hand/arm - open/close & saws
The exercise I am showing you today addresses my affected side and works my hand and arm. I wear a SAEBO-Glove 8-12 hours per day on my right hand. The reason I wear it for so long is that I generally wear it while I am sleeping at night. The SAEBO-Glove helps me because I am suffering from neurological injuries and the results are stroke-like.
The tension system of the glove extends my fingers and thumb after grasping so that I can incorporate my affected right limb functionally the way it is meant to be.
The reason I like this exercise is that it builds strength and mobility throughout my entire arm (and even my hand). It reminds me to bend my elbow (that is what I need for my brain!). This exercise has even helped me with bringing my arm from my side over my body to my opposite shoulder - an exercise that has worked my entire arm again, especially bending my elbow!! And I have noticed that this has helped me with daily activities like with my holding clothes so I can button and zip them.
As I mentioned previously, and something I will continue to stress throughout my posts, it is pivotal to perform as many of these exercises in front of a mirror/reflection as possible. This is one of those exercises that I cannot stress the importance of a mirror to be able to watch yourself as you do it. It is our job now to train the neurons from our brain to re-engage with our muscles. Watching your elbow bend and then watching your arm straighten is so important! It has already helped me so much - my ability to “push and pull” my right arm/hand is so much stronger and better (according to Tom) since I’ve been doing these arm/hand open/close & saw exercises! Again, be sure to follow the instructions below.
Many post-stroke persons are not limited by actual strength, but by the loss of muscle memory provided by some of the brain’s most elementary functions. Think of these exercises as brain games just as much as strength/mobility activities and you will be on your way to independence in no-time!
If you are just starting out - post-stroke - you will probably need someone to support your movement and help when necessary. As I have said before, even if you have reached the point of physical independence after your stroke, it is still nice to have someone supporting you emotionally and mentally through these exercises.
1. I stand as straight as I can next to Tom with my right arm bent at the elbow.
2. He opens/closes my right hand but I watch it closely and I make sure that I am moving my hand open & close each time rather than just letting Tom force my hand to do so.
3. I repeat the “open/close” 25 times.
4. Then I allow Tom to grab my right hand with his right hand as if he were shaking my hand.
5. Then I push my arm forward. And then I pull my arm back towards me.
6. I repeat the “saw motion” 25 times.
7. On the 25th time, when my arm is pushed forward, I hold it there making sure my wrist remains straight.
8. Then I move it in circles (clockwise for 15 & counter-clockwise for 15).
9. I repeat the circles again.
10. Then I pull my arm arm back towards me.
Be sure to check out my Instagram at “poststrokepeg.” God Bless You, Peg
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” —Roald Dahl
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