Grasp the power within—the crucial role of grip strength in Parkinson’s disease.
In the battle against Parkinson’s disease, every ounce of strength counts. While this debilitating condition is renowned for its impact on movement and coordination, there is one silent hero that often goes unnoticed; grip strength.
Grip strength is vital in Parkinson’s disease (PD) for several reasons. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects movement and coordination. While it is commonly associated with the motor symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement), it can also lead to various non-motor symptoms.
In this article, we will cover every point in detail, so read it till the end. Let’s dive in.
Why Grip Strength Is Important in Parkinson's Disease
- Functional Independence: Maintaining adequate grip strength is essential for performing daily activities and maintaining functional independence. Tasks such as holding utensils, opening jars, writing, buttoning clothes, and maintaining balance rely on sufficient grip strength.
- Dexterity and Fine Motor Control: Parkinson’s disease can affect fine motor skills, making it challenging to perform precise movements. Grip strength is closely linked to dexterity and fine motor control, allowing individuals to manipulate objects, handle tools, and perform intricate tasks that require controlled hand movements.
- Fall Prevention: Parkinson’s disease increases the risk of falls due to postural instability and impaired balance. Grip strength maintains stability and prevents falls by providing support and a firm grasp on objects or surfaces. Strengthening grip can improve overall balance and reduce the likelihood of falls.
- Handwriting and Communication: Parkinson’s disease can affect handwriting, leading to smaller, cramped, and less legible writing (Micrographia). Adequate grip strength enables a firmer grip on a pen, facilitating more legible and controlled handwriting. It can help maintain effective communication and prevent difficulties in conveying written information.
- Quality of Life: Grip strength directly impacts individuals’ quality of life. Performing daily activities and tasks independently contributes to a sense of self-efficacy and overall well-being.
It’s important to note that grip strength alone does not define the severity of Parkinson’s disease or determine its progression. However, maintaining and improving grip strength through appropriate exercises and therapies can significantly benefit individuals with Parkinson’s disease, supporting their functional abilities and overall quality of life. Therefore, physical and occupational therapists often incorporate grip strength training in a comprehensive rehabilitation program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
Hand Therapy Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease Include But Not Limited To:
- Range of Motion Exercises: Gentle range of motion exercises help maintain or increase the flexibility and mobility of the hands and fingers. These exercises involve stretching and moving the fingers, wrists, and hands through their full range of motion to prevent stiffness and maintain joint health.
- Fine Motor Skill Exercises: Parkinson’s disease can affect fine motor control, making it difficult to perform precise movements. Hand Therapy can involve activities to improve fine motor skills, such as picking up small objects, manipulating buttons, stringing beads, or performing tasks that require precise hand-eye coordination.
- Coordination Exercises: Hand therapy can focus on improving hand-eye coordination and overall coordination of hand movements. These include catching and throwing a ball, playing with manipulative toys, playing digital games, or performing tasks requiring coordinated hand movements.
- Strengthening Exercises: Grip strength exercises can target the muscles of the hands and fingers to improve strength. These may include squeezing therapy putty, using hand grippers or resistance bands, or performing finger and hand exercises using digital dynamometers.
Squegg; An Equipment to Support Hand Therapy for Parkinson's Disease
Squegg has versatile applications in hand therapy. It can replace mechanical dynamometers, therapy putty, squeeze balls, hand grippers, and other activities targeted for coordination and fine motor skills to provide additional advantages. Squegg is a blue-tooth enabled digital dynamometer that helps users assess, track, and improve their grip strength. As a result, it can help strengthen grip, improve fine motor skills and coordination, and positively impact Parkinson’s disease management. With its cutting-edge technology and adaptive games and activities, Squegg is poised to revolutionize the way we approach hand therapy for Parkinson’s.
Squegg Makes Parkinson-Based Hand Therapy Programs Engaging & Result Oriented
- Squegg is more competent than an analog dynamometer. It is portable & lightweight. Volume is (68*45*45), and weight is only 26 grams. So patients can easily grasp it in their palms.
- With each Squeeze, patients engage their muscles responsible for grip strength, promoting resilience and combating the effect of Parkinson’s on hand dexterity.
- It comes with in-app games and fun exercises to boost the grip strength of Parkinson’s patients. In addition, it supports the patients through adaptive games and activities.
- The Squegg app assesses and tracks subtle progress, tracks grip counts, and provides real-time feedback.
- Squegg’s intuitive application is integrated with Gamification. It turns therapy into a rewarding journey with exciting games. Gamification in Squegg helps to increase patient engagement and compliance.
So, choose Squegg, your smart hand trainer, and unlock newfound independence!
- Roberts, H.C., Syddall, H.E., Butchart, J.W., Stack, E.L., Cooper, C. and Sayer, A.A. (2015). The Association of Grip Strength With Severity and Duration of Parkinson’s: A Cross-Sectional Study. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, [online] 29(9), pp.889–896. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968315570324.
- PhD, M.M. (2022). Patients May Show Signs of Parkinson’s Years Before Their Diagnosis | Grip Strength Weakens Before Other Symptoms, Diagnosis of Parkinson’s | Parkinson’s News Today. [online] parkinsonsnewstoday.com. Available at: https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/news/patients-signs-years-before-diagnosis-grip-strength-weakens/ .
- National Institute on Aging (2022). Parkinson’s disease. [online] National Institute on Aging. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease.
- NHS (2019). Parkinson’s Disease. [online] NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/.
- World Health Organisation (2022). Parkinson disease. [online] www.who.int. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/parkinson-disease.
- Cleveland Clinic (2020). Parkinson’s disease: Causes, Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, Support. [online] Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8525-parkinsons-disease-an-overview.