Therapy putty

Therapy Putty: Strengthening Hands and Relieving Stress

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Therapy putty in different colours

What is therapy putty?

The versatile instrument known as therapy putty, also referred to as exercise putty or hand putty, is frequently used in occupational therapy for hand therapy, to assist patients in enhancing their hand and finger strength, dexterity, and flexibility. Therapy putty is a versatile tool for hand and finger exercises because it is a soft, pliable substance that can be squeezed, stretched, twisted, and pulled in different directions.

They come in different strengths

It is a great tool for exercises that concentrate on particular finger and hand motions because it is made of a silicone or latex material that can be moulded and shaped into various forms.

It is available in a range of resistance levels, from extra soft to extremely firm, enabling people to advance their workouts as their strength and flexibility increase.

The usual colour-coded strengths are as follows:

  • Tan – Extremely soft
  • Yellow – Soft
  • Red – Medium
  • Green – Firm
  • Blue – Extra firm

Tan or extremely soft: This form of putty, which is the softest available, is used by people who are just beginning hand therapy or who have very little hand strength.

Yellow or soft: People who have advanced past the extra soft level but still need to work on developing hand strength should use this variety of putty, which is a little firmer than tan.

Red or medium: It is firmer than yellow and is used by people who have average hand strength but still need to improve their agility and strength.

Green or firm: This one is used by people who have strong hands but need to keep or enhance their hand function. It is firmer than red therapy putty.

Blue or extra firm: It is used by people who have very strong gripping power and require a lot of resistance to keep or enhance their hand function.

It’s essential to keep in mind that some brands of therapy putty may use various colours or strengths, so it’s always a good idea to check the label or consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right strength for your requirements.

Which putty strength is best for your needs?

Therapy putty comes in a wide range of varieties, each created to satisfy the unique requirements of people with various hand and finger conditions.

A softer putty, for instance, may be beneficial for people with arthritis or other hand and finger discomfort, whereas people who have had surgery or sustained hand or finger injuries may need a firmer putty to help them regain strength and flexibility.

Who can benefit from using it?

  • People with injuries
  • Stroke survivors
  • People with nerve damage
  • Illnesses that impair hand strength
  • Athletes and musicians
  • Anyone who needs to de-stress

A doctor taking a look at an injured hand

People who have hand injuries: Treatment putty is frequently used in hand treatment to aid people in recovering from wounds like fractures, sprains, or dislocations. The hand, wrist, and digits’ range of motion, strength, and coordination can all be enhanced.

Those who have survived strokes: Following a stroke, a person may experience weakness or paralysis on one side of their body, including a limb. Therapy putty can help patients’ grip strength and dexterity, which can be crucial for carrying out daily tasks like dressing, writing and using tools.

Nerve-damaged people: Nerve damage can impair hand and finger movement and feeling. Therapy putty can help people with nerve damage accomplish daily tasks more easily by increasing hand strength and dexterity.

People with illnesses that impair hand skill and strength: Arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and cerebral palsy are a few illnesses that can impair hand dexterity and strength. Therapy putty can assist people with these illnesses in preserving or enhancing their hand function.

Athletes and musicians: Therapy putty can help athletes and musicians increase the strength and flexibility of their hands, which is beneficial for excelling at their activity or instrument.

People who need to de-stress: Squeezing and fiddling with therapy putty can be a soothing and de-stressing exercise. In order to better manage anxiety or other mental health problems, it can help people unwind and concentrate. Another great way to de-stress, that can be used in conjunction with therapy putty, is yoga. If you would like to check out 10 amazing poses that can help with stress, take a look at this post.

In general, therapy putty can be a useful tool for a variety of individuals who want to enhance their hand function or reduce stress. Therapy putty is used for relaxation and tension reduction in addition to occupational therapy. For those who struggle with stress or anxiety, manipulating and squeezing the putty can have a calming and soothing impact.

People of all ages and abilities can use therapy putty because it is a secure and efficient instrument. It is an affordable, mobile instrument that can be used at home or while travelling, making it a viable alternative for people who might not have access to conventional occupational therapy.

How can therapy putty benefit people with autism?

Studies have shown that for people with autism, therapy putty can be employed in several ways.

Sensory stimulation: It can offer a tactile sensory experience that can be calming and soothing. Many people with autism struggle with sensory perception. Putty’s resistance and texture can offer pleasurable sensory input that can assist people with autism in controlling their emotions and focusing.

Development of fine motor skills: People with autism may struggle to develop their fine motor skills, which can limit their ability to carry out everyday tasks. Therapy putty can aid in the growth and improvement of fine motor abilities, including pinching, squeezing, and twisting, which are important for tasks like writing, sketching, and self-care.

Stress management: Due to difficulties with social communication and sensory processing, people with autism may feel anxiety and stress. An enjoyable exercise that can help people with autism reduce stress and anxiety is playing with therapy putty.

A child playing with therapy putty

A treatment putty is a tool that occupational therapists can use in treatment sessions to help autistic patients hone their fine motor skills, enhance their hand-eye coordination, and work on other therapeutic objectives.

It can be used as a play exercise for autistic people to foster involvement and social interaction, according to play therapy. The National Library of Medicine have a great article about play therapy where they explain it in great detail. If interested in learning more, you can find it here.

Therapy putty can help people with autism to increase their fine motor skills, control sensory input, reduce stress, and encourage involvement and interaction, among other things such as, therapy putty can also be used as a self-control aid or a means of rewarding success in chores.

Here are a few movements that can be done with it

Hand squeezing, finger extension, finger abduction and adduction, finger flexion and extension, and thumb opposition are just a few of the movements that can be done with therapy putty. These activities can help increase hand function in general as well as grip strength and finger dexterity.

What to consider when choosing yours

There are several things to think about:

Strength level: As previously stated, therapy putty comes in a variety of strengths that are distinguished by colour. Pick a putty firmness level that suits your requirements and capabilities.

Non-toxic and latex-free: To avoid allergic reactions and guarantee safety, make sure the brand you select is non-toxic and free of latex.

Quality and durability: Pick a sturdy, good-quality one. After repeated use, the putty shouldn’t be readily broken or lose its shape.

Reputable source: Look for companies with a solid reputation that are well-known in the marketplace. Additionally, you can study evaluations and seek advice from medical experts or other users.

Affordability: The cost varies based on the brand and quantity, but it is typically affordable. Choose a therapy putty that offers excellent value for money after taking your budget into account.

The ideal one for you will ultimately depend on your individual requirements and preferences. In order to discover the one that works best for you, it might be beneficial to test out various brands and strengths.

We have also taken the time to research a great brand that is high quality and non-toxic. It has amazing reviews. 

Feel free to check it out on Amazon here.

In conclusion

Therapy putty is a flexible and efficient tool that can be used to increase the strength, dexterity, and flexibility of the hands and fingers. Its numerous advantages make it a useful instrument for occupational therapy and other fields, and its portability and ease of use make it an accessible choice for people of all ages and abilities


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