Do you or someone you know suffer with lack of grip, painful or even swollen hands? Did you know that hand therapy could actually help return a good level of mobility back to you?
Today, we’d like to dive a little deeper into what hand therapy is, how and who it can help.
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is a form of rehabilitation for those who may have limited or reduced mobility in their hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. It’s a non-surgical form of therapy where techniques from:
- Occupational Therapy – splinting, scar management and advice on daily living and aids
- Physiotherapy – stretching, active/resisted exercise, joint mobilizations etc.
combine together to help in the emotional and psychological support as well as with the restoration of hand function.
Who Can it Help?
A hand therapist would treat any patients who need specific help with their hand or upper limbs. Their main function it to help all patients return or regain their productive lifestyle.
The majority of patients in hand therapy will likely have difficulty with pain, function or the aesthetic appearance of the hand due to injury, surgery, acquired condition or disease
Patients treated would include those with:
- Hand Pain
- Nerve Injuries
- Wrist/finger/thumb instabilities etc.
Techniques you Might Recognize
Make a Fist:
Within hand therapy, you may be asked to make fist over and over again. This is asked because exercises like this can help you strengthen your hands and fingers. Making a fist will help to increase your range of motion and potentially give you pain relief.
As a good form of pain relief, you may be asked to do the ‘finger stretch‘. This is where you place your hand palm-down on a flat surface and gently straighten your fingers as flat as you can against the surface (without forcing your joints). You hold this position for 30-60seconds and repeat 2-3 times per hand.
This will help to improve the range of motion in your fingers. It’s exactly as the name says – stretch your claws. Hold out your hand, palm down and bend your fingertips down to the base (where your knuckles are on your hand). It will look like a little claw. How this for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3-4 times per hand.
Doing this exercise can make it easier to hold things, turn on taps and open doors. It’s where your hand therapist will make you hold a soft ball in the palm of your hand and ask you to squeeze it as hard as you can. You will need to hold this position for a about 10 seconds and then release.
Do this 10 to 15 times per hand and it will help.
There are many exercises and activities you will encounter in hand therapy and they will help you regain motion and independence. One thing we know for sure that will help with that and give you some confidence in the kitchen, is our Uccello Kettle. Learn more about our kettle here and how you never need worry about lifting, balancing or straining yourself with a hot kettle again.