Hand Gripping Exercises in Occupational Therapy

Hand Gripping Exercises in Occupational Therapy

Hand Gripping Exercises in Occupational Therapy. Just as it can help prevent diseases, hand gripping exercises are also vital in the recovery of people stroke patients. The motor skills are what is usually affected when a person experiences a stroke. In order for them to regain control, hand exercises are implemented in their therapy.

Hand therapy is a mix of occupational and physical therapy that is used to help rehabilitate the hands, fingers, and wrist. An injury or a stroke attack using grippers, balls, bands, and weight bars, can also be used to help children develop their fine motor skills. The therapist may be able to help you with these activities in order to improve your hand strength.

Here are some hand strengthening exercises your occupational therapist may employ:

  • Stretching exercises

These exercises are designed for warm up and to help the muscles in your hand prevent stiffening and improve your hand’s ability to move effectively without any problems.

  • Flexion and Extension on the Wrist

With your affected hand rested on top of a flat surface (i.e. on top of an armchair or table) with palms down, bend your wrist by slowly moving your hands up and down. Repeat the same thing with the palm of your hands facing up.

  • Flexion and Extension of the Thumb

Start this stretch with your palms open such that the fingers on your hands will be far apart. Slowly bring your thumb to the base of your pinky finger as if you’re making the number 4 gesture with your hand then bring your thumb back to the original position.

When the muscles in your hands have warmed up, your therapist might decide to move the therapy to the exercise proper. Here are the hand gripping exercises that are usually employed:

  • Therapy Balls

Usually used when the patient is still on the early stages of developing or regaining hand strength. These are also the cheapest hand rehabilitation method after a stroke. The balls come in different firmness and sizes so that your hands will constantly be kept on being challenged thereby speeding up your recovery.

There are different ways to exercise using therapy balls. Your therapist may require you to perform a power grip where you squeeze a ball as tightly as you can and focusing on pressing your fingers on the ball. Another way is by squeezing the ball between any two fingers on your hands.

The best way to increase hand strength is through hand grippers. This compact, lever-type devise is designed to increase the patient’s endurance, strength, and even dexterity. This is especially important for a recovering stroke patient. Performing normal tasks such as carrying groceries, opening the door, or carrying a bag.

Using this equipment is easy. You simply have to grab both sides and start squeezing it as hard as you can. Its strength level is adjustable which makes it a perfect tool for stroke patients to slowly develop their hand grip strength.

Your hands are simply one of the most used parts in your body. Bouncing back to your normal daily life after a stroke attack is vital. While this list of exercise methods can help, checking in with your occupational or physical therapist. It is still important to make sure that you’re on the right track.

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Grip Strength as an Indicator of Heart Health

Grip Strength as an Indicator of Heart Health

Grip Strength as an Indicator of Heart Health. Did you know that a strong grip doesn’t just mean a firm handshake. But it could also be a good indicator of a person’s heart health?

Aside from that, it has also been reported that the strength of one’s grip could predict a person’s chance of experiencing or dying from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In fact, various researches have proven this fact to be true.

Two separate but related types of research have reported.  That a person’s grip could be a great indicator of current cardiovascular condition. One study reported that a significant increase in grip strength. Could lower the chances of a person dying from a heart attack. Another research has also claimed that stronger grips could contribute to the heart’s ability to pump more blood into the body.

Let’s dig in deeper into these two types of research.

The Connection Between Hand Strength and Cardiovascular Health

A research published by The Lancet looked at the relationship between grip strength and heart health. Among adults from 17 countries aged 35-70 as a part of Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study. They used a device called dynamometer to measure a person’s grip strength. It recorded any changes in the person’s health within a span of 4 years.

Their results showed that a 5-kilogram decrease in a person’s hand strength was associated with the following:
  • An increased 16% chance of dying from any diseases;
  • A 17% chance of dying from a heart disease;
  • 7% increase in their chances of experiencing heart attack; and
  • 9% increased the risk of experiencing a stroke.

Even when the researchers considered risk factors such as age, lifestyle, and other contributing factors, they still found hand grip strength to be a strong indicator of heart health.

They also found out that grip strength was actually a better indicator of cardiovascular functioning than blood pressure. However, the researchers suggested looking more into the relationship between the two brings us to the next research.

Grip Strength and a Healthier Heart Functioning and Structure

To investigate the link between grip strength and heart functioning. The grip strength of 5,065 participants with no history or underlying heart problems was measured using a hydraulic machine. Where they were instructed to squeeze a handle as hard as they can. Researchers Sebastian Beyer and Steffen Peterson studied the MRI of the participants along with the data they obtained from the hydraulic machine.

The study revealed that people with stronger grips were associated with better heart functioning. Since their hearts were able to pump more blood into the body despite having a lower heart mass. This finding, in turn, indicated that the heart muscles are less likely to experience remodeling. Which happens during hypertension or heart attacks. This was a breakthrough for the study since it gave a better understanding of the connection between the hand grip and heart structure, which was not known previously.

