Clinicians may choose from several objective measures when evaluating an individual for dexterity dysfunction including manual muscle testing, range of motion, special tests, and dexterity tests. All of these will provide valuable information to help guide clinical decision making throughout the course of care. However, there is one objective measure that seems to provide a ton of information: grip strength.
Grip strength has been shown to be a prognostic factor of dexterity function1. Studies have demonstrated how age and grip strength can predict hand dexterity function1. Grip strength testing can also provide us with more information including all-cause mortality, and frailty2-3.
Besides grip strength testing, we need to better understand our patients that we are testing. It becomes important to understand the target user group and associated contextual factors 4. Learning about past medical history, experiences with treatment, belief systems, values, and expectations are all important factors to consider.
Understanding these contextual factors along with the objective data gathered during the physical examination will help guide the overall course of care and enhance the patient experience.
To learn more about Baseline, BIMS Digital 5-Position Grip Dynamometers, click here.
Article Written By Eric Trauber, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT
- Martin JA, Ramsay J, Hughes C, Peters DM, Edwards MG (2015) Age and Grip Strength Predict Hand Dexterity in Adults. PLoS ONE 10(2): e0117598 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.011759.
- McGrath R, Tomkinson GR, LaRoche DP, Vincent BM, Bond CW, and Hackney KJ. Handgrip strength asymmetry and weakness may accelerate time to mortality in aging americans. JAMDA, 2020; 21: 2003-2007.
- Fried LP, Tangen CM, Walston J,Newman AB,Hirsch C,Gottdiener J,Seeman T, Tracy R,Kop WJ , Burke G, McBurnie MA. Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2001 Mar 1;56(3):M146-57.
- Choi YM. Comparison of grip and pinch strength in adults with dexterity limitations to normative values. Procedia Manufacturing, 2015, 3: 5326-5333.