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:
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.
Hand Gripping Exercises
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:
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.