This condition, named after the French surgeon who put it into the medical books at the turn of the 19th century, is a painless contracture of tendon or tendons in the palm of the hand. This causes the fingers to curl inwards and creates an inability to fully extend them. It occurs most commonly in the third and fourth fingers, chiefly in adult males, and there is no known cause as far as Western medicine is concerned. The acupuncture energy meridians point out that the tendons most commonly affected are those of the heart, pericardium or sexual function and the triple heater . These meridians or energy channels are most affected by heat, such as created by excess adrenaline or stress and by smoking and by emotional upsets. As Dupuytren’s contracture can often take years to form, I have often found it to be associated with long-standing suppression of emotion in smokers.


In the early stages, assessment and change of emotional deficiencies may stop the progress.

Gentle massage three times a day with Arnica creams may prevent further deterioration and may even alleviate the problem.

Osteopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture and Shiatsu techniques may all stretch the tendon and prevent worsening, if not actually improve the situation.

If the fingers are becoming useless then an operative procedure, best performed by plastic surgeons or orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in hands, is an effective technique that may solve the problem for several years, but it can recur. condition and need to be ruled out by a physician.

The problem occurs because of an autoimmune attack on certain receptors in the muscles, which prevents the nerves from transmitting their orders.


Homeopathic constitutional remedies may be chosen by an experienced homeopathic practitioner. The remedies Natrum muriaticum and Silica may be of marked benefit.

See Nerve injury and use the supplements recommended there; see Autoimmune disease.

Acupuncture may be beneficial.

Tibetan medicine, much geared towards energy flow through the nervous system, may have some answers.