From opening a jar to holding your toothbrush, you may not realize how much you rely on the strength of your hands and wrists until you start to have problems with your grip. According to an article published by Iowa State University, the strength of your grip during midlife — age 40 to 65 — may predict your risk of disability during your senior years.
Whether your poor grip is related to loss of muscle strength or an underlying health condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, our orthopedic surgeons at Orthopedic & Wellness — with offices in Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland — can help.
A firm handshake is often used to judge a person’s character and confidence. However, the strength of your grip may indicate more than just your self-assuredness. According to a study published in The Lancet, the strength of your grip may also provide clues about your future health.
The large prospective, epidemiological study found that grip strength may predict your risk of having a heart attack or stroke or dying from cardiovascular disease. Grip strength specifically measures the force and strength of the muscles in your forearm. Your grip determines how firmly and strongly you can hold onto things, as well as the weight of load your grip can handle.
Despite the evidence, you may still wonder how your poor grip affects your health exactly. Wrinkles and gray hair aren’t the only things you have to deal with as you get older. Aging also affects muscle mass and strength, a condition called sarcopenia, which increases your risk of falls and physical disability. Grip strength is a simple tool doctors use to assess muscle strength and health risks.
It’s not just loss of muscle mass and strength that affect your grip. Certain health conditions may also make it harder for you to securely grasp and hold onto objects, including:
In addition to your poor grip, these conditions may also cause hand pain or other sensations such as numbness, tingling, or burning.
Addressing your poor grip may improve your health and decrease your risk of disability and heart disease. Our orthopedic surgeons specialize in conditions that affect the normal function of your hand, wrist, and arm and can identify the underlying cause of your poor grip to develop the most effective treatment plan.
For muscle loss and weakness, we provide specific exercises aimed at improving the strength of the muscles that support your grip. We may also suggest physical therapy for one-on-one training and a more well-rounded exercise program that works all of your major muscle groups.
If your poor grip is due to an underlying condition, we offer targeted treatments aimed at resolving the underlying condition, which may include:
No matter your age or activity, you’re going to have to pick up heavy things, whether it’s a bag of groceries, luggage for your long-awaited vacation, or a young child. Improving your poor grip makes it easier for you to grasp and lift these things, and improves your overall health.
Don’t let your poor grip dictate your current abilities and future health. Let us help you improve your grip strength. Contact us by phone, or book an appointment online today — our offices are open, and we’ve added extra sanitation protocols to ensure your health and safety. Telehealth appointments are also available.