Hand exercise equipment for stroke patients offers a better way to improve fine motor skills.
When choosing your rehab tools, it’s important to pick equipment that’s suitable for your ability level. Your physical and occupational therapists are great people to ask for recommendations.
Below, you will find some of the best hand exercise equipment that stroke patients can use at home.
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 patients after stroke.
It seems that every physical therapist would ask you the same question before you invest in therapy equipment:
“Will you use it daily, and want to use it daily?”
This question is key because massed practice (i.e. consistent, repetitive practice) is the key to recovery after stroke.
Increased reps initiate neuroplasticity and enable the brain to heal itself after stroke.
When choosing hand exercise equipment for stroke recovery, choose something that motivates you to accomplish high repetition daily.
Hand Therapy Equipment for Stroke Patients
Now that you know what to look for, let’s move on to the best hand exercise equipment for stroke patients.
This list includes our own products – because hand therapy is our specialty – but it also includes other stuff, with unaffiliated links.
Here is the best hand therapy equipment available for stroke patients:
1. Hand Therapy Balls – Best for Travel
Hand therapy balls offer a simple way to exercise your hands, especially if you have severe spasticity and clenched hands.
Therapy balls come with different softness/hardness so that you can find a challenge that’s good for you.
If you get them, we have some hand therapy ball exercises on the blog that you can try.
2. Therapy Putty – Most Affordable
Therapy putty is a popular, inexpensive hand therapy tool with physical and occupational therapists.
When choosing your therapy putty, look for the kind that comes in different resistances. As your hand strength improves, you can use tougher putty to keep improving.
3. Finger Exercisers – Good for Strengthening
Hand strengtheners are great for both retraining your brain and strengthening your muscles.
While the primary goal of stroke rehabilitation is to rewire the brain with repetitive exercise, it’s also important to work on rebuilding strength.
Both the therapy balls and therapy putty help strengthen your hand too, but the exerciser adds even more challenge.
4. Tabletop Mirror Therapy – Good for Paralysis Recovery
Mirror therapy is a rehabilitation technique that can help improve hand paralysis after stroke.
Ask your therapist if you can do some mirror therapy together so that you understand how it works. Then, replicate the therapy on your own at home with your own mirror therapy set.
5. PVC Pipe Tree – Good for Physical Therapy
Occupational therapists often use PVC pipe trees in the clinic to help patients improve hand function.
Pipe trees made the list of the best hand exercise equipment because it allows you to practice their fine and complex motor skills.
It requires grasp and release movements along with hand and arm coordination.
6. MusicGlove – Good for Fast Results
MusicGlove is a premium music- and gaming-based hand therapy device made by Flint Rehab. It’s clinically proven to improve hand function in 2 weeks.
The high-tech hand exercise equipment encourages you to accomplish high repetitions of therapeutic hand exercises.
Unlike other hand exercise equipment, MusicGlove is something that you’ll want to use daily because it’s fun to use.
7. FitMi Home Therapy – Good for Paralysis Recovery
FitMi is another high-tech exercise tool from Flint Rehab that motivates you to exercise the full-body, including the hands.
FitMi is suitable for all impairment levels, even if you have no movement in your hand. You just need to start with passive exercises by assisting your affected hand with your non-affected hand.
Bob and Brad, “the most famous physical therapists on the internet,” reviewed FitMi (without being paid to do so) and gave it a thumbs up!
Choosing Your Hand Therapy Tool for Recovery
As you mull over your options, remember to keep this advice from our physical therapists in mind:
Choose something that you can see yourself using daily, and want to use daily.
Whether you start with simple hand exercise equipment or invest in high-tech tools, we hope that your hand function improves with this equipment.