Squeezing activity is an essential part of hand therapy. Thus hand therapists or rehab care therapists recommend their patients to use squeeze balls. As a hand therapist, you always want to include the best devices & tools to make your therapeutic session more effective. You may be aware of different types of squeeze balls available in the market. This squegg ball basically helps patients to strengthen their forearm muscles, hands, and fingers.
How does it work?
When a patient squeezes the ball, the contact pressure in the interface gets distributed between the therapy ball and his fingers and throughout the palm, which positively impacts the joint movement of every individual finger to provide significant rehabilitation.
Musculoskeletal disorders ( MSD) of hands and fingers are very common. In order to minimize the MSDs of the hand, researchers put their efforts into designing an effective tool. Squeeze device is one of the most effective tools to improve intrinsic muscle dysfunction and restore the hands’ usual functionalities.
Now the hand rehabilitative exercise program is incomplete without Squeeze exercise. Thus Squeeze ball or therapy ball is commercially widely available online and offline.
But are they really worth buying? Or it is just a marketing gimmick!
The therapy ball is made of elastic silicone of different compression stiffness and is claimed to strengthen forearm muscles and improve the range of motion of finger joints.
However, in the next paragraph of this article, we’ll talk about what medical research says:
What research says about commercially available therapy balls or squeeze balls?
Freud et al. have developed a four-finger model to analyze the dependence of gripping force on the shape and diameter of the cylindrical and spherical squeeze device. Again, a set of research studies by Kargov et al.; worked on force distribution and area of contact of the hand while pushing, pulling, and gripping with Squeeze device.
All of these studies concluded that the cylindrical surface deformation is minimal with respect to the spherical surface they are being squeezed because the cylindrical surface is relatively rigid compared to the spherical surface. The excessive compression of a spherical ball puts asymmetric pressure on our finger joints which eventually causes pain and joint tears.
Now, most of the commercially available therapy balls are spherical in shape. They have not been designed ergonomically with the following biomechanics. Therefore,these balls fail to offer a desirable output in hand therapy.
For this reason, we request hand therapists, or other rehab care therapists to choose their Squeeze hand therapy device wisely without being biased.
As Squeezing is vital in hand therapy for better results, thus you cannot skip this from your therapy program. We have a better alternative for you, that is the Squegg device.
Now the next question is why Squegg is better than a Squeeze ball. What is unique in it?
Squegg has developed this digital dynamometer considering all scientific factors, including shape, functionality, advanced gamification features, and scope of monitoring the improvements. They optimize the shape and stiffness of the device for better exertion of the hand.
Why Squegg is a far better option than a Squeeze ball or tennis ball for your hand Rehabilitation program
- User friendly, functional shape
The shape of the Squeeze ball available on the market is spherical, and they lack the required stiffness. When a patient squeezes a ball repetitively, it puts excessive pressure on the finger joint, especially the thumb joint, which causes pain. It even puts enough stress on the adductor pollicis muscle of the palm. Thus, patients feel uncomfortable after doing exercise with it for long hours. Additionally, the squeeze ball or therapy balls come in a spherical shape. Therefore, asymmetric distribution of contract force over different parts of the hand causes discomfort, finger joint pain, and unusual fatigue.
On the other hand, the Squegg device has developed with the proper optimization of shape and stiffness. Squegg device comes in a relatively cylindrical shape ( Egg shape). Designers implemented the knowledge of the contact force distribution to make the device ergonomically perfect. Thus, hand therapists can consider the Squegg device as the ideal therapy companion.
- Squegg is versatile, but Squeeze ball is not.
A squeeze ball or therapy ball is only made for Squeeze exercise. But Hand therapy training consists of different hand exercises, all of which could not be performed with a ball. Therefore, patients need to buy other devices. However, you can recommend the Squegg device to your patients because it is a versatile device indeed. This ergonomic, soft, portable device allows patients to strengthen their grip by squeezing the device and helps them to measure and train right and left-hand power grip, lateral/key pinch, three-point/ palmer/three jaw chuck pinch, two-point/ tip to tip pinch.
As this Squegg device comes in a Silicon shell with finger grooves, it is very comfortable to hold and doesn’t cause pain & fatigue or discomfort after long-term use.
- Patients can literally track their own progress with squegg but not with a Squeeze ball.
A Rehab care session seems more interesting when the progress can be tracked. Squegg allows users to track their progress in real-time. It is a digitally integrated device that utilizes a Bluetooth connection to transmit the data to its dedicated ios/Android application on a connected smartphone. From this report, users can check their grip counts and strength ( pound/kilograms of force). The dedicated application of Squegg allows users to measure and track their entire grip strength-building process over the session. Thus patients remain more connected & dedicated to the hand therapy program.
But all of these can not be achieved through a simple Squeeze ball because they are not digitally connected and are not made with all these advanced features.
- Squegg increases patient engagement & compliance
Consistency and engagement matter a lot in hand therapy to get a desirable outcome. However, working with a basic Squeeze ball does not keep patients always motivated and adhere to the process.
But Squegg has done a trick to engage patients in their hand therapy sessions throughout the period. The Squegg device is Integrated with in-app games. Gamification makes this device interesting indeed! It encourages and motivates patients to accomplish their regular grip count targets with exciting games.
In this article, we’ve thoroughly discussed why Squegg is better than Squeeze ball. We hope this information will help you to make a better choice.
Try out Squegg & don’t forget to share your clinical experience and patient response with us!