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Hand Therapy Ball Exercises for Stroke Patients

To increase strength and dexterity in your hands after stroke, hand therapy ball exercises are a great, affordable option.

Although hand exercise balls are simple, there’s a lot you can do with them to strengthen your hand.

Hand Therapy Ball Exercises

Below, you will find 8 hand ball exercises that can help improve fine motor skills after stroke. Practice them with high repetition to help rewire and heal the brain after stroke.

Start with a set of 10 repetitions of each exercise, then build up your strength to aim for 2-3 sets of 10. As long as these exercises do not cause you pain, you can even try to do them a few times a day!

1. Power Grip

hand exercises with ball

Squeeze the therapy ball with your fingers and thumb. Squeeze and release.

2. Pinch

expert hand therapy ball exercises

For this exercise, pinch the hand therapy ball with your fingers and thumb extended. And by extended, we mean keep all your fingers straight. This will help strengthen different muscles that the ones targeted by curled fingers.

3. Thumb Extension

hand therapy ball exercises pdf

With your palm flat (as flat as you can), place the therapy ball on your palm and use your thumb to keep it in place.

Then, use your thumb to roll the ball up and down your palm. This movement really isolates your thumb.

4. Table Roll

improve hand after stroke

Place the hand therapy ball on a table and place your hand on top of it.

Then, while keeping a flat hand, roll the ball from the base of your palm up to your fingertips.

5. Finger Flexion

hand ball exercises

Unlike the Power Grip exercise, you won’t be using your thumb in this hand therapy ball exercise.

Instead, hold the therapy ball in your palm and press into it using all your fingers except your thumb.

Press and release.

6. Thumb Roll

ball exercises for hand

Place the therapy ball on your palm. Keep your palm as flat as you can and use your thumb to keep it in place. Then, use your thumb to roll the ball in a circle on your palm.

This hand therapy exercise also isolates your thumb.

7. Finger Squeeze

physical therapy hand ball exercises

Place the therapy ball between two fingers and squeeze your fingers together. Squeeze and release. You can do this between any combinations of fingers, so be sure to exercise all your fingers!

Some fingers will be more difficult than others (like your ring and pinky finger), so be sure not to neglect them.

8. Thumb Opposition

physical therapy hand exercises with ball

This therapy ball exercise is similar to the Thumb Roll, but you will be rolling the ball side-to-side instead of in circles.

Start by placing the therapy ball on your palm and use your thumb to keep it in place. Then, use your thumb to move the ball from left to right.

Benefits of Hand Therapy Ball Exercises

It’s important to cater your hand therapy exercises to suit your goals.

For example, some people may need these exercises to strengthen their hands, especially those that enjoy handiwork. If that’s you, then focus on using therapy balls with more resistance so that you can build strength in your hands and fingers.

Other people might use these exercises to regain mobility in their hands, including stroke survivors.

When neurological injury is involved, the focus should not be placed solely on trying to increase resistance. Instead, the focus should be placed on repetition, which provides the brain with the stimulation it needs to rewire itself.

Cater your hand therapy exercise regimen to suit your goals. You may even like adding some therapy putty exercises too! Happy exercising!

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Get Inspired with This Stroke Survivor Story

Mom gets better every day!

When my 84-year-old Mom had a stoke on May 2, the right side of her body was rendered useless. In the past six months, she has been blessed with a supportive medical team, therapy team, and family team that has worked together to gain remarkable results.

While she still struggles with her right side, she can walk (with assistance) and is beginning to get her right arm and hand more functional. We invested in the FitMi + MusicGlove + Tablet bundle for her at the beginning of August.

She lights up when we bring it out and enjoys using it for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. While she still doesn’t have enough strength to perform some of the exercises, she rocks the ones she can do!

Thanks for creating such powerful tools to help those of us caring for stroke patients. What you do really matters!

David M. Holt’s review of FitMi home therapy, 11/09/2020

5 stars

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