In Conclusion

With the researches to prove it, there is no doubt that there is a strong correlation between grip strength and cardiovascular health. You don’t have to limit doing your hand strengthening exercises at the gym.  Even when you’re at home watching television, you can do some hand strengthening exercises by using hand grippers or by squeezing tennis or rubber balls.

But of course, developing stronger grips wouldn’t be as effective without giving your muscles proper nutrition. Make sure to eat healthier and avoid eating unhealthy foods as much as possible. And finally, remember that a healthy, strong grip means a healthy heart.

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The Benefits of Hand Strengthening Exercises According to Research

The Benefits of Hand Strengthening According to Research

The Benefits of Hand Strengthening Exercises According to Research. Being healthy is probably the topmost priority for most people. In this modern age, we all know how important it is for us to maintain a healthy body to prevent diseases such as heart attack or stroke. For some, it means going regularly to the gym and doing some resistance workout but to others, simple hand strengthening exercises will do the trick.

A lot of people may not know this, but having a good grip can actually have a lot of benefits. For instance, hand strengthening exercises are extremely important for rock climbers in order for them to develop their grip and maintain their hold. For stroke survivors, these types of exercises are essential for them to regain their fine motor skills.

Aside from these, developing a strong grip could have other wonderful benefits. Let’s explore some of them below:

 1. Lowers the Risk of Heart Attacks and Stroke

Growing old is inevitable. The older the person gets, the more likely it is for him/her to experience stroke or suffer from cardiovascular diseases. And as nature would have it, their muscle mass would slowly start to decline as well.

A study published in The Lancet in July 2015 assessed the hand strength of 140,000 adults from ages 35 to 70. The results showed that a 5-kg decline in grip strength was associated with 17% increased risk of dying from a heart attack. 7% risk of having a heart attack and a 9% risk of experiencing stroke. They then concluded that stronger grips were associated with more muscle mass. The more muscle mass a person has, the less likely it is for him/her to experience heart diseases or stroke.

2. Improves Mobility

Did you know that your grip could also predict your mobility in your golden years? In fact, a study published by Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences established a connection between grip strength and mobility. The results showed that men who have weaker grips (less than 26 kg). Are more likely to face issues relating to mobility in the future compared to men who have normal strength grips.

3. Improved Quality of Life

Stronger grips are also associated with an improved quality of life especially at an older age. A study in 1999 concluded that among older people. Hand grips are a great indicator of functional limitations in later life. They also added that having good muscle strength is a great way to avoid any old age disabilities in the future.

Another study published by Oxford Academic in 2010 showed that people over 85 with weak hand grips. Are more likely to experience faster cognitive decline.

Hand strengthening exercises is usually the type of exercise most people often overlook. They think it’s a complete waste of time and effort. To perform an exercise that would only affect less than 5% of the body when in truth, it’s just as important as any other workouts.

The ones listed above are just some of the many advantages of having a strong grip. Although it’s just a small part of our body. Having a good grip could be actually be beneficial to a person – athlete or not – in a lot of ways. If it isn’t part of your exercise program yet, it might be a good idea to start incorporating it now.


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How to lower the blood pressure with Hand Gripping Exercises

How to Lower The Blood Pressure with Hand Gripping Exercises?

How to lower the blood pressure with Hand Gripping Exercises? We know that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a warning sign of heart attack, stroke, vision problems and other cardiovascular dysfunction.

Blood pressure varies continuously throughout the day in accordance with our physical activities. Morning hypertension is quite common, which is, for some people, their blood pressure may be too high in the morning.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower the blood pressure. Doing simple hand-grip exercises like squeezing the grippers with a resistance spring.

Squeezing the egg-shaped ball along with your daily routine workout session, helps lower your blood pressure considerably. Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries.

Our Biel Fit hand grip strengthener kits contain everything you need for your regular exercises – Adjustable Hand Strengtheners, Finger Exercisers, Finger Resistance Bands and Gel Balls.

Do you exercise regularly?

A normal blood pressure reading should be less than 135/85 mm Hg. Researchers found that gripping exercises can give you more impressive results in lowering the blood pressure in the short term. When compared to all other exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, dancing, climbing stairs etc., Monitor your progress by logging all your blood pressure readings with a home blood pressure monitor. With proper cuff size that matches the distance around your upper arm.

Unlike other exercises, the hand grip strengtheners are easy to carry, so you can do hand and finger exercises whenever possible. Since no one has to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, you can split your timings in a whole day interval and no need to do it at a stretch.

Who is in the high-risk zone?

As we age, we will become more vulnerable to high blood pressure. Two-thirds of people older than 60 years are in their risk zone.  Because of the food habits, emotional stress and health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol level or obesity, some middle-aged people are also included in this risk zone.

What are the Symptoms?

Often, high blood pressure has no symptoms at all and even if they knew. Some may forget or don’t consider it as a big deal.

