Getting the fingers working again!

So, I have decided that getting the fingers to work again after a stroke is one of the greatest challenges.  I would love to hear from people about what worked for you.   Fine control and dexterity are so uniquely human!  I have recently been studying the literature about how babies and young infants gain control of their finger function. Truly amazing how the brain and body interface goes from shoving a fisted hand into the mouth, to tying shoes, playing the piano, typing, and having unlimited motion and control at our fingertips.  Tell me your story so that we can then share it with other stroke survivors!

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3 thoughts on “Getting the fingers working again!

  1. So my stroke affected my left side and getting my fingers to move in rehab took a lot of effort but we used this machine called the e-stem machine that basically feels like pulsating shocks through your arm & fingers and it helps with re-establishing a connection with the nerves & brain signals. You should try it! Also I recently tried a hyperbaric chamber for 40 minutes and this LED light thingy wrapped around my hand for 30 minutes when I went to this disability expo and it helped stimulate new tingles in my hand which in the days that followed gave me new movement in my fingers. When my fingers first started moving was randomly one day yawning/stretching in the morning and since then I stretch to make my fingers move even if it’s just the reflex kicking in. I hope my experience helps!

  2. Regaining the finger movement and control was probably close to -if not- the most challenging long-term parts to recovering strength. I truly believed visualization could solve my problems. I tried and tried and tried. I cried, and then tried some more. Then there were my hands in dried beans and hands in rice. Theraputty became my friend and still remains in a nearby drawer. And, again, there was visualization. You see, I had played the piano for about 13 years and believed the repetition would be the miracle worker I had read so much about. Beyond this, I always did the work assigned by my occupational therapists not five to ten times a day; rather, I did the exercises fifty to one hundred times a day.

    I know now, looking back over these past eleven years, the one thing that did work miracles was believing in myself and never ever giving up! Believe in yourself and work harder than you ever thought possible = that is my simple hope for everyone seeking advice: Believe in yourself.

  3. Visualization is very important, but try visualizing more simple tasks such as picking up an object by grasping between the thumb and one finger. I have been studying the literature about how a baby / infant learns to use the fingers again, and I believe that this is the key! Babies begin with a fisted hand, then an open hand that works all of the fingers together at one time. It is a gradual process of exploration with ones environment that leads to the individualization of the fingers. Being able to use individual fingers does not begin until a child is about 5-6 years old. So… it seems we need to design exercises that allow one to explore the hand environment at the appropriate level of their recovery.

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