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Best Hand Exercises for Stroke Patients at Home Using Mirror


♪ Bob and Brad ♪ ♪ The two most famous ♪ ♪ Physical therapists ♪ ♪ On the internet ♪ – Hi folks, I’m Bob
Schrupp, physical therapist. – Brad Heineck, physical therapist. – Yes and we are the most
famous physical therapists on the internet. – In our own opinion, of course Bob. – Today we’re going to go
over the best hand exercises for stroke patients, at
home, using a mirror. This is something that
they can do themselves, or with a spouse, or with a loved one. – This is really a neat concept. When I saw it, it’s really exciting. I can’t wait to do this. This is going to be fun. – It’s kind of a neat concept, that they not only use
for stroke patients, but they also use it for pain patients who are having intractable
pain in their arm. They convince the arm that
it no longer has pain. – It, that, well… – We’ll talk about it. By the way,
– Oh yeah. if you’re new to our channel please take a second to subscribe to us. We provide videos on how to stay healthy, hit, pain free, and we upload every day. You’re also going to want to join us on our social media channels. There you go Brad. – [Brad] Yeah! – [Bob] Because we’re always
giving something away. In fact, we’re giving away
the iReliev TENS unit, or EMS unit. They’re both combined in one unit. – Right – And this is great for pain control, – Right – And also for strengthening. They also, for some of the runner-ups, they’re going to get some of the pain gel. It’s just a roll on gel. You’ve been using it on your back. – Right. It’s one of those things
that’s a topical pain relief. It works really well. I like it because it’s
a roll on type thing. – Yeah, so go to bobandbrad.com, go to our giveaway section, or go to Facebook, Bob and Brad, it’s pinned to the top of the page. So this is research backed, it’s not something we’re not
pulling out of our butts. – Oh Bob, come on. – Out of our brain, okay, is that better? – Yes, much better. – And they call it mirror box therapy, or mirror therapy. It’s just a simple, cost effective way to work on recovery of the
hands, wrist, and arm function. So what you do is you’re
going to get a mirror. They have expensive ones you can buy, but I just bought a cheap one, I mean, are these things? What are these Liz? Do you think five bucks? Ten bucks? – Right – Yeah, they’re hardly anything at all. And you just have it hooked
up somehow on your table, so it doesn’t fall over. – Right, you could have
someone like I’m doing. Just have someone help
you out and hold it. – Right, cause they can help tell me how things are going on the other side. – Right. – So this is my side that had the stroke. The involved side. – Right. – So it’s on this side,
it’s affected this side, so. You put the involved side on
the other side of the mirror. You put your non-involved arm on the side of the
mirror that you can see. So what you you’re doing here, in essence, is tricking your brain. So right now when I move this arm, I’m thinking that my
left arm is moving too. – [Brad] Is that clear in the camera? – That’s clear? Okay. – [Brad] So he’s not even going to look up and look at the stroke arm. – No I’m not going to look
at the stroke arm at all. It’s funny, I do feel like it’s moving. – [Bob] Yeah. – It’s a weird, weird concept. So they actually use this
for pain control too. If this arm’s having pain, you look at it. You do things, and say
“this one doesn’t hurt when I’m moving it”. And so it tricks the brain, so. The brains an amazing thing, isn’t it? So I’m going to go through
a series of exercise that you can try. – [Brad] Sure. – And as a start. You know, everything is
about repetition with stroke. – [Brad] Right. – You want to start forming
those pathways again. And this is helping form that pathway to remind the arm how it used to work, and try to recreate new ones. – [Brad] Right. – All right, so first one, you’re going to start, now
you can put your hand on, I have a slippery table here so I’m not going to worry about it. But you can put it on a towel, even a sheet of paper. I’m going to do it palm down, flat down. And I’m going to look
at, I’m watching both, and I’m just going to go
back and forth, like this. Brad, do you want to kind
of show what I’m doing? – [Brad] Oh, so, yeah. – Yeah. I’ just going
ulnar and radial deviation. And try to do it with this side too. – [Brad] Right. – Certainly think about,
that’s how you’re starting to establish those pathways. – [Brad] Right. – Second one. Hand on your side, okay? And now you’re going to do
wrist flexion and extension. So yeah Brad, if you
want to show it that way. – So again, he’s thinking
about both hands doing it. – Yeah both hands doing this. – But we’re only getting
feedback from the mirror and looking at the good side. – Yeah, and the person that’s helping you can look and see how much you’re doing. – [Brad] Sure. – You know, so. Then we’re going to go palm up. Now, it’s not unusual after a
stroke to have a spastic hand that wants to close on you. – Right. – So a good one to start of with is to try and open the
fingers, and hold it open. You know, you may not,
you may not be able to bend and flex and extend it here. But if you can hold it – [Brad] Right – just hold it. – And this is something where
if you’ve got a partner, you know, they can offer some assistance. – They can go like that yeah. – And say hold it there,
keep your fingers out. – And then let go, and yep. Exactly. That’s a good point. That’s why it’s nice to
have an assistant with you. And then if you’re able to, yes, you can do flexion and extension. – [Brad] Right. – And as I look over here, I feel like my left arm is doing it. – Right, yeah it is really
an interesting concept. – It’s a weird, weird thing, so, right? And then we’re going to go ahead, palm down on the paper, and we’re going to go ahead and, and this is actually one of the ones sometimes it’s a great
one to start off with, because some times you don’t have much for hand movement yet. – [Brad] Sure. – But you might have shoulder. So you’re going to do shoulder protraction and retraction. So you’re moving the shoulder forward. This is one where you’re
probably want a towel. – Yeah, you don’t want
resistance on the table or whatever you have your hand on. – I’m going to grab a
towel real quick here. – Again, this is not
so much the arm moving, but it’s the shoulder. – Shoulder, right. – Look at Bob’s shoulder. – I’m going forward,
and then I’m retracting. – Forward, and I’m not
trying to use my body, I’m just using my shoulder to drag. – This is where that
shoulder over the scapula is moving across the rib cage. And it’s really important
to get that motion moving, sooner than later. – And often, that’s the
one that comes back first. – [Brad] Sure. – You know, generally a lot of times it comes back proximal to distal. – [Brad] Yeah. – So that’s one of the
things you’re going to see. And the last one, you know, in
reference to the Karate Kid, we want to do wax on, wax off. – [Brad] Oh yes. – So we’re just gonna go
back and forth like this. You’re going to go
internal, external rotation like this, basically. Well you’re doing flexion
and extension of the elbow. – [Brad] Well Bob, I can’t
turn 90 degrees sideways like that. Don’t play games with me now. But again the key here is repetition. You know, they talked about doing this for a good amount of time. 20 to 30 minutes. – Sure. You’re going to get fatigued, physically as well as mentally. You’re going to need to take your break. I imagine you could do circles as well. – You can do circles, yeah. I just gave some examples
– Right. you can, whatever you can work on. Whatever motion you can get
– Right if you can just get like a
little bit of finger flexion, just work on that, you know. Just start, try to get
some movement going at all. – Right. – Any movement at all is excellent. – Right. – And you could actually
do this with the leg, too. – Sure. – You could, especially with ankle dorsiflexion
and plantarflexion. – Right. Yeah, I could see that with
the person sitting down. Or even possibly, well,
not so much laying in bed because it would be
hard to see the mirror. – And it’s nice, you can
always make sure you look good while you’re doing it. Alright, thanks for watching!
– There’s no hope for you Bob. There’s no hope.

