Easy Home Exercises for Hand Weakness- No Equipment Required!

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapists, specializes in hands and upper extremities. If you have hand weakness, physical therapy can be beneficial to increase strength in your muscles around your forearm, hand and fingers.

Common problems that lead to hand weakness include:

  1. Stroke
  2. Fractures
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. Arthritis
  5. Extended time in a cast or sling leads to muscle atrophy (decrease in muscle mass)

A simple exercise you can do at home, once diagnosed and cleared by a doctor or physical therapist, is the towel handigrip exercise. This is an isometric exercise, meaning the muscles are activated, even though movement is limited by the towel. Isometric exercises might be more desirable for those who have limited range of motion, or if pain is associated with forming a closed fist.

Here is how you do it.

  1. Get yourself an kitchen or hand towel.
  2. Fold the towel in half, then roll it into a small cylinder like the one pictured.
  3. Grip the towel in one hand on a table top.
  4. Elbow should be close to 90 degrees, with the shoulder relaxed.
  5. Firmly squeeze the towel in your hand, holding the pressure for 5 seconds.
  6. Relax and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, twice daily.

Handigrip towel

If you experience any pain, consult your doctor or physical therapist.

By incorporating the towel handigrip into your exercise program, you can be on your way to increasing hand strength! At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we have trained therapist to assess your injuries and goals to design a physical therapy program to increase your hand strength. We come up with personalized programs for each patient to provide results in a fun, affordable, healing environment.

 

Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868

(714) 997-5518

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Is Your Smart Phone Causing You Pain???

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We live in a world of information and technology. People of all  ages and backgrounds are clicking away on a Blackberry, PDA, IPhone, Droid, or various other smart imagephones that are popping up everyday. These phones are very useful in helping us manage a calendar, surf the web, check email, text, tweet, blog, and much more. There is something no one is talking about. Using your phone too much can be a source of pain in
your thumbs, wrists, forearms, and even your neck!

Most people work on their smart phones and cell phones with their thumbs (not using their fingers at all) and in a position that’s not natural for the thumb and wrist joints. Therefore, after hours of improper positioning of the hand and wrist, it is not uncommon to feel aches and pains throughout the thumb region, with possible extensions into the wrist, forearms, and even your
neck. As a result, injuries such as “Blackberry thumb”, carpal tunnel syndrome, or elbow pain can occur. In addition, looking down for a prolonged period of time can lead to neck pain.

How can Smart Phones lead to overuse injuries?

The intention of spending 5 minutes checking your email can easily turn into an hour browsing the web on the phone for some individuals. Your thumb, wrist, and neck have been held in the same unnatural position the entire time. Before long, your thumbs have been typing in an awkward position and they start hurting. Your wrists have been bent over and tendinitis can set in. Your neck aches from looking down at your Smart Phone for a long time.

The key here: Listen to your body! If there’s any pain, STOP what you’re doing and rest!

If you’ve already started to feel the effects of excessive blackberry use, call your therapist today. At Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center, we have excellent Be Free From Pain Programs to help relieve the pain your busy life and smart phone have caused. We also have solutions that will provide
you with the knowledge to avoid Blackberry pain again!

The Aches and Pains of the Blackberry…

If you spend a lot of time on your Smart Phone, you should be aware of the signs of overuse.

image

  • In the early stages, expect general aches and pains.
  • Tightness in the muscles within and surrounding the joint
    (thumb, wrist, or neck) slowly worsen over time.
  • If not addressed, pain continues to persist and is more
    constant throughout the day.

So, what do you do to prevent any short-term or long-term injury?

  • The number one solution is REST! Rest your thumbs (after all it’s the fingers that are meant to do the typing, not your thumbs).
  • Take frequent breaks while doing a lot of texting or emailing. Your body cannot heal if it is constantly subject to the same activity. So be sure to stretch your hands and wrists frequently.
  • Give your neck a rest by looking up and bending sideways, stretching every 5-10 minutes. Ask your therapist what the best stretches are for your hands, wrists, and neck.

Our team of experts at Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center can assess your posture and ergonomics and provide you with excellent exercises as well as a demonstration of how you should use your Smart Phone without causing pain and injury.

Preventing The Woes Of The Smart Phone

If you find yourself suffering from the aches and strains after prolonged use of your Smart Phone, our qualified team of experts can help to alleviate some of the related discomfort. In addition to pain relief, we can also teach you the best way to position your thumbs, hands, wrists, and neck to prevent further injury.

Word of Caution:

Prevention is the best medicine. Here are some tips from our team:

  • Take frequent breaks – rest after every 10-15 minutes. Periodically look up, giving your neck a break from looking down
  • Hold your Smart Phone a little higher to decrease the amount of stress on the neck (so you don’t have to look down as much)
  • Write fewer and shorter messages. (This may seem impossible but it will help you.)
  • Try to keep your wrists straight when holding your Smart Phone from both sidesimage
  • Alternate typing between fingers to give your thumbs a  break
  • Make sure that you keep your hands, wrists and arms at the proper angles to prevent other injuries from developing.

Don’t hesitate to call or visit our office before your hands, wrists and neck suffer any further. By now, you probably know that a little human care and intervention from our team is exactly what you need in a increasingly technology-driven society.

Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center

1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste. 1

Orange, Orange County, CA 92868

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