WHY IS SHOULDER STRENGTH IMPORTANT FOR HAND USE?
WRITTEN BY SALLY HILLS-DAVIS CHILDREN'S OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
As a parent of a young child, you may be wondering how you can help your child develop their fine motor skills. Did you know that working on strengthening the shoulder girdle can have a significant impact on their ability to perform fine motor tasks?
The shoulder girdle is made up of the shoulder blade and collarbone, and it plays a vital role in the movement and stability of the shoulder joint. This is important for various fine motor skills. Fine motor skills refer to the ability to perform precise movements with the hands and fingers.
When children have a weak shoulder girdle, it can affect their ability to control their hand and finger movements accurately which affects activities such as writing, drawing, painting, and playing musical instruments. In addition to this activities of daily living like getting dressed, tying shoelaces and using a knife and fork.
Handwriting is a complex task that requires precise movements of the hand and fingers. Children with weak shoulder girdle muscles may have difficulty controlling their pencil which can lead to poor handwriting. Strengthening the shoulder girdle muscles can help children improve their handwriting by providing stability and control to the shoulder joint.
Fortunately, there are many ways to help your child strengthen their shoulder girdle muscles. Activities that involve working on a vertical surface, such as drawing on a chalkboard or whiteboard, can help to activate and strengthen the shoulder girdle. Playing basketball or netball can also be an effective way to strengthen these muscles, as these sports require a lot of overhead movements.
By helping your child to strengthen their shoulder girdle, you can enhance their ability to perform fine motor tasks and improve their posture and overall physical health. The shoulder girdle plays a crucial role in maintaining good posture. When the muscles in the shoulder girdle are weak, it can cause the shoulders to round forward, leading to poor posture.
In conclusion, as a parent, it's essential to understand the importance of shoulder girdle strength for your child's fine motor development. Working on activities and exercises that strengthen the shoulder girdle can have a significant impact on your child's ability to perform fine motor tasks effectively.