Reader Comments

  1. Bob and Brad, the most two famous physical therapists, on the universe!
    Hey I'm Bob physical therapist.
    Hey I'm Brad physical therapists.
    We are the most two famous physical therapist on the universe.
    Yes, indeed Bob.

  2. 2 questions for clarification—
    Are you supposed to be watching yourself in the mirror while performing the exercises?
    Is the effected arm supposed to attempting the exercises simultaneously?
    I assume so but that was not clearly depicted in the video

  3. Hi Bob and Brad, can u please guide me anything for tremors for my patient of SCA12 …I'm also physical therapist from India. Thanks

  4. I really wish I could use your videos as my CEU courses 😂😂 you guys are so much better than the videos they have that I suffer through.

  5. How would you prop up your mirror if you wanted to exercise by yourself, to prevent injury? Suggestions?

  6. I guess the most interesting, and possibly creepy thing is looking in that mirror you'd expect to see the camera operator… but nope. Like magic 😮

  7. Hello! I have hernias between C5-C6 and C6-C7 and the discuss pressured my nerve that leads to right heand for a long time, so now I have problem while writing and generally using my hand. Do you think I could use these exercise? Or do you have some other preposition for me.

  8. Good video but not a lot of explanation on how the brain believes what it sees and forms new neural pathways.

  9. Hello from London,
    Love your stuff!
    quick question:
    wonder what you'd say I should do if i think i've torn a bicep tendon
    it hurts when i use my bicep but on the distal side of the elbow so, i'm thinking it's that
    seen a few people need surgery but i'm not rolling on the floor in agony so hope it's not needed, unless tears don't always hurt so much
    hopefully it's just a strain… how do i know ? 😀
    keep up the good work!
    Thanks!

  10. the following is positive…. {don`t let the screen name get you – it`s a joke}….
    I fell a month ago – 50yo healthy female. Sprained AND broke left wrist when my body weight was forced upon the wrist first and then the forearm – from a height of about 5 feet. I`m assuming that the wrist is improving, but it seems to hurt more now than it did 5 weeks ago. ER xrays show fractured Triquetral bone, and I heard the vague mention of dislocation by the guy who wrapped my wrist in a splint {*no casting}. I`ve had sharp pain with sideways movement of the digits when I apply lotion between my fingers, and sometimes there`s pain down the center of the hand and forearm. Sometimes I feel lightheaded after I gently apply lotion to the forearm, and just after the fall the same action caused me to feel nauseous. I have a LOT of experience with Sciatica from multiple disc issues in my spine {*have lived free of pain-killers because of regular exercise}, and I believe that I`m experiencing a pinched nerve in the arm and hand. I won`t be doing anything about that for a few weeks yet, but I thought that you guys might tell me what therapeutic exercises would be good to start with after I heal enough to begin that activity. I`ve heard that the pain in my fingers might be from a nerve pinched in my neck. Could you suggest a specific of your videos?

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