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How to Treat Hand Paralysis After Stroke (A Story from a Post-Rehabilitation Specialist)

hand paralysis treatment after stroke recovery

See how a post-rehabilitation exercise specialist named Margaret helped her husband recover from hand paralysis after stroke.

His therapist said that he would never move his hand again – but Margaret proved the therapist wrong.

See the exact steps she took for his hand paralysis treatment below. We hope it inspires your recovery.

Recovering from Hand Paralysis

Margaret never knew that her career as a post-rehabilitation exercise specialist would help her personal life one day.

But after a massive stroke left her husband with hemiparesis, including hand paralysis, she quickly got to work.

The prognosis for stroke patients with paralysis is not always good. In fact, Margaret’s husband was told that there was no hope to regain hand movement.

Margaret, however, refused to accept that her husband couldn’t recover.

She researched hand recovery options and purchased Flint Rehab’s MusicGlove for therapy at home.

Then she used MusicGlove to help him regain hand function by combining it with mirror therapy – with a twist.

We illustrate her method step by step below.

How to Treat Hand Paralysis Margaret’s Way

Please note that these steps are anecdotal and based on someone’s personal experience. However, we included links to clinical studies that support the basic principles of this hand recovery method.

Here’s what Margaret did to help her husband regain use of his paralyzed hand:

1. Start by Understanding Mirror Therapy

Typically, mirror therapy involves using a tabletop mirror to reflect your ‘good’ hand in place of your affected hand. (See the photo at the top of this post.)

This creates the illusion that both hands are moving and tricks your brain into thinking that your affected hand is working properly.

Although you logically know it’s just a reflection, this still helps activate neuronal processes and begins rewiring the brain through the process of neuroplasticity.

2. Use Mirror Therapy Differently

Margaret used the principles of mirror therapy for this hand paralysis treatment, but she ditched the mirror.

Instead, she placed the MusicGlove on her husband’s ‘good hand’ and had him exercise with MusicGlove normally. Meanwhile, she would assist his affected hand to mirror his movements.

She wouldn’t move his hand to the game; she moved his hand to exactly match what his other hand was doing. So if he missed a note, she missed a note.

This mirroring and passive movement helped her husband’s brain rewire itself.

Because of this unique therapy, he went from being completely flaccid to having twitches! Although this might seem like a small achievement to some, any survivor struggling with paralysis knows what a significant and noteworthy sign of recovery this is.

3. Try Different Exercises

You can try these methods with any hand therapy exercise you like. All that matters is that you’re being consistent and exercising daily.

Consistency is important for activating neuroplasticity and encouraging the brain to rewire itself. Anything you can do to encourage consistency will help, such as fun-to-use hand therapy devices like MusicGlove.

Want 25 pages of hand therapy exercises in PDF form? Click here to download our free Hand Therapy Exercise ebook now (link opens a pop up for uninterrupted reading)

4. Be Repetitive About It

Margaret’s husband saw remarkable results with MusicGlove because the device utilizes a high number of repetitions. In fact, the average user achieves hundreds of repetitions per session.

In order to efficiently rewire the brain, you need high repetition because that’s how the brain rewires itself. Each time you repeat a movement, the connections in the brain become stronger.

If you aren’t consistent, then the connections quickly grow weaker and fail to produce results.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged

Your results may come slowly at first — almost painstakingly so. Try to be as patient as you can with yourself. After all, you’re rewiring your brain. It’s a complex process that involves time and hard work.

Trust the process and know that although results aren’t showing immediately, your brain is hard at work trying to make something happen.

Signs of Recovery from Hand Paralysis

Every recovery is different, so everyone will see results at different speeds. Margaret’s husband was able to see twitches after just a few weeks of this hand paralysis treatment.

While twitches are small movements, they are a big deal for someone recovering from hand paralysis – especially after his therapist said it was impossible. This proves that, even when the prognosis is grim, there is always hope for recovery.

Keep It Going: Download a Free PDF Hand Therapy Exercise Guide!

hand therapy ebook cover with example pages

Do you have this 25 page PDF of beautifully illustrated hand therapy exercises? You don’t want to miss this!

The best way to improve hand mobility after a stroke is to practice hand therapy exercises. Sign up below to get your copy of this free ebook.

You’ll also receive our weekly Monday newsletter that contains 5 articles on stroke recovery, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Do you have this 25-page PDF of hand exercises?

Get a free copy of our ebook Hand Therapy Exercises for Stroke Patients. Click here to get instant access.

You're on a Roll: Read More Popular Articles on Hand Recovery After Stroke

Meet the MusicGlove: An Evidence-Based and Fun-to-Use Hand Recovery Tool

If you want to motivate yourself to accomplish the high repetition of hand exercises necessary for recovery, then you need to meet the MusicGlove.

Created by Flint Rehab (who also created the blog you’re currently reading), this hand therapy tool is clinically proven to improve hand function within two weeks of use when used for at least 25 minutes a day.

See how other survivors have improved hand function with it:

“My wife suffered a stroke that resulted in her being paralyzed on her left side. She did not have the use of her left hand, even after going through physical therapy in the hospital.

I had ordered the MusicGlove, along with the FitMi system and had them ready for her when she arrived home from the hospital. She was unable to open, or separate, the fingers on her left hand, and seriously I had my doubts that the MusicGlove would work for her.

She has been home from the hospital a little over a month and thanks to this fabulous system, she is now able to not only spread her fingers out, but is able to use them at about 50% capacity.

We are thoroughly convinced that without the MusicGlove system her hand would be totally useless. We are looking forward to continued gains in the use of her hand and fingers. Thank you Flint Rehab for coming to our rescue.” –Mike S.

My mom loves it!

“We purchased the MusicGlove + FitMi pack for my mom after she suffered bilateral strokes. It’s so fun watching her play and it’s incredible how much her dexterity, range of motion, and strength has increased, even after only a few minutes a day. The Music Glove is a great way to improve while having fun doing it. I’m so thankful we found this product!” -Brenna

Fabulous device!

“We bought the MusicGlove for my brother, Kevin, after he had a stroke 5 years ago. This device has been so very helpful in his recovery! He has regained movement in his fingers which is just short of a miracle! It is such good therapy for him both physically and mentally!

Not only do we feel the physical movement helps but it’s a bit of music therapy also! He enjoys the variety of songs to choose from along with different levels of difficulty. It’s been worth every penny and then some! His physical therapist says it’s priceless!!” –Lori

Not only is MusicGlove beloved and approved by survivors, but it’s also used in the top rehab clinics in the world, including the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, the #1 ranked hospital in America.

When you choose to use MusicGlove, you’re in good company. To learn more about the hand therapy device from Flint Rehab, click the button below: