Hand exercises

Try to do some of these every day

It is common for individuals who have suffered a stroke to exhibit impaired hand function or numbness. Research has shown that hand mobility improves the most in the first 6 months after a stroke but improvement can continue indefinitely with work. 

Both grip and pinch strength are important for daily tasks. 
  • Grip strength gives you the ability to grasp objects with weight or force. For example, holding a bag of groceries or opening a jar. 
  • Pinch strength gives you the ability to turn a key. 

A fine motor skill is that requires the coordination and precise movements of the hand muscles. It is possible to improve fine motor functioning by following these methods or doing any of the following:
  1. Shuffle cards and deal one by one.
  2. Practice lacing and tying a bow on a shoe.
  3. Tie knots and untie them.
  4. Pick up coins, buttons, marbles or other miscellaneous objects from a "junk drawer." (Try sorting objects into small containers.) Try using tweezers to do this.
  5. Take a handful of coins, marbles, seeds, nuts, bolts, etc. and try to drop them from your hand at one time.
  6. Hold an object in your hand and rotate it in as many directions as possible.
  7. Squeeze clay into a ball or roll it on a table into a "snake." (You can buy special thera putty for this.) 
  8. Crumble a piece of paper or cloth into a small ball with one hand.
  9. Button and unbutton buttons.
  10. Open and close safety pins; try making a chain.
  11. Screw and unscrew large/small wing nuts from bolts.
  12. Use a screwdriver in both hands and practice screwing/unscrewing various sized screws.
  13. Put away the silverware from the dishwasher.
  14. Play dominoes/checkers/Scrabble/jigsaws etc. Stack checkers or coins as high as possible. Make a house of cards.
  15. Do any handicraft of your choice: macrame, woodwork, tile projects, model kits, knitting, etc.
  16. Put a key into lock and turn it back and forth.
  17. Unscrew lids of jars.
  18. Turn a door handle.
  19. Pour water into a jug and then pour it from the jug and into a cup.
  20. Write or type something -- anything. You print out these worksheets to practice your handwriting: practice cursive or practice printing.

You can also buy a hand exercisers, which you can use them like this:

Here are some other hand excersers you can do (click the image and then print, is you want).

And here are some things you do do with clay or "thera-putty";

If your affected hand becomes swollen from because you are not using it, have someone massage it using the "retrograde" technique (gently but firmly massaging from the fingertips towards the elbow to assist circulation and movement of the fluid back towards the heart.)

Here are some good videos on doing some simple hand exercises: