have joint replacement surgery.

What can prevent a contracture from arising?

A splint or other device may be employed to keep the limb in the correct position and posture.

Contractures can be prevented by engaging in regular mobility, range of motion, and stretching activities. They can aid in the preservation of joint flexibility, the reduction of discomfort, and the improvement of balance and strength.

Having pain management after an injury or surgery might make it easier to perform the range of motion exercises that the healthcare practitioner has advised.

In the aftermath of an injury or surgery, pain may keep patients from moving an afflicted joint on a regular basis, leading to a contracture.

To view Gel Ovations Flat Gel Pads for treating contractures please click here