Hand Therapy exercises help with Range of Motion, pronation, supination, and many other things. For those of us that are in therapy we know the importance of not letting our joints stiffen, and this particular hand and wrist exerciser is one that has helped me quite a bit. My injury was a complex one and therapy is taking a long time, but this Power Web exerciser helped me improve the range of motion of my shoulder as well as flexation of my fingers.
Benefits of Hand Therapy Exercises with the Power Web Combo:
- Works with all hand sizes.
- 4 different choices of strength levels, 2 on each of these hand therapy web tools.
- The Power Web Combo is specifically designed to help strengthen the forearm, wrist, fingers, and even the ankle. I have been using mine to improve the range of motion (ROM) of my elbow and shoulder, as well as my fingers.
- A list of hand therapy exercises comes with the Power Web, and you can use these or make up new ones as I did.
I have the yellow and green one, and mostly just use the yellow part. Besides using this to help improve my wrist and fingers I found out it was perfect for my partially frozen shoulder. I needed something that was the size of a steering wheel, and round, to help me improve my ROM in my shoulder and flexation of my elbow. I would hold it with both hands and raise it as high as I could, then hold it for a count of 10, working my way to minutes. These exercises were done to prepare me for being able to drive again. It’s sort of impossible to hold the steering wheel if you can’t get your arm to extend, or turn!
Another way I use my Power Web is just holding it in my injured hand, and swing it back and forth as I walk. This has helped keep my elbow extended, and has helped with improving flexation. Unfortunately with my injury supination hasn’t improved, but everyone is different as are our injuries.
Hand Therapy Exercises to Do Independent of PT or OT:
I go to Occupational Therapy (OT) 3 times a week. It’s a hand clinic and they have all sorts of things to help people improve function. A few of them can be easily modified, and here’s my list of hand exercises that can easily be done at home without having to buy special tools/toys.
- Get a dishpan and fill it with cut-up pieces of foam, different sizes– This was one of my initial therapies; being able to reach into the tub and pick-up one of the pieces of foam and squeeze it.
- Hand Therapy exercises for Supination– this is the ability to turn your hand over, palm up. Unless you have this problem you might not realize how often you need to turn your hand. Opening a door, holding dishes, ability to turn your hand at a store to receive change from a cashier, or turn the steering wheel in a car are just a few of the things that are either impossible or very challenging.At home you can practice with the Power-web above, and/or you can do a couple of things. Stand by a door and turn the door knob several times a day. At first you might not be able to do it well, or only for a short time, but eventually you will be able to turn the knob without having to use your shoulder. Just use your wrist and hand.
- Another exercise for the hand, wrist, and elbow is bike pedaling– Think of pedaling a bike. If you have an old bike at home you could turn it upside down and pedal with your hands, or you could even just do the motion. Extend your forearms in front of you and try to hold them there for 5 minutes at a time while you improvise the motion of pedaling. You will feel some stretching, but you don’t want to feel pain!
- Hand Therapy Exercise balls– Squeezing small balls designed to increase grip strength as well as improve mobility and dexterity. I keep mine in my pocket and squeeze it while riding in the car, watching TV, or when I am sitting around. Be very careful as many of the ones sold in Sporting Good stores are too difficult for anyone that has a recent hand injury, stroke or arthritis. I also took this ball and made up my own hand exercise; one that worked on my ROM of my shoulder and grip strength. Modifying your exercises, with approval/support from your doctor can really help you improve your recovery. I found it boring to keep lifting plastic cups and moving them around, so I put my exercise ball into one of the cups, and tried to lift the cup, then dump the ball into the next cup, continuing this for all the cups. Depending on pain level, grip strength, forearm extension, etc. the cups can be placed closer or further away on the table.
The hand therapy exercise balls I have I like a lot, Thera-Band. They were given to me by my OT, and I actually put the yellow one (the extra soft) into one of those medical cover things. The balls are made of some sort of sticky gel, at least that’s what they feel like, and the covering helps me when I use the ball in the cups, and for pulling it out of my pocket. These balls are in a 5 color progressive After several months I was able to move up to the next color-Red.
Another big benefit of the Thera-Band balls is that they can be heated in the microwave in short increments of 5 seconds for heat therapy, or cooled in the refrigerator when you need cold therapy. Not all the brands, including the #1 Selling ones (above) can be heated.
The hand exercises discussed here are good for people that not only had an injury to their hand or wrist, but also for stroke victims and people with arthritis. Both the Power Web and the Hand exercise balls are good therapy tools, and I can attest to how much they have helped me.