Sensory Re-education

Following an injury where nerves have been damaged, sensory re-education is a vital aspect of the rehabilitation process. Four major areas of sensory sensibility include touch, proprioception, pain, and temperature. Sensory re-education is a multimodal process, where the cortical integration of sensory re-education is an ongoing and ever changing process.

Sensory re-education allows the hand to be a functional unit to recognise shapes, textures, pain stimuli, and modify grip force accordingly. Hyper or hypo-sensitivity may occur following injury, and sensory re-education may be targeted to one or both of these issues concurrently. If hypersensitivity occurs, then a desensitisation program is developed to gradually allow the patient to progressively tolerate more challenging stimuli.

At Hand Works Occupational Therapy, we have an array of treatment modalities to perform sensory re-education tasks. The goal of sensory re-education is to normalise sensory input, improve processing of sensory pathways to the hand, and ultimately to regain optimum hand function.

Throughout the rehabilitation process, we are also able to perform an array of sensory assessments which may be used as an outcome measure and to track nerve recovery. Some of the common sensory assessments that we use at Hand Works include the Semmes Weinstein Monofilament Test, the STI Test and the 2 point discrimination test.