Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Use your hand. Now.

Even if you can't open your “bad” hand, you should use it. 

You can release your hand by using the “good” hand to bend the “bad” wrist. This maneuver typically opens the fingers. Once the fingers are open you can use the hand to stabilize, grasp, and even exercise. Grasping objects is, generally speaking, good for the hemiparetic hand. Squeezing objects, as well, is good for the hemiparetic hand.

One way you can quickly get the hand back in the game is using gripping aids. One company that makes a gripping aid that is very easy to use is Active Hands. (Full disclosure, Active Hands a sponsor of this blog).

Using a gripping aid has two immediate benefits after stroke:

  1. The “bad” hand can be used to augment your available grip to make gripping safer. The gripping aids would be just that; and aid. As much as you can, use the grasp you have to hold items. But the gripping aid can support your active grasp adding safety and functionality to the grasp.
  2. The hand, now “in the game” with the gripping aid, will now use the rest of the arm (shoulder, elbow, forearm rotation). In this way, the rest of the arm is used, which is good for recovery of the rest of the arm. The primary reason for the existence of the arm is to get the hand to where it needs to be, so a (a-HEM!) active hand leads to an active arm. And an active arm is one that is likely to recover.


oc1dean said...

I love this idea, it will allow me to use dumbbells safely although I don't think I'll use this to fasten my hand to the bike handlebar. This would really be useful in keeping your hand on the rowing wheelchair handles.

Peter G Levine said...

Thanks Dean!

dejavu - El Cometa Halley said...

Hello Peter. Even though I have linked your blog to mine, I have never posted here. I got a stroke on june 2009 and until now, the only exercises I did with my "bad" hand have been passive ones.
So,thank you very much for this information.
Best regards,

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