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Healthy Living: Hand Grip Strength – Kern Valley Sun

Hand Grip Strength

As we age, it becomes more and more important for us to maintain good hand grip and pinch strength. Our continuing safety and productivity are directly dependent upon trusting both hands for our basic daily living activities. Those patients we treat for physical and occupational therapy are instructed in series of graded exercises in order to help them succeed in restoring strength. But far too often patients report back to us that they are troubled with their inability to comply with those home exercise programs we recommend. They tell us they become busy with other commitments; they have trouble incorporating their exercise routine into their family activities and demands.

Measuring the gradual improvements you make should increase your motivation and satisfaction with the gains you make. It is so rewarding to find yourself being able to resume activities painfree as you regain your strength. Some patients do more than merely comply with the therapist’s recommended programs; they arrange for pre-surgical instructions. The benefits are many. The right handed carpal tunnel surgical release patient trains her left hand to be the lead hand by practicing her basic activities of daily living including applying makeup, hair care, and feeding herself. The added rewards include an increase in speed of performance, faster recovery with her right hand, and becoming ambidextrous.

It’s also important to know that exercising with weights such as barbells will increase your overall arm strength, (shoulders, elbows, and wrists), but you need repetitive grip/release rather than prolonged gripping exercises for the best results. Patients are often told to squeeze a ball for their hand exercise, yet therapists find a far better anatomically fitting position calls for use of an oblong object, a rolled up washcloth, or therapy putty which offers you graded progress beginning with soft, then medium and then hard putty.

You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of regaining your ability to resume that gardening hobby, the raking and gathering of those leaves, your yard all neat and tidy. You need to pace yourself, gradually testing as you progress with your strengthening program. When unloading your grocery bags out of your car, first lift the bag with your stronger hand, then if you judge it to be safe to carry, transfer to your weaker hand. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of your gradual progress without overdoing it, eliminating your pain and resuming your healthy life routines.

Christine Harness has worked in the field of Occupational Therapy throughout her adult life, both in and outside of the Kern River Valley. She has helped countless individuals to maintain or regain their independence. Christine believes that enjoying and taking satisfaction in one’s day-to-day activities is the key to a meaningful life.

Article source: https://kernvalleysun.com/healthy-living-hand-grip-strength/