Position of Function:

The position of function is the normal position the hand should be in when relaxed. The function of the hand is controlled by opposing sets of muscles. Extensor muscles help to straighten or extend the joint while flexors do the opposite, bending it.  There are a number of conditions, such as stroke or quadriplegia to name a couple, which prevent the hand from returning to this position. Since the flexors are dominant when there is damage to the nervous system they bend the fingers inward in a fist-like position. If not addressed, the hand can become stiffer, more disfigured and what little movement there is may be lost. One way to counteract this tendency is to wear a splint on the hand at night. The splints, however, can be very expensive.

 

To avoid spending the money, yet keep you flexors from causing more permanent disfigurement, grip an empty plastic bottle at night to keep you hand close to the position of function. You have a wide variety of bottles to choose from. Not only do they vary in diameter, they also vary in surface configuration from a relatively smooth to ones that are designed to improve your ability to hold them. The grip on the bottle can be enhanced with Compression Wrap. I would also recomend placing the top on the empty; bottle help it maintain its form. Use one that is comfortable and does not expand your hand too much. After awhile, if all is going well, you can try a bottle with a larger diameter.

Bottle maintaining position of function

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Position of Function

Splint

My hands

Bottles

Normal position of my left hand

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