A nerve injury means that the nerve is partially or totally severed. During surgery the nerve endings are sutured together. Nerves can also sustain damage from compression. It takes a long time to heal nerve injuries, and you need to stimulate and use the hand as much as you can to achieve the best possible function. Be patient.
Training is effective
The brain is capable of change throughout life; this is referred to as neuroplasticity. This means that the regions of the brain that are emitting and receiving signals are growing bigger when we use our hands a lot, and atrophy when they are inactive. Signals from a damaged nerve are different and the brain has to interpret these. This requires a lot of sensory input. In the beginning, protective reflexes are lacking. LOOK at your hand when using it to prevent injury.
- Continue with familiar activities
- Feel various temperatures
- Use both hands
The brain integrates different sensory inputs and stores information better when we use a variety of senses.
- Different materials
- Pleasant sensation
Why are my fingers tingling?
New and unknown sensations in the hand are normal when the nerves are healing.
These are primarily positive signs of life. Nerve related pain might be a nuisance, and at times affect sleep and quality of life. Give your hand as much normal stimulation as possible. This may contribute to reducing the discomfort.
Recognising forms and materials, and identifying various objects without using sight is a very advanced skill. Engage in known activities with familiar objects. One advice is to try to recognise small objects in your pocket.
After the injury, you may develop cold intolerance. Touching objects of different temperatures, like food from the fridge, metal, sink/faucets is useful. Wearing warm gloves (preferable with two layers) will help keep you warm.
For videos on sensibility training:
Here you can find an introduction and five short videos.
Reduced function in the hand after an injury can make everyday tasks difficult. If you cannot continue in your job, and other important daily activities are becoming problematic this will undoubtedly affect you somehow. Having someone in addition to your health professionals to talk to about this is recommended.