The ability to have a firm grasp on the world around us cannot be emphasized enough, but doing so without pain is even more important. Sometimes due to an injury or arthritis we can experience diminished range of motion and a higher level of pain over time. Your doctor may want you to visit with an occupational therapist in order to evaluate any loss of dexterity or strength and develop a program of exercises to regain range of motion and minimize pain. Since our hand doesn’t actually have a lot of muscle in it, most of our muscles that move our fingers and hands are in our wrists and forearms.
There are several main causes that can affect our ability to open and close our hand and grasp the world around us. Obviously any injury to our hand, wrist, or forearm area can hamper our hands ability to function properly. These injuries can come in the form of sprains or even a bite from the neighbor’s nasty dog. Strokes can lead to motor function impairment including our arms and hands. This cause requires specialized rehabilitation in order to recover proper motor function. Your occupational therapist will design a regimented therapy program that may take place at a rehab center as well as exercises for the home. Also, as we age it is common to experience rheumatoid arthritis. While this disease attacks the joints, it may also hamper your ability to use your fingers and hands properly. There is a school of thought that the more you exercise any area affected by arthritis, the more you can avoid the pain associated with arthritis. This can be achieved with a memory foam handball exerciser. Perfect for the early stages of therapy, they are color-coded for levels of resistance. Another common cause of hand/finger discomfort is carpal tunnel syndrome. This can because by an impingement in the nerve leading to the hand. While these causes may vary, many of the exercises are similar to treat any range of motion or pain issue. Try a hand and wrist exerciser to strengthen your hand and wrist area. Webmd.com identifies some exercises for hands and fingers as:
Make a Fist: By doing this exercise you can strengthen your hands and fingers while increasing range of motion, which can minimize pain.
Finger Stretch: This stretch can increase range of motion and help with pain relief.
Claw Stretch: By stretching your fingers during this stretch you can help increase your range of motion.
Grip Strengthener: This exercise can help with your ability to open door knobs and securely hold objects by squeezing a soft ball or other object.
Pinch Strengthener: Similar to the grip strengthener exercises, this can help your strength and dexterity in your fingertips in order to manipulate small objects.
Finger Lift: While pressing your palm on the table, you should lift your fingers individually in order to increase range of motion and flexibility in your fingers.
Thumb Extension: Since the thumb is our most important appendage, strengthening these muscles is important to grab and lift heavy objects.
Any therapy program is only as good as the level at which the patient is willing to adhere to. Compliance to any program is the key to success.
Depending on the cause of your hand/finger malady, there are a plethora of options available to strengthen and increase range of motion in your hands and fingers. Those looking for an exercise apparatus for their hands/fingers can opt for a finger exerciser package that allows for isolated extension of all five fingers while strengthening intrinsic/extrinsic muscles. Hand and finger exercisers can help build strength, flexibility, and coordination in the hand and forearm. Each button can be used for an individual finger or used altogether for complete hand and forearm strengthening. In order to add resistance to your therapy program, the finger weights exerciser can help with conditioning and performance. Also, a finger extension exerciser can maximize the benefits of any therapy program designed to strengthen finger extension. Simple and easy to use, it uses simple resistance to help build strength and dexterity. Something as simple as a squeeze ball can help patients regain strength in their hands. Their portability and ease-of-use make them a perfect therapy aid just about anywhere!!
There are numerous reasons we may need a therapy program to help with regaining or maintaining the strength in our hands or fingers. The good news is there are many different therapy aids to help us achieve this. Work with your occupational therapist to find which one works best for you!!