Tips to preserve hand function with CMT

On November 19, the Upstate NY CMT support group met for a presentation from 3 occupational therapists from The Hand Rehabilitation Center at Albany Memorial Hospital. After the presentation the therapists showed different types of equipment and helpful adaptive devices such as kitchen tools,special tooth brushes & flossers, key holders, computer mouses that your hands can rest in.

The following are some tips mentioned to preserve hand function:

  • Avoid pressure against the thumb side of your fingers.
    Example: Use bag holder for plastic bags.
  • Keep your joints in a "neutral" position.
    Example: at night wear hand splints to hold hands in closed, straightened position.
  • Use the largest joint possible to accomplish the task.
    Examples: stir holding the spoon with a fisted grip and using shoulder motions. Use a
    purse with a shoulder strap.
  • Avoid moving fingers/wrists at angles at your joints.
    Example: hold handles straight across your palm, never diagonally (knife, hammer,
    pan, spoon, iron). Turn doorknobs sideways to the door and use wrist motion.
  • Slide objects whenever possible or transport in a wheeled cart. Example: slide a pan along the counter from the sink to the stove.
  • Utilize both hands with palms up to lift items.
    Example: use both hands when removing a pan form the oven.
  • Add leverage (through additional length) to reduce the stress when operating.
    Examples: lever style facets, knob turner, tab grabbers, zipper pulls.

The therapists recommended the following website for adaptive and splinting devices:

Flyers, e-invites, postcards & press releases have been sent for our “Starry Night“ Art de Cure reception, which will take place on December 2nd to benefit the CMTA. A board member will match donations up to $25,000 through February, 2012. For those, who cannot attend the event, but would like to make a donation and double their gift, visit:

Starry Night CMT donation