Posted by: ugleepen | October 29, 2009

5 Tips to Improve Manual Dexterity for People with Arthritis

Manual dexterity is the ability to make coordinated hand and finger movements, but if you have arthritis of the hand, your dexterity may be compromised. Here are 5 simple tips you can follow that can help improve your condition. But, don’t wait. Those who act early will see the best results.

  1. Exercise
    Range of Motion: You can improve your flexibility, maintain joint movement and relieve stiffness with passive, range of motion exercises (allowing someone else to move your joints for you).
    Weights:Try strengthening exercises using light weights to help maintain or increase your muscle strength. This will protect the joints that are affected by arthritis.
    Aerobic: Aerobic exercise that works the cardiovascular system is always beneficial, not only for fitness, but to improve overall body functions.
  2. Loosen Your Grip
    Tight gripping can cause excess strain on the joints. When using a grasping tool, find one with large handles and keep a loose grip when possible. Use both hands to grasp objects, not just the fingers. Find a lightweight ergonomic pen that does not require tight gripping to use.
  3. Try Hot Therapy
    Hot therapy such as paraffin baths or hot packs can help to relieve hand pain because it increases circulation and relaxes the muscles.
  4. Stabilize the Hand
    Splinting the wrist and hand area provides rest your joints in a comfortable position. This can decrease pain and inflammation. Look to this solution when you want to provide a stable environment for completing strenuous tasks.
  5. Take it Slow
    Repetitive motion can lead to pain. Avoid starting an activity you cannot stop. Take jobs slowly and pace yourself.

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