Varigrip Therapeutic Applications for Arthritis 08/07/2019 The VariGrip™ hand exerciser has a number of therapeutic applications perfect for physical therapists or regular people trying to continue treatment on their own. There are several different types of hand/grip related ailments and injuries which can be treated with VariGrip Therapy. Arthritis affects 350 million people in the world, most being 65 years or older. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 1 in 3 people between the ags of 18 and 64 have or are developing arthritis. VariGrip hand exerciser strengthens the muscles that support the hand in order to promote hand flexibility and increase range of motion, thus reducing arthritis pain and discomfort. So what is Arthritis? Arthritis is, by definition, “inflammation of the joints and its effects.” There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions, and people of all demographics are affected. Advanced cases of rheumatoid arthritis sometimes require invasive surgery to fix the damaged joint. The objective of doing these hand exercises with the VariGrip is to avoid having to go through these types of surgeries by strengthening the muscles that support these hand joints, ligaments, and tendons in order to perform natural hand movements with less discomfort. Common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. Normally, the immune system protects the body from viruses; in people with rheumatoid arthritis, it becomes overactive and attacks healthy tissue much like how other autoimmune diseases act. The immune system mainly attacks the synovium, which is just a fancy word to describe the lining of your joints. Psoriatic arthritis attacks the connective tissue where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones., thus causing psoriasis. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when the pain is more widespread. The brain and spinal cord process pain signal differently, meaning that while a movement may not be painful for some people, it is extremely painful for you. Gout usually can be felt in the feet, specifically originating from the large joint of the big toe. It does not cause widespread inflammation like other types of arthritis. Gout is caused by the body creating too much uric acid, which then results in the creation of uric acid crystals which form within your joints. These crystals cause joint pain and limit joint function. The hook position exercise strengthens the fingers in particular. Many people with arthritis complain that they have trouble using their fingers for activities such as texting or typing. Granted, these types of activities are some of the chief causes of arthritis. Keeping the fingertips slightly bent, you flex all of your fingers down towards the center of the unit in order to compress the springs. By compressing the springs, you are helping your fingers become more flexible as well as allowing the synovial fluid within your hands to travel into your fingers without being obstructed by the inflammation. The cross grasp exercise is a great way of strengthening the tendons and ligaments near your knuckles, as well as strengthening your fingers also. This is particularly helpful if you are experiencing general hand pain and discomfort. Resting the bar across the palm at the base of the fingers, flex the thumb and fingers towards the center of the unit, as if making a fist. Find these, and even more additional exercises at the VariGrip website here. All of the exercises are also great for taking preventative measures against arthritis. While they are incredibly good for people who already have it, they would benefit anybody who thinks that they are at risk for developing arthritis. Hand exercises prevent inflammation caused by muscle stagnation and a lack of stretching. By stretching and using products like the VariGrip, you are taking preventative measures against developing arthritis and general hand and wrist pain. In addition to arthritis, many of these same exercises also help prevent tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.