As the world navigates the global COVID -19 pandemic, Australians are practicing social distancing, self-isolation and formal quarantine. Therefore, we are required to find equipment at home to perform exercise programs prescribed by our practitioners of hand therapy.
One of our incredible Hand Therapists, Alanna O’Brien, an AHTA Accredited Hand Therapist has provided us with some great ideas on using everyday household items as exercise tools to keep us all on track with maximising our hand therapy goals, and promoting our health and well-being.
I must confess some of the big chains have become my favourite therapy stores – cheap and readily accessible and adaptable! I love that I can send patients out to look and purchase their own props.
The humble tin of tomatoes – Rolling the tin forward and backward keeping fingers gripped – great for helping achieve wrist range of motion
The tomato sauce bottle – practice different size gripping
The spice jar – the round tall skinny ones. Great for practicing gripping around and gripping with wrist movement.
Light up bouncer ball – this is my new favourite – glitter filled ball with another ball inside that lights up when bounced. The ball is just heavy enough to start some gentle wrist circles exercises – by getting the internal ball to roll around smoothly or shaking to get the glitter moving! Great size for practicing rolling ball clockwise, anticlockwise, forwards and backwards
The massage roller ball – (similar found in Big W) – good size to grip onto and nice pressure
Soccer ball – great to practice weight bearing.
Hand weights that can be filled with water! At $2.80 – a bargain
Spring hand grips – they have range from 5-25kg resistance in 5kg increments
Spring chopsticks for practicing fine gripping.
Foam pipe insulation tubing (plumbing section). Great for increasing handle sizes on objects, but also great to split and use as a low resistance squeezing object.
Tennis racquet grips. Great to build up handle sizes. They have a little bit of spring/compression. They are adhesive on the back. I’m sure the uses are endless.
Colourful ribbons on sticks – ribbon twirling exercises. Great for drawing the alphabet and shapes to practice stabilising the arm.
Sensory buckets – collect leaves, gumnuts, rocks, A great way to connect with nature and get fresh air and exercise.
Playdough recipe – add essential oils, colour or textured items such as gumnuts, or pebbles. Nice and soft. Commercial playdoh is much firmer
2 cups plain flour
4 tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 tbsp cooking oil
Method: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat for 3-5 mins or until the mixture congeals.
If you are having difficulty with your hands and wrists, an appointment with one of our hand therapists can help with education, splints or supports and an appropriate exercise program for your condition.