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Finger Dexterity & Movement Post-Stroke

Question:

Hi. Would you have any tips for regaining finger dexterity and movement I have minimal spasticity in the hand and fingers I'm struggling to get the neurolink to my fingers happening again any help would be greatly appreciated.

-B.V.


Answer:

Hi Brent! I'm sorry to hear about your struggle with regaining finger dexterity and movement post-stroke. It's great that you're motivated to work on improving your hand and finger function. Here are some tips that may help:


1. Range of motion exercises: Perform gentle range of motion exercises for your fingers and hand regularly. This can include flexing and extending your fingers, making fist movements, and stretching your fingers individually.


2. Finger stretches: Use your unaffected hand to gently stretch and flex each finger of the affected hand. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat several times.


3. Hand therapy exercises: Consult with a certified hand therapist or occupational therapist who can provide you with specific exercises targeted at improving finger and hand function. They can guide you through activities that strengthen your fingers, such as squeezing therapy putty, using therapy balls, or manipulating small objects.


4. Grasp and release exercises: Practice picking up small objects, such as coins or beads, using your affected hand. Start with larger-sized objects and gradually progress to smaller ones as your dexterity improves. Click here to check out some from Saebo.


5. Finger tapping exercises: Tap your fingers individually on a table or any flat surface, starting with your unaffected hand and then mirroring the movements with your affected hand.


6. Bilateral activities: Engage in activities that involve both hands working together, such as playing a musical instrument, folding clothes, or using scissors. This can help improve coordination between your affected and unaffected hand.


6. Mirror Box Therapy:

This amazing, inexpensive innovation of mirror box therapy lies in its simplicity. The only physical components of the treatment are:

the mirror, and

the patient.

The mirror box itself isn’t always a box, but the principles remain the same among the various designs.


HOW IT WORKS:

  • The mirror is situated on a table in front of the patient, and separates the left and right upper extremities.

  • The patient places his or her hands on the appropriate side of the central mirror, with the affected limb obscured by the mirror box itself. In this way, the reflection of the exposed, unaffected hand and its movements is visually superimposed over the impaired limb.

  • As explained by authors of a recent study: “with this gambit, patients see two hands moving: their sound hand (i.e., the hand that is voluntarily moved) and the “avatar” of their impaired hand (i.e., the sound hand reflection in the mirror).” I

  • It ‘tricks’ the brain eventually into thinking the affected hand is fully functioning.Of course, CONSISTENT PRACTICE is the key!

TO PUCHASE:

  • Click here for SAEBO.

  • Or try the one from NORTH COAST MEDICAL (this is the one I use), click here.


7. Technology-assisted therapy: Consider using assistive devices or technologies specifically designed for stroke rehabilitation exercises. These may include hand exercisers, robotic devices, or virtual reality-based rehabilitation systems. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine which options might be suitable for you.

I’ve experienced some of these devices and researched others.

  • BIONESS H200: I use this for stretching, flexing, grasp/release. (This is the one I use.)



Remember, consistency and practice are key to regaining finger dexterity. Be patient with yourself and celebrate even the smallest achievements along the way. If possible, continue working with a healthcare professional who specializes in stroke rehabilitation. They can provide personalized guidance and monitor your progress.


Please note that these suggestions are not meant to substitute professional medical advice. It's important to consult with your healthcare provider or therapist before starting any new. exercises or therapies to ensure they are appropriate for your specific needs.



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