"Hey Siri, how can I do my hand therapy rehabilitation in isolation?"
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.
Supermarket 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.
Kmart 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.
Daiso 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.
Bunnings 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.
Online 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.
Homemade 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.