Clinical & Experimental Dermatology and Therapies (ISSN: 2575-8268)

research article

Short Term Sensory and Cutaneous Vascular Responses to Hand Exercise

Shaguftha S Shaik1, Joy C. MacDermid1,2,3, Trevor Birmingham1,4, Ruby Grewal2,5

1Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Physical Therapy Field, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

2Clinical Co-director, Hand and Upper Limb Centre, Clinical Research Laboratory, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, London, Ontario, Canada

3School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

4Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Physical Therapy, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

5Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care, Division of Orthopedics, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada 

*Corresponding author: Shaguftha S Shaik, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Physical Therapy Field, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 1H, Tel: +1 519-661-2111; Email: drshagufthacppt@gmail.com,

Received Date: 28 August, 2016; Accepted Date: 15 August, 2016; Published Date: 21 August, 2016

Study Design: Randomized Cross-over, repeated measures, pretest post-test design.

Objective: To determine the normal short term impact of two different intensities of hand exercises (high and low) on sensory and vascular functions.

Background: Hand exercise is used for a variety of clinical conditions. There is scarcity of literature on the normal effects of different intensities of hand grip exercise on sensory and vascular function.

Methods: Twenty healthy volunteers aged 18 to 50 yrs. (Mean age: 29.6 ± 8.83 yrs.) were recruited for the study. Superficial palmar blood flow (sbf) in the hands was determined using Tissue viability imager. Sensory perception thresholds (sPT) for ulnar and median nerves were determined using the Neurometer, from ring fingers to assess A beta (Aβ at 2000 Hz) and C fibre (at 5Hz) function. The trial included 3 conditions: no exercise or rest, high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. Subject’s two hands were randomly allocated to one of the two group sequences (AB or BA). Scores were obtained before and immediately after the hand exercises and rest. Differences were analyzed using general linear models (repeated measures).

Results: Neither of the exercises had a significant effect on sbf or sPT at 2000Hz and 5Hz as there were no differences over time (p>0.05); nor was there a condition and time interaction (p>0.05). Similar results were found for rest (p>0.05). Age and gender also had no significant effect on either measures (p>0.05).

Conclusion: This study found a lack of short term physiological changes in sbf and sPT of Aβ and C fibres following brief low intensity and high intensity hand grip exercise. The exercises may not have elicited cutaneous thermoregulatory responses (change in internal tissue temperature), but perhaps the non-thermoregulatory responses might have led to the observed findings.

Level of evidence: Therapy; Level 2b

Keywords: Skin; Blood flow; Sensory perception threshold; Palm; Dynamic hand exercise


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