(BPT) - We all rely on our hands to a certain extent. So what would you do if you had a medical condition that caused your fingers to bend, making everyday tasks like gripping a doorknob or shaking someone's hand difficult and awkward?
That is something all too familiar for four-time PGA TOUR winner, Tim Herron. For the last 24 years, Tim has been a professional golfer and relies on his hands to make a living.
'When a ball comes off the club face, it's the best feeling a golfer can possibly have. And the first thing that feels it is your hands,' Tim said. 'The hands are the most important part of the game.'
What many of Tim's fans don't know is that he lives with a progressive, potentially disfiguring hand condition called Dupuytren's Contracture. It affects a layer of tissue underneath the palms, and causes one or more fingers to move into a bent position. As the condition gets worse, everyday tasks can become more difficult.
'One of the fundamentals of a great golf swing is a proper grip. Having this hand condition could literally be a game-changer for me. That is why I'm encouraging people to get educated about Dupuytren's Contracture,' Tim said. Recently, Tim teamed up with Endo Pharmaceuticals on the Facts on Hand campaign to spread the word and let everyone know it's time to 'get a grip' on this condition.
Dupuytren's Contracture is a common hand condition. Yet people can live with it without being diagnosed because they mistakenly assume they have arthritis or another hand condition. Also known as 'Viking Disease', Dupuytren's Contracture can run in families, especially those of Northern European descent like Tim's.
Tim is lucky his condition has not affected his golf game. But he has seen how it can affect the people he loves. Both his sister and dad, also fellow golfers, have the condition and can no longer play competitive golf as they once did. Because of Tim's family history, he started the conversation with his doctor a few years ago.
'As we get older, our health is even more of a priority. For me, being proactive and learning about my condition is important as well as playing and enjoying my life's passion - golf,' says Tim. 'If you think you might have Dupuytren's Contracture, then it's important that you talk with a hand specialist or hand surgeon who can properly diagnose the condition.'
To learn more, visit www.FactsonHand.com.