The finer things in life
Many tasks that we need to do involve intricate movements of our fingers. Our fingers are controlled by 34 muscles originating in our forearms and palms. These muscles connect to our Finger bones by tendons. The fingers actually have no muscles in them! With 34 muscles needed, it’s no wonder that controlling fine motor movements can become an issue when diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.
Tips when suffering from fine motor impairment:
· Avoid extended use of these muscles and plan ahead
When I write, I notice that my handwriting can start out relatively neatly, but then goes downhill into a scrawl. By limiting the use of these muscles, you can preserve them for the things you need. If you know you are going to need your fine skills for a task make sure you doing it your 'strong' times. For some, this is in the morning and for others about an hour after they have had their Mestinon.
· At work implement an ergonomic workstation design
Because the muscles are in your palm and forearm having an ergonomic workstation reduces the strain on affected muscles and minimises the movements required.
Arm supports at a workstation and the correct height of your desk can make a huge difference in reducing strain.
Including alternative computer and telephone access at work can be part of this.
· The smaller something is the more difficult it can be to hold or move.
There are great writing and grip aids that you can buy and slip over your pen or fork. Alternatively, you can get small foam insulation and tape it to your cutlery.
· For phones
Those tiny buttons on a smartphone screen can make your texts come out into a jumble! Try a stylist to type more effectively. You can use voice to text devices to type for you if you are able to speak clearly. Save contacts regularly used on your front screen of your phone, therefore only requiring on click to call or message.
· When reading
Consider using a page turner or book holder to ease the tension in your muscles. See my earlier post (adaptions for leisure reading) about minimising muscle strain when reading.
Do you have any other great ideas that can be used?