Many stroke survivors suffer from spasticity in their affected hand, causing them to present with a clenched fist. Spasticity is a condition of muscle stiffness and is caused by miscommunication from the brain to the affected hand. Hand spasticity also interferes with limb positioning, grasping, self-care and other activities of daily living.
Table of contents
- The general aspects of hand spasticity
- Spasticity treatment options
- How to choose a hand rehab glove?
- Muscles appear stiff because the signals to the muscles are sent incorrectly through the damaged part of the brain.
- When a muscle is affected by spasticity, the limbs seem more stiff the faster it is moved.
- Spasticity is seen in a number of different conditions including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
- People may have difficulty moving from one position to another.
There are a few different spasticity treatment options. These treatments can be both temporary or permanent.
One temporary option would be getting a botox injection to the hand. Botox is a medication that is used to relax the muscles. Botox usually lasts about 3 months before it wears off.
2. Utilizing hand splints(orthosis)
Another way to treat spasticity is by utilizing hand splints(orthosis). If someone keeps their hand clenched all day, their muscles will start to shorten, causing them to become very tight. If the hand is in a clenched position for too long without being stretched, it can cause contractures. Contractures can be very painful and can require surgery to release them. In order to prevent contractures, it is important to stretch out the muscles. Neofect provides a variety of hand orthosis for stroke recovery according to the hand movement level.
3. Rewire pathways in the brain through Neuroplasticity
In order to treat spasticity in a more permanent way, one would have to retrain the brain in order to prevent miscommunication from the brain to the hand. Reorganization of surviving central nervous system elements supports behavioral recovery.
Stroke survivors can rewire the pathways in the brain. This process is known as Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to rewire itself even in injured areas by performing repetitive tasks and movements. Repetition helps stimulate neuroplasticity and strengthen new neural connections that are growing. The main goal of task oriented/repetitive rehab activity is to enhance neuroplasticity as well as support behavioral and functional recovery like opening the hand.
Now that you know using a hand splint or stroke recovery equipment is one of the ways to treat hand spasticity, you might be wondering which hand splint to use. Here are a few things to consider before choosing a hand splint. Refer to the image below to find the right hand splint for you.
Neofect Extender is a positioning tool for those with mind spasticity or weakness. With customizable tension straps, the extender helps reduce spasticity by encouraging the fingers into an extended open hand position. The finger strapping can also be reserved to support a secure grip while holding an object.
Neofect Extender Plus has a lightweight ergonomic design that features gliding elastic finger strapping which mimics the natural movement of the extensor tendons of the fingers. The proprietary tension system gently extends the client’s fingers and thumb following grasping. Thick industrial strength velcro allows for the tension to be adjusted for each fingers as well as the MCPs and wrist. The palm is exposed to increase breathability and ease when putting the glove on.
Neofect Finger Splint is a finger positioning tool for those who have moderate to severe hand spasticity. The splint prevents deformity and shortening of the fingers caused by spasticity.
A great way to provide a long passive stretch is by utilizing Neofect’s hand orthosis. These are functional gloves for stroke survivors that are used to minimize spasticity, maintain functional grasp as well as prevent stiffness. To find out more about the Neofect Hand Orthosis please call us at 888-623-8947 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To purchase Neofect's hand splints, visit Neofect Shop now!
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- June LeeClinical Manager / Physical Therapist