It appears that your MSWorld session has not been initiated or has expired. To renew your session, please click here, then click 'Logout' on the right hand side and log back in again.

Go Back   MSWorld Forums > MSWorld Message Boards > The Wellness Room > Occupational Therapy with Susan Dorne
Register FAQ Calendar Guidelines Mark Forums Read Login

Occupational Therapy with Susan Dorne Susan Dorne is a licensed occupational therapist with over 25 years experience. As a healthcare professional and an individual with MS, Susan is volunteering her time to help us in a question and answer format.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-22-2012, 02:31 PM
Pmmagnotta Pmmagnotta is offline
Registered Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Hand tremors/difficulty writing

I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. Slowly, I have developed hand tremors (particularly gripping objects) that make writing, holding a pot, etc very difficult.

Are there specific exercises I can do, ie squeeze a tennis ball, etc? Difficulty writing is extremely frustrating.

Any help is greatly appreciated
Paul
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-22-2012, 06:19 PM
hunterd's Avatar
hunterd hunterd is online now
Administrator
 

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NW, PA
Posts: 2,636
Can u type? I'll leave the exercise tips to susan. Do you have any times that are tremor free? If so can u write then?
__________________
hunterd/HuntOP
hunterd@msworld.org
Co Administrator message boards
MS World

"There is no normal life, just life." Val Kilmer in Tombstone
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-22-2012, 08:01 PM
SusanD SusanD is offline
Occupational Therapist
 

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 215
Keep moving the hand, including each finger separately, while trying not to tire the hand.
Range of motion of all fingers, up down and gripping is important daily. Squeezing various items help to strengthen the hand, you'll also want to practice picking up objects- From large to as small as you can get without getting frustrated.

If you rest your elbow on table, your arm won't fight gravity which can make things easier (be careful leaning on elbows too much and location of ulnar nerve). You can also keep your wrist down as well, the more stabilization, the easier it may be.

Keep grips large. Office stores have grippers that can slide on pens, you can also use on utensils, paint brushes and toothbrushes

If you're able to go online, look into tubing - used to increase grip. Use utensils, pens that are wide.

If buttons/zippers are hard to do, wear pullover shirts and elastic wasted pants.

Your best best would be to get an order for occupational therapy. There are numerous assistive devices and adaptive techniques to help with self care and every day needs. In addition, they will help with finger and hand coordination and strength.
__________________
Be Well,
Susan
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:38 AM
Pmmagnotta Pmmagnotta is offline
Registered Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Typing

Thanks for the responses. Yes, I can type,sometimes slower than I'd like. The tremors are predominately with my thumb and certain movements when involving the thumb, ie gripping objects.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-29-2012, 03:49 PM
SusanD SusanD is offline
Occupational Therapist
 

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 215
If the tremor is in isolated area, an occupational therapist can assess the opportunity to make or provide a prefabricated splint or support -thumb splints/supported are commonly used.
The therapist can also teach ways to compensate.
__________________
Be Well,
Susan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-26-2013, 06:17 PM
Jane77 Jane77 is offline
Registered Member
 

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Weighted Fork for Tremor

A thoughtful friend just gave me a set of weighted utensils (Keatlery brand-cheapest price on Amazon-very nice looking). My hand tremor is terrible & getting worse all the time. The worst problem is when I eat out with people as it annoys them. They feel the need to tell me my hand is shaking & sometimes even reach out & grab my wrist. Really makes you feel good. The fork helps a lot with eating but the tremor is troublesome with other things, too. I'm thinking a weight around my wrist might help but I can't find anythng online. I'm hoping my friend will make me one by sewing weights into some cloth. Any ideas to help with this problem? It's just my right hand. Seeing my neuro wed. May ask for OC after seeing the response above. Had not thought of that. I'm wondering if a movement specialist would be able to help me.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:51 PM
SusanD SusanD is offline
Occupational Therapist
 

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 215
I'm sorry to hear your tremor is worse.

Try ordering food that takes less effort to manage. For instance finger food (sandwiches), ask for foods to be precut in kitchen when possible, avoid difficult foods such as spaghetti and soup. Don't fill glasses all the way.

Keep food/objects close go body, limit amount of space needed to reach out. I want to emphasize posture and positioning. Sit tall, keep arm close to body, rest elbow (and wrist -when necessary). Relax and do deep breathing, limiting stress.

Speaking about food, think about what you eat. Added caffeine and sugar may contribute to increased tremor.

I understand what you mean about the reactions and actions from others. Perhaps it's time to let them know how you feel. Also, if a suggestion has been made to eat at a restaurant that's not 'user friendly' as I like to put it, maybe make another suggestion.

It's hard to make weight suggestions. There are various weights and design types and if it's not correct, it can contribute to difficulty using hand.

Getting a prescription for OT- Occupational Therapy, is a great idea. As well as adaptations, Exercise is important, Is there anything specific you do to increase strength?
There are many exercises that can be done for the arm / hand using household items. An OT can assess what your needs are and address them accordingly

I hope my suggestions are helpful. Keep me informed
__________________
Be Well,
Susan
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:20 AM.