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Sensory & Desensitization Kit
There are nearly 45 miles of nerves running through our bodies. The human hand contains about 100,000 nerves, of at least 20 different kinds and each fingertip has about 3,000 nerve receptors, primarily for pressure. Normal sensation in the hand involves: thousands of specialized nerve receptors, communicating on many miles of nerves which carry information to the brain.
Individual nerve receptors collect only the type of information they are designed to gather. For example, to pick up information about light touch from the world, Merkel cells have to be functioning and communicating with our nervous system. In the epidermis, the Pacinian corpuscles register deep pressure/vibration, and deeper in the dermis the Ruffini endings tell us when there is a stretch or pull. And these are just a few examples of specialized nerve endings found in our bodies.
Our nervous system is incredible and complicated. When we have an injury to our soft tissue, like a laceration or amputation, many structures of the nervous system lose function until healing occurs.
During the healing process, there are three distinct phases: inflammatory, proliferative, and remodeling. The inflammatory phase is characterized by swelling and removal of damaged cells, pathogens, and bacteria. Rebuilding the wound with collagen and extracellular matrix occurs next, and this proliferative phase results in the creation of many new nerve tissues, scar tissues, and blood vessels. These new bridges between injured tissues may result in hypersensitivity, irritation, and pain.
The good news is during the final remodeling phase, it can all start to change. This phase begins about 21 days after injury and can last for many months. This is when the body ‘remodels’ the newly formed nerves, scar, and blood vessel tissue.
Now, you need a Sensory & Desensitization Kit.
A Sensory & Desensitization Kit is a collection of various mediums used to help retrain the nervous system in healing tissue after wound closure. Hand therapy clinics frequently use and recommend these kits, and they can be a simple tool to add to your home exercise plan.
If you need formal evaluation, please schedule an appointment with a local occupational/hand therapist. Our Customer Care team can also help you find an experienced therapist.
Here at Naked Prosthetics, we have put together a fun, effective program as an example to help you develop your own desensitization kit to address hypersensitivity.
- Ensure you have reached the appropriate healing stage to begin this process. Consult with a therapist if needed.
- Consider what causes you atypical discomfort. Is it fabric? Vibration? Temperature changes? Your watch band?
- Start to develop a list of items which you can use to retrain the nervous system.
- Types of fabric – soft to coarse
- Various mediums like rice, beans, unpopped corn, soft to coarse
- Vibration tools such as a hand massager or electronic toothbrush
Kinetic sand is one of Naked Prosthetics’ favorite mediums to start sensory desensitization. Consider hiding buttons or marbles in a large container of this soft, pliable texture and see how quickly you can find and pull them out! If you have family members who will help you participate in this program, invite them to join you!
Our Sensory Kit includes:
- Kinetic sand
- Large and small marbles
- Large and small buttons
- Rice and beans
- Oatmeal and lentils
- Fish rock and popcorn
- Fancy sprinkles with texture differences
- Varying types of fabric like cotton, microfiber, denim or velvet
- Sensory brushes
- Hand massager / deep vibration
We hope that you will reach out to us with feedback or questions about this Sensory and Desensitization Kit! If you have other tricks or tips you’d like to share, we would always enjoy hearing them.
Contact our Customer Care team!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 360-915-9724 | Toll-free: 888-977-6693