Hand Exercise for Stroke Rehabilitation
Due to the size of the area of the brain responsible for the motion of the hand, and the complexity of hand movement, it’s typical to experience hand dysfunction following a stroke. To improve your mobility and dexterity, repetition and task-based practice is the key to motor recovery. Generally, the improvement of motor function happens from proximal to distal or near the trunk, working its way outward toward the extremities. A variety of exercise sequences can assist with maintaining range of motion and improving hand function following stroke.
Workout Examples for Stroke Patients
- Stretching: Often after stroke, patients experience tone or tightness in the hand. In order to manage that tone and improve flexibility, stretching the fingers daily is important. Be careful to stretch the whole hand, taking care not to cause hyperextension of the fingers.
- Weight bearing: Depending on the scale of the recovery of paralysis and the tone or tightness experienced, weight bearing can have multiple positive effects. By placing the hand on a flat surface, weight bearing can serve as a stretch as well as an opportunity to provide input to the hand and arm, reminding the individual of its position in space.
- Working on fine motor control
- Attempt to move fingers individually. (By the way, there is a great training activity in the Smart Glove program that does just that as the user plays along to music.)
- Pick up household items and place them in a container to encourage grasp, release and reach
- Fasten buttons or other fasteners to practice manipulating small objects
Before starting a rehabilitation program at home, it is best to visit an occupational or physical therapist to provide guidance on your home rehab program. If it’s difficult to get rehabilitation in an outpatient setting on a regular enough basis, which can often be the case, Smart Rehabilitation can be a great supplement to your home program.
Neofect Smart Rehabilitation Solutions are designed to assist in the rehabilitation of neurological and musculoskeletal system disorders. Our Smart Rehab tools encourage repetition and engagement by turning the arm or hand into a controller for fun training activities to improve range of motion, coordination and timing. For more information, visit our website -www.neofect.com.
- June LeeClinical Manager / Physical Therapist