Question by STEPHANIE C: What is a good product to use for a stroke victim’s hand immobility?
My co-worker’s father recently suffered a stroke. He is now in rehab over in Georgia and the center is not so good. She said he is suffering from immobility in his hands and asked me if I knew of anything she could maybe purchase so he can start getting some use of his hands. Does anyone know of a good product to use for a stroke victim’s hand immobility?
Answer by Mama 2 Dustin
you dont need a product for this.
what she is likely referring to is a group of consequences of immobility often referred to as Disuse Syndrome, and likely more specifically in this case is contracture. what will happen if a person can no longer us a certain group of muscles, such as a hand(s) is that the muslces will shrink and cause flexion and fixation of joints, this is a contracture. So if you imagine the outstretched hand and all of the muscles shrinking, the hand will tend to flex into a distorted fist, the wrist will bend inward as well. This can happen to any joint in the body with disuse. If you imagine any joint in a flexed position, that is what can occur.
It is important that any muslces or joints being effected by immobility be extended and put thru a range of motion several times daily. the hands and fingers should be opened fully and each finger should be individually flexed and extended at each joint, the same for the wrist or any other effected areas.
when the joints are not being rehabed, they should be kept in a functional or extended postion for the better part of the day. hands that are unable to be moved by the patient need to have a large foam ball or cylinder or even a rolled towe secured to the palm (ace bandage or gauze wrap work to secure) so that the fingers rest on it and are not able to flex into the fist position.
If the patient retains any degree of movement, they should move each joint as much as they can.
Also, when family visits, a nice, gentle hand massage with a soothing lotion will be beneficial for blood flow and cutaneous stimulation.
lastly, although it is unrelated to the question, be sure to tell your friend to be absolutely sure that her father (if bed-bound) is being turned at least every two hours, a pressure sore can kill a sickly patient or progress to unimaginable wounds requiring massive and extensive wound care. Ive seen a small pressure sore that began as a quarter-sized area of raw skin progress to a wound that i could literally fit my fist into, it was on the butt and the coccyx (lowest spinal bone) was actually visible at the wound bed.
most common spots for pressure sores are the butt, elbows, heels, shoulders and back of head. these are the areas that are supporting the body weight against the bed and get the most pressure.
best of luck to your friend, if the rehab hospital is not to par, she should find another. good rehab is essential to the remainder of many patient’s lives and it can be found.
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