One of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is the loss of hand and wrist strength, fine motor skills and manual dexterity. This can make simple daily tasks like signing your name, holding a utensil or buttoning a shirt a challenge. One way to push back the progress of these symptoms is to perform simple hand exercises.
These exercises work best when performed daily for a couple of weeks, for about fifteen minutes per session. The specific exercises may include squeezing a small rubber ball as hard as possible and holding it, or making a tight fist and then spreading your fingers out as wide as possible. Another might be flexing the wrists while holding a set of light hand weights. Other hand exercises work on isolating each individual finger, bending and flexing them repeatedly.
According to a study from the University of Granada, doing simple hand exercises for just fifteen minutes greatly improved strength and dexterity for people with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers were able to see an immediate improvement in participants’ ability to write, secure a button and perform other similar tasks.
Hand exercises are an important part of the evidence-based exercise program Wellthon offers in our mobile app. As part of the Delay the Disease program, we’ve seen participants regain better fine motor control and become more independent by simply practicing these basic exercises regularly.