Occupational therapists at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC Mercy recently began to offer a new — and pleasant-sounding — form of hand therapy to their patients. It’s called the Music Glove, and according to Danielle R. Karhut, MOT, OTR/L, the device has already helped several patients improve their hand function.
“The Music Glove has been really well received,” she reports. “Patients find it fun and are motivated to exercise.”
For patients with reduced hand movement ability, traditional therapy often requires them to perform the same exercises hundreds of times a day. With the device, patients have an easy and engaging way to get the required repetitions logged.
“There is a video screen and patients play along to the upbeat music like a game,” Danielle explains. “There are sensors on each finger, which record the patients’ movements.”
The movements the Music Glove records include the key pinch grip, pincer grasp, thumb opposition, and finger individuation.
“These are all essential movements we want patients to be able to do once discharged,” Danielle says.
The Music Glove also has the ability to track progress over time.
“We can work with the patient to set therapy goals,” Danielle says. “Each time they use the Music Glove, they can see their improvement from the last session. Some patients like to compete against themselves.
“There are several songs and set ups to choose from,” she continues. “We can test speed and dexterity, and change songs so patients don’t get bored.”
So far, Danielle has used the Music Glove to help patients with spinal cord injuries and neurological diseases. The device’s manufacturer says it can also be used in cases of stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, muscular injury, and developmental disability.
As part of the largest rehabilitation network in western Pennsylvania, the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute offers specialized care for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Our experts combine extensive clinical experience with advanced technology and research to offer our patients cutting-edge treatments to help them work towards their rehabilitation goals. Visit us online or call 1-877-AT-REHAB (28-73422).