- Rubber Band Finger Challenge – Shane McPhee -

A handy little device to assist with finger dexterity challenges… a wide rubber band.
A common symptom that many people living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) deal with is the possible reduction in the range of motion of their varying muscle groups, be it, arms, legs, trunk, feet, face, hands fingers etc…

I’ve noticed that PD loves to shorten my gait, reduce my arm swing when walking, slouch my shoulders and head forward and close my fingers in on my hand…a lot of muscle contraction going on… a constant effort by myself to improve posture, retain my range of motion, maintain balance and reduce the chance of falling.

For my finger dexterity, I’ve been using a simple little tool to challenge the progression of my fingers contracting into a fist-like position by placing an elasticized rubber band (from your ‘postie’?) around the outer tips of the fingers on one hand. Slowly open up your hand trying different combinations of finger movement resisting the natural direction your PD wants to go.

An added bonus of having the rubber band handy, is that it’s a simple educational tool for explaining to the less informed, how bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and even rigidity (stiffness) feels to a person with PD, on a smaller scale….see if they’ll try the same finger / rubber band movement on one hand and ask if they note the difference between  that and a rubber band free hand… 

I hope I’ve been of some assistance.

About the Writer

Hello, I’m Shane McPhee – a 63-year-old, married, father of 2 grown sons, living in Toronto, Ontario. In late 2011, at the age of 54, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. 

Since my diagnosis, I’ve remained physically active in group fitness programs, plus I have been involved in the Parkinson’s Community as a volunteer fundraiser.  I’m a former Board member with a local Parkinson’s related charity.

I have found a passion in writing, specifically telling stories, writing poems and sharing accounts of my life, while living with Parkinson’s. I write and share these so that others can see what I’m going through or have experienced and how I dealt with it or learned from it – For the record, I have no medical training nor authority to offer medical advice.

I hope you will find my writing of interest, informative and when possible, a little humorous.