So you’ve had a stroke and one of your arms has lost some mobility. What are you going to do? Don’t forget the easy things to start with that doesn’t cost much money. Ask someone to get a squeeze ball that will help you strengthen your hand.
This is so inexpensive but you will have all kinds of time when you can pull that little ball out and try to strangle it. I don’t mean to be sick but you may need some emotional support for you to focus your anger, out through your hands, on to that cute little ball.
Here are Some Squeeze Ball Exercises for Stroke Patients
I know that you are going to be getting or have already gotten advice, suggestions or orders for you to complete certain exercises on a regular basis and that is exactly what you need to do. Consult with your physician and/or physical therapist.
Now, just in case they haven’t told you about this adorable little smiley face that needs to have its face roughed up, here are some great hand exercises you can use right in the comfort of your own home.
Many of the exercise below were taken from an article in Flint Rehab.
- Hold the squeeze ball in your palm and squeeze it as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds then release. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each hand. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions.
- Squeeze the ball with your fingers and thumb but keep your fingers straight. Squeeze and release.
- Pinch the ball with your fingers and keep the thumb extended.
- Place your hands out flat with the ball in your palm and then press the ball with your thumb only.
- Keep your hand flat and roll the ball up and down your palm by flexing and extending your thumb.
- Place the ball on a table and place your hand on top of it. Then, while keeping the hand flat, roll the ball from the base of your palm to your fingertips.
- Place the ball on a table and place your hand on top of it. Then, push your palm down on the squeeze ball and then let it back up.
- Roll the ball between your fingers starting at your thumb and index finger then roll it between your fingers toward your pinkie then return it back to your thumb and index finger.
- Lay your hand flat and keep your fingers straight. Use your thumb to roll the ball in a circle on your palm.
- Place the ball in between two fingers (pick any two fingers), then squeeze and release.
- Lay your hand flat and keep your fingers straight. Use your thumb to push the ball side to side across the width of your palm.
- Hold the squeeze ball between your index finger and middle finger then press your thumb into the ball and release.
- Place the squeeze ball on a table then push on the top of the squeeze ball with your thumb and all of your fingers and then release.
There are many other types of hand exercises for stroke patients but I’m going to attempt to keep these article focused on one topic. I will cover other exercise in a future article.
Keep the Squeeze Ball Close By
The squeeze ball is easy to carry with you and is convenient to use if you have some down time. Squeezing a ball can also get your mind off your situation at times. You don’t even need a health problem to get great benefits from this.
I have heard many people say in my life that you need to give your muscles a chance to relax and re-build, which I don’t disagree with, but I also don’t think you need to wait 48 hours between exercises or any particular amount of time. You should be able to work your hands out any time you desire.
This next story is just one of personal experience and I just put it before you to get you to think about your exercises and all the opinions that will come at you.
I remember playing football when younger and all the times in the weight room. We worked out different body parts on different days and made sure we gave our muscles time to rest and grow or strengthen but I will never forget one little guy that everyone was afraid of.
This little guy ended up being the nose guard on defense. He was right in the middle of these huge guys with massive muscles, but this guy wasn’t afraid of anyone. This may have been partly his personality or the way he was raised but there was more to it than that.
This guy worked on a farm throwing bales of hay back before we had all the fancy round hay bailing machines. He worked all summer throwing thousands and thousands of bales and he evidently wasn’t listening to any sports trainers telling him to rest 48 hours before he threw some more hay.
This guy built the strongest, smallest looking muscles that were wirery and by gosh, STRONG. He was so strong he could beat any of the big guys in arm wrestling and many or them were almost twice his size. How could this little guy be so strong and so effective among giants?
The answer, in my humble, non-scholarly opinion, was repetition. He had no choice but to work hard every day without a break. Maybe he got one day off a week, and maybe his rest was sleeping at night but he built “real” strength by working his body, all the time.
I would like to reiterate here that you should consult your physician or physical therapist before extensive use of hand therapy exercises.
I bring this up for you to not be afraid of using that little squeeze ball to your hearts content. You may want to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about this, which doesn’t hurt my feelings, as I am not a doctor. I am just a stroke survivor who looks for any way possible to improve my life and those of you who choose to listen.