How to Improve Hand Function After a Stroke

Jun 16, 2022 | hand therapy

After a stroke, many people experience hand paralysis or weakness. This can make everyday tasks very difficult. However, there are things you can do to improve hand function. With the help of exercises and hand recovery devices, you can regain use of your hand and improve your quality of life.

Exercises for Hand Recovery After a Stroke

There are many exercises that can help improve hand function after a stroke. Here are some examples:

– Grasping objects: Try holding different objects in your hand and squeezing them for five seconds at a time. Start with small objects and gradually increase the size.

– Wrist extension: Sit with your hand resting on a table. Use your other hand to gently push your affected hand up so that your fingers point towards the ceiling. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.

– Finger extension: Sit with your hand resting on a table. Use your other hand to gently extend each finger one at a time. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.

Hand Recovery Devices

at home stroke recovery hand and arm device

There are many devices that can help improve hand function after a stroke. Here are some examples:

– The ExoRehab X: This device is an affordable, high repetition upper extremity device (hand and arms) designed to improve stroke therapy at home

– The SaeboGlove: This glove is worn on the hand and helps with grip strength and dexterity.

These at home recovery devices increase your training time, which is often capped at the clinic due to appointment constraints.

Physical Therapy at Home to Improve Hand Mobility

Physical therapy is an important part of hand recovery after a stroke. By doing exercises at home, you can improve your hand function and quality of life. Here are some tips:

– Set up a daily routine: Doing exercises at the same time each day will help make them a habit. Choose a time that works for you and stick to it.

– Make it fun: Try to find ways to make your hand exercises fun. For example, you could turn on some music or play with a pet while you do them.

– Get support: Ask a friend or family member to help you with your hand exercises. They can provide motivation and encouragement.

There are many devices and apps that can help you track your progress with hand recovery after a stroke. Here are some examples:

– The ExoRehab X: This device has on board sensors that can measure the smallest movements. This way you can see progress that you might not actually realize is happening. 

– The Saebo MyEnding: This app tracks your progress with hand exercises and allows you to set goals.

By tracking your progress, you can see how far you’ve come and set new goals. This can help motivation and keep you on track.

Repetition with Arm Exercises

Arm exercises are an important part of hand recovery after a stroke. By doing these exercises, you can improve your hand function and quality of life. Here are some tips:

– Do the exercises every day: The more you do the exercises, the better your hand function will become. Try to do them at least three times a day.

– Use both hands: Use your affected hand to do the exercises, but also involve your other hand. This will help improve coordination between both hands.

– Increase the difficulty: As you get better at the exercises, you can increase the difficulty. For example, you could try using heavier objects or doing more repetitions.

Don’t Give Up

stroke patient picking up cup

It is important to keep up with your hand exercises even when you don’t see results right away. It can take time and patience to improve hand function after a stroke. Remember to stay positive and keep trying. With hard work and determination, you will eventually see progress.

Have Fun While Working on Improving Mobility

Remember that hand recovery after a stroke is a process. It can take time and effort to see progress. But it is important to stay positive and have fun while you are working on improving hand function. Here are some ideas:

– Set small goals: Setting small, achievable goals will help you stay motivated. For example, you could aim to improve your grip strength by 5% each week.

– Reward yourself: When you reach a goal, give yourself a reward. This could be something like taking a break to watch your favorite TV show or going for a walk in the park.

– Take breaks: Don’t try to do too much at once. Hand exercises can be tiring, so make sure to take breaks when you need them.

If you are working on hand recovery after a stroke, these tips will help you improve hand function and quality of life. With the right exercises and hand recovery devices, you can regain use of your hand and live a full life.