Never fail to contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as severe headache, chest pain, and numbness or tingling in your face or arms.

So regular exercise with prescribed medications, proper diet and hydration of the body will do the best job. “Prevention is better than cure”, so normal people also should follow an exercise routine every day. Use hand grip strengtheners in addition to their regular exercise.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptons. Do you notice that your fingers become numb at night? Do you wake up with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run all the way to your shoulder?

If the symptoms continue, it may be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). If it is not treated in the early stage, you may lose the hand grip totally. Your hand muscles will get shrink and the worst part is, it induces deep muscle pain and eventually you may have to undergo surgery.

What are the Causes?

CTS is painful and disruptive to your daily life. Repetitive motions of the wrist that you do over and over. Especially when your wrist is above your fingers, you will become vulnerable to CTS. Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypothyroidism, Obesity and Diabetes have more chance of getting CTS.

Hand Grip Strengthener for CTS Cure

Early diagnosis plays a key role because we can get better easily and prevent permanent nerve damage.
Hand Grip Strengthening exercises are most effective when you combine with other treatments, such as change of work routine and simple medications, for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome.

You need to have a break from your daily routine of work, that involves a repetitive movement of hands.

Because mild wrist exercising with a grip strengthener will help the median nerve movement around the carpal tunnel. This exercise may be particularly effective if your CTS is caused by inflammatory conditions, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis to relieve pressure from the nerve. With our portable, easy to carry strengthener kit that fits in your handbag, work bag or even pocket. So you can do quick wrist exercises while you’re standing in line at the grocery store, driving or sitting at your desk at work.

Wrist exercises increase flexibility and help lower the risk of injury. Stretches using mild hand stretcher acts as a preventive measure or to ease the slight pain. You can minimize or even avoid pain by doing these simple workouts.

In addition to the workouts, applying cold packs, taking frequent breaks, splinting your wrist at night can give you relief from the symptoms and muscle pain and will ease the hand and wrist movements.

For Nerve Relaxation After Surgery

If an early prediction is not done, then exercise with a hand grip strengthener after surgery for carpal tunnel to prevent nerve scarring. The range-of-motion produced during the exercises like nerve-gliding exercises might help heal significant trauma to the wrist.

Before attempting any exercise, consult your doctor to take which kind of exercise that suits you best for the improvement in hand grip strength. No need to wait until you get severe CTS, if your work involves hours of repeated movement of the wrists and fingers, get our Hand Grip Strengthener kit and work out on the daily basis. After all, we know that “Prevention is better than cure”.

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How to Manage Arthritis

How to Manage Arthritis. Life is beautiful, but no matter what you do, it will take its toll. Physically, mentally, or emotionally, it will take a part of you away. I have seen countless individuals live a great and fantastic life, but in the end, they all end up the same, either in a wheelchair or in a nursing home, and for me, this is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a person.

Not being able to take care of yourself is probably one of the most unwanted situations in the world. Picture this, even the smallest tasks will be a painful journey, something as simple as opening a can of soda or pulling the living room blinds open, ridiculous right? What must you do you ask? Simple. Take care of yourself by making yourself stronger. And when you do that, your worries will go out the window.

Like me for example. I have arthritis and it affects mostly my hands. It isn’t life-threatening, but it is life-consuming. At first, it was a real struggle, but when I realized the benefits of using hand strengtheners, all my pain just went away.

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes pain in the joints and weakens them. It affects a lot of people who are aging and does not choose who to affect. And the thing is, most people who are stricken by this disease complain a lot about their hands. This goes to show that the only way to prevent or manage this is by making your hand joints strong. And with the use of handgrip strengtheners, you will have the following benefits:

1. Increased Hand Endurance

Regular use of hand grip strengtheners increases the blood flow to your hands, making it more durable. Blood carries oxygen to the muscles and joints, and you need good old O2 to refuel. Think of it as a training for a marathon. You need to increase your stamina in order to run that extra mile, right? It is the same with your hands.

2. Noticeable improvement | Hand Strength

Hand grip strengtheners greatly improve the strength of your hands because it’s like lifting weights but focuses more on your grip. Now for elderly people with arthritis, this is definitely a game changer since the disease itself decreases the ability of the hands to grip things tightly and securely, well with hand strengtheners, this won’t be a problem anymore.

3. Improvement of Dexterity

This is definitely good for musicians or for those people who do a lot of work with their hands because it greatly increases the independence of each finger, making it more precise and useful.

4. Manages pain greatly

Lastly, hand grip strengtheners help in managing pain because it exercises the hands, causing more oxygen to flow and repair or refuel tired muscles, tissues, joints, and tendons. Medicines are still applicable, but with these tools, you can greatly expect a decrease in pain in no time.

We can only do what is best until our time comes. So, when we have to walk the talk, let us all remember that we are given the intelligence not only to take care of others but also of ourselves.

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