I’m always looking for ways to strengthen the hand intrinsics. It is easy to overlook the importance of these small but mighty muscles. They are very important to performing functional grasps patterns. They can become weak in a short period of time due to their small size.
So, How does it work?!
The Basics – I usually start with a large 5 pound blob of yellow or tan hand therapy putty because this is the easiest and softest.
“Functional grasp patters require the use of the intrinsics.”
Special Rules – To keep the patient from cheating and to meet the purpose of the task we have a few special rules.
- Make sure the patient’s shoulder is relaxed! We do not want to create shoulder problems!
- Check to make sure there is no compensation of the long flexors and extensors.
- The most important part of these exercises is TECHNIQUE
Make it fit – This task is scalable and can be adjusted by using different puttys. Also it can be modified by how deep you dig the putty tools into the hand strengthening putty.
Now lets get to work!
Using the small cylinder knob, place it between digits 2 and 3. While holding the knob tight between the digits turn the knob in the putty. Repeat the same step above and rotate the knob to in between digits 3 and 4 and than digits 4 and 5.
Next, push the t-end of the putty tool into the putty. Hold the hand in the intrinsic plus position and practice turning the knob.
Lastly, Intrinsic Pull. Place one side of the key tool into the putty, hold tool between any two digits and pull through putty.
Warning – Make sure the patient removes their watch or bracelet along with making sure their phones do not get near the putty. The putty tends to stick to rubbery surfaces and can be very difficulty to remove.
If you don’t have Puttycise tools you can make your own out of scrap splinting material.
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