Hand therapy exercises have abundant benefits. It can improve your overall health condition. Grip strength is imperative to increase the strength and dexterity of both hands and fingers.
All these exercises not only help to strengthen forearm muscles, but also refine forearm motor skills after a stroke, and brain injuries. Additionally, hand strengthening exercises are effective to prevent conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis to get worse. These exercises are very important for adults, younger adults, and senior citizens also.
Thus, rehab care therapists such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, and hand therapists add therapeutic hand exercises into their rehab care program and stimulate the healing process.
Hand Therapy Exercises is a comprehensive guide to strengthening and restoring. There are great range of Grip Strength Exercise Training anyway, learn a variety of exercises that can help strengthen and restore the joints and muscles in your hands.
Stretching Exercises for Stiff & Paralyzed Hands
Hands get paralyzed due to neurological injuries like cardiac arrest, and stroke. For patients with paralyzed hands, therapists recommend passive exercises in the beginning during Hand Therapy Exercises .
Passive exercise means patients need to use unaffected hands to cure affected hands through exercises. These exercises are effective to prevent muscle stiffness after spasticity. It also introduces the range of motion into the affected hands.
These simple exercises, many of them geared toward people with arthritis, can help you regain motion and strength in your hands.
The second exercise should be focusing on wrist Stretch and flexion. After nerve injury, fingers are still interlaced. So bending your hands a little more can impact your wrist and move them backwards. So wrist stretch is crucial.
For Wrist stretching, patients need to stretch their wrists for 20 seconds then release, then repeat with another side. An individual who just getting over a stroke may find these types of exercises very difficult. So we would suggest you do this exercise with low-frequency high reps.
For paralyzed hand exercise programs repetition and movements are very essential as they help the brain to rewire which is medically termed neuroplasticity, and thereby increase hand functionality.
Some Hand Therapy Exercises at Home
Pinching clothespins with each finger
It is designed to gradually improve grip strength. Here you need to take a clothespin and pinch it with five different fingers. Begin with the index finger or thumb, whichever you are comfortable with, then move on to the middle finger, ring finger, and then small finger. Here you need to make a functional “Tripod grip” using your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.
Engaging hands with board games
Engage your hands in some interesting activities is Hand Therapy Exercises . You can engage them with some play board activities like chess and checkers, so patients can practice fine motor skills. When one moves their hands with the piece, it sends a signal to the brain for scanning. This is a good exercise for decision-making, and thereby sequencing tasks.
Use a virtual piano application
Almost everyone loves to play with a virtual or real-life instrument. And hand therapists take it as a great hand therapy session because it is considered a functional activity. But everybody does not have a real-life instrument, one can download virtual piano or guitar application and play it over their mobile phone.
If a person has done with these kinds of musical instruments just before a stroke, their brain starts recapitulating the movement pattern of the hand and gradually activates the normal range of motion.
Physical therapy hand exercises
When you meet a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for restorative hand therapy, you will get the plenty number of exercises to restore your hand functionalities. Multiple options in exercise routine make the rehab care program engaging and cultivating.
In rehabilitative care, patient adherence is very essential. But single or few exercise patterns makes the whole pattern humdrum and monotonous. Therefore, patients don’t feel motivated to continue the whole session and they lack complete procurement.
Wrist bend movement
Gradually bend your wrist up and down to support your arm on a flat surface or table while hanging one hand at the edge of the table. Wrist bend movements offer enough flexibility in your forearm muscle, especially on the wrist, which is essential to improve hand movements and basic range of motion.
To get optimum output, repeat 10-15 movements.
Here you need a water bottle or soup bottle. Place one of them on the upper surface of the palm while keeping it on the table. Then do curl your fingers repetitively to hold the bottle, or bowl, then relax, It is a great workout routine for boosting strength and range of motion. Do it 10 times.
For wrist Curl, you also need a water bottle. Here you need to hold it with your affected hands. Then we need to practice bending your wrist in a consequential manner with up and down directions while keeping your elbow at a fixed position on the table.
It is more like a bicep curl specified for the wrist. Hand therapists consider this is one of the best Hand Therapy Exercises as an excellent strength-building exercise.
Grip and release
Grip and releasing an object is a high-efficiency hand therapy exercise. Here you just need a pen and a table. Practice holding the pen with your injured or affected hand and gradually move it through the table., then release. It is considered to be a whole process. Then repeat the whole process by bringing back the pen into the initial position or the other side of the table.
Hand therapy exercises are designed to strengthen the hands and restore function to the fingers, which can be compromised in many hand injuries. The goal of hand therapy is to restore function and improve the quality of life for people with decreased hand function due to a variety of conditions.
Also, you may learn Physical Hand Therapy : Treatment, Cost and Side Effects