Evaluation of individual finger forces during activities of daily living in healthy individuals and those with hand arthritis
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INTRODUCTION: Measuring finger forces during activities of daily living and how these forces change for individuals with pathologies such as arthritis is valuable to our understanding of hand function. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The purpose of this study was to determine the forces of individual fingers during the performance of daily activities in healthy participants and determine the envelope of these applied forces. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study investigating twenty-five healthy participants (12 female: 22-65 years old and 13 male: 20-53 years old) and participants with osteoarthritis (12 female: 52-79 years old and 9 male: 64-79 years old) examined at one time point. The force sensors were calibrated for each individual using a load cell to provide force output in Newtons. Each participant performed 19 activities of daily living two times. Force was plotted over time for each task, and the maximum force in each finger during that task was evaluated. RESULTS: The range of applied forces was 1.4 ± 0.6 N to 34.8 ± 1.6 N for healthy participants and 2.3 ± 1.0 N to 30.7 ± 3.7 N for those with osteoarthritis. DISCUSSION: Sensors allowed for real-time monitoring of finger forces during tasks of daily life. This provides the opportunity to isolate hand grips based on finger recruitment and provide information about the magnitude of forces during the activity. CONCLUSION: Measurement of individual finger forces can provide more accurate biomechanical models of the hand and determine the effect of disease on hand functions.
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