I'm a musician, in addition to the normal numbness in the fingers of my right hand I'm noticing a weakness in my right hand when playing the piano. Can anyone recommend me a good hand strengthener (exercise machine) that I could use to keep playing competently for as long as possible?
As a lifelong musician myself (especially piano, guitar), and with a job that requires a great deal of typing, I can certainly empathize with your problems! I've posted about my own success in controlling my finger tremor and improving strength and dexterity in my hands many times here at TIMS, so I think I'll just copy and paste most of an entire post below.
I've used a Thera-Band hand exercise ball twice a day for several years, with amazing improvement, but a while back a poster recommended something called Prohands ( http://prohands.net
) also. I intended to try it, so in my post I made a comparison of resistance strengths. I completely forgot until recently when I bought a set of the Thera Band balls for an acquaintance (my results were so amazing I give the balls away all the time
Here's what I said on that thread:
My hand/finger exercises have given me enough control that I no longer hit double letters with every stroke of my left hand and I can now play every note of a piano piece, although more slowly than pre-tremor. It's been nothing short of amazing to see the difference that hand exercises have made in my life.
Here's a link to a thread where I gave my experiences:http://www.thisisms.com/ftopicp-66953-ball.html#66953
Here's a link to the brand of ball I've been using (I get no profits from this one either.) You can find them at all different prices on the net, however, but the main link gives the different resistance weights.http://www.thera-band.com/store/product
I'm trying to decide which resistance strength to pick on the one you suggested [Prohands], so I made a list to compare yours to the ones I use... I actually bought the balls for everyone in my family for Christmas one year. (If you can believe it, I've been the healthiest person in my family for awhile. )
yellow - 1.5 lb (super SOFT - great to squeeze between fingers)
red - 3 lb
green - 5 lb
blue - 8 lb (the original one I got at a PT session. It was pretty stiff until I got used to it. I would start with a lower weight, like a 5 lb.)
black - 17 lb (Yikes. Too hard.)
Prohands exerciser (piano version):
light - 4 lb
med - 6 lb
or 5 lb & 7 lb
I'm kinda excited to see how these work - may try different strengths of this one, too. My left hand is much weaker. Sending, healthy, stable, non-shaky wishes to all this morning.
P.S. I have arthritis in all my fingers and haven't had any pain in them whatsoever in the last few years - since I started exercising them twice a day. Amazing!
Another note - the ball is NOT just to squeeze for strength. The package shows a variety of exercises (plus I make up my own) to improve dexterity. Hope you find as much improvement as I did. I'm positive that music has played a big part in maintaining my relatively decent health, mood, and humor.