WEAK GRIP
 
Weak Grip
what is it?
If arm weakness is total and sudden on one side of your body, including your face and leg, you should ring for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. Follow the F.A.S.T plan.

Weakness in muscles in the hand and fingers can be expected if you have had to wear a cast for several weeks due to a fractured bone or surgery and it will usually recover quickly to nearly normal levels once the cast is removed or healing is progressing. 

However, to be on the safe side, visit your GP if you notice unusual weakness performing ordinary tasks like holding a knife or fork, lifting a kettle, or doing up buttons. Sometimes weakness can give clues about other conditions such as nerve compressionperipheral neuropathyarthritis, or neurological problems such as those caused by Parkinson’s, MS or Hemiplegia.
Weak Grip
How is it diagnosed?
Grip can be accurately measured using a Grip Strength Dynamometer. It is calibrated to the correct pressure and is highly sensitive at measuring hand strength.

Studies have been performed on both male and female subjects of all ages to find out the average strength in normal hands as a standardised measure of grip strength. The results varied within the same ages groups. Therefore, following an injury to one hand it is best to measure the strength in the uninjured hand for comparison. This helps to give a target to aim towards for the injured hand as that is what is normal for you.

Grip strength is very reliable at telling information about your overall health including general fitness, disease and speed of recovery. In-fact, a reduction in grip strength of more than 11% is associated with illness and disease. 
Weak Grip
Complications
Poor grip strength can be a sign that the muscles are wasting or shrinking. In most cases this is caused by disuse of the hands and fingers but it can also be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, cervical compression, brachial plexus injury, MS, parkinson's, and arthritis.

By far the biggest influence on grip strength is pain. Pain alters how movement is planned by the brain which at an unconscious level will try to protect painful areas. Unfortunately this can lead to the acquisition of some bad habits that put hand joints at the risk of further injury and long term damage. For example, arthritis can cause pain and instability in joints making it difficult for the muscles to support movement. 

Sometimes sensory nerves in the hand can send faulty messages to the brain about how hard to grip an item. You may notice items slipping through your fingers and an increased amount of breakages in your kitchen. If nerves send incorrect information about the surface of the item, such as whether it has a smooth surface or a rubber surface, the hand may not grip with the right amount of pressure. A classic example would be holding an egg too tightly.........ooops!

Whatever the reason, weak grip and pain are the number one causes for missed time off work. Weak grip won't get better by itself and you can't wish it away. The only way to return power to the hand is to work the muscles, address pain limitations sensibly, and learn some good habits that keep hands healthy and strong.
Weak Grip
Treatment at Hand Kinetics
To improve grip strength, Hand Kinetics will analyse the cause, identify the muscles involved and work out a training programme which will achieve 2 main things:
 
First: Protection of unstable joints
Second: Encourage movement in the muscles needed to perform specific actions

In most cases this will involve a graded programme with daily exercise and one or two days rest. In the beginning these are light exercises which aim to establish a movement pathway to the brain. Later concentric and eccentric exercises can be introduced.

We use resistance bands, grip masters and dumbells to challenge your muscles and we offer advice on how you can use your daily activities to give your hands a home workout. For example:

  1. Lift a bottle of water a few times before you drink it to build up wrist muscles
  2. Try balancing a couple of tin cans on the palm of your hand for half a minute
  3. Practice wringing out a wet cloth (warm water helps)

It’s also important to get enough sleep. Sleep is critical for muscle recovery and proper healing of stressed tissues. Aim for seven to eight hours per night. That will give your body time to repair muscle tissue and replenish your muscle’s energy stores.

Finally, your muscles need healthy nutrients and plenty of water to get stronger and stay hydrated. 

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301
www.handkinetics.com
contactus@handkinetics.com



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