7 Best Hand Exercise Equipment for Stroke Patients

hand exercise equipment for stroke patients

Choosing hand exercise equipment for stroke patients can be difficult, especially when faced with many options.

How do you know which hand therapy tools are best?

And, more specifically, which hand exercise equipment is best for you?

In this article, we will discuss the most important things to look for and how to find a device that fits your needs.

Then we will list all the best hand exercise equipment that we’ve found – or made ourselves.

Let’s get started.

Advice from a PT: How to Choose Hand Exercise Equipment for Stroke Patients

We talked to our favorite physical therapists about hand exercise equipment recommendations for stroke patients.

It seems that every physical therapist would ask you the same question before you invest in therapy equipment:

“Will you want to use it every day?”

This question is key because massed practice (i.e. consistent, repetitive practice) is the key to recovery.

High repetition helps initiate neuroplasticity and allow the brain to heal itself after stroke.

So, find something that motivates you to accomplish high repetition daily.

Hand Therapy Equipment for Stroke Patients

Alright, now that you know what to look for, let’s move on to the best hand exercise equipment for stroke patients.

Yes, this list includes our own stuff – because hand therapy is our specialty – but it also includes other stuff, with unaffiliated links.

The following hand exercise equipment is organized from simple and cheap to complex and effective.

1. Hand Therapy Balls – Best for Travel

therapy tools for hands

Hand therapy balls are the simplest form of hand therapy there is.

Most come with different softness/hardness so that you can find a challenge that’s good for you.

We sell them here on our website, and we also have some hand therapy ball exercises on the blog that you can try.

What it’s good for:

Introducing dexterity and strength back into the hand. Various exercises can target both flexion and extension.

2. Therapy Putty – Most Affordable

hand exercise equipment for stroke patients

Therapy putt is the most popular hand therapy exercise accessory by far – at least for us. What can we say, everyputty love some putty!

When choosing your therapy putty, look for the kind that comes in different ‘resistances,’ which simply means different soft/hardnesses.

That way you can keep yourself challenged and continue to increase strength and dexterity as you improve.

What it’s good for:

Introducing dexterity and strength back into the hand. Focuses more on manipulation than the therapy balls.

Various exercises can target both flexion and extension.

3. Finger Exercisers – Good for Strengthening

hand exercise equipment physical therapy

Hand strengtheners are great for both retraining your brain and strengthening your muscles.

As we’ve talked about on the blog before, not using your muscles causes them to become smaller. Exercise is a great way to reverse that pattern and rebuild strength.

Both the therapy balls and therapy putty help strengthen your hand too, but the exerciser adds even more challenge.

What it’s good for:

Retraining finger flexion while also increasing finger and grip strength. Can be helpful for stiff finger joints.

4. Exercise Hand Skate – Good for Occupational Therapy

hand therapy equipment for stroke patients

If you’re looking to regain movement in your hand, you likely need to work on your arm, wrist, and shoulder.

Hand skates are a great way to improve range of motion in all of those areas.

What it’s good for:

Range of motion.

5. Tabletop Mirror Therapy – Good for Paralysis Recovery

Mirror therapy is amazing. If you haven’t heard about it, you can read about mirror therapy here.

Some patients will try mirror therapy in the clinic. If you have benefited from it – as most patients do – then you can try doing it at home with a tabletop mirror therapy set.

What it’s good for:

Mirror therapy is particularly useful for paralysis recovery after stroke.

6. PVC Pipe Tree – Good for Physical Therapy

occupational therapy tools for hands

Some clinics have PVC pipe trees that patients can use to practice their fine motor/manipulation skills while building figures with the pipes.

While the pipe trees may get boring after a while, they are much more interesting and challenging than the cheaper hand therapy accessories.

What it’s good for:

Improving fine and gross motor skills due to the complex manipulation involved.

7. MusicGlove – Good for Fast Results

MusicGlove is a premium music- and gaming-based hand therapy device made by Flint Rehab.

The game encourages stroke patients to accomplish hundreds of repetitions of therapeutic hand exercises – which helps quickly rewire the brain after stroke.

What it’s good for:

While MusicGlove is a premium-priced hand therapy tool, it provides results faster than the rest.

In fact, MusicGlove is clinically proven to improve hand function in just 2 weeks!

Choosing Your Hand Therapy Tool for Recovery

As you mull over your options, remember to keep these 2 things in mind:

Choose something that…

  1. …is meaningful to you so that you are motivated to keep using it
  2. …incorporates a high number of repetitions to activate neuroplasticity

Whether you start with simple hand accessories or go straight for good stuff, we hope that you have a better understanding of what it takes to make a successful hand recovery.