Hand therapy intervention activities for Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

Blog Post Written By: Rita Steffes

Patients with CIPN may present with symptoms that include numbness, tingling, hypersensitivity to cold, loss of tactile or vibration sensitivity, decreased balance, and shooting burning pain in their hands These symptoms make it difficult for oncology patients to participate in all activities of daily living with dressing, meal preparation, writing, and texting. Research supports that intervention planning for patients with CIPN benefit from a  combination of sensorimotor training, resistance training, and endurance training. 

  • Coin rice search with a towel covering the bowl: This enhances the patient’s sensory system and tactile awareness while being desensitized to the tactile input of the rice. 
CIPN
  •  Button book: Patients experiencing CIPN may have difficulties completing dressing tasks with buttons and zippers due to loss of tactile awareness and numbness. This activity increases fine motor coordination with sensory input from the activities materials, allowing patients to work on the functional task of buttoning and unbuttoning different sized buttons. 
CIPN
  • Vibration tools: Patients may benefit from sensorimotor activities that promote vibrational input, helping to increase awareness and help with numbness and pain. 
CIPN
  • Table sled: The patient works to push this sled back and forth promoting a push and pull motion. This activity is a great intervention for resistance training individualized for the client by easily being able to increase or decrease with weights on the sled that match the needed resistance for the patient. 
CIPN

Tofthagen, C., Visovsky, C., and Rodriguez, R. (2017). Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: An algorithm to guide nursing management. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing 17 (2), 138-144. DOI 10.1188/13.CJON.138-144

Kleckner, I. R., Park, S. B., Streckmann, F., Wiskemann, J., Hardy, S., and Mohile, N. (2021). Clinical and practical recommendations in the use of exercise, physical therapy, and occupational therapy for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (peripheral neuropathy occupational therapy). 

2 Comments

  1. Ebby Sigmund on April 21, 2022 at 1:46 am

    I have a patient with exactly this problem so great timing for this post! Some great ideas to make an interesting and fun programme for them.

    • Miranda Materi on May 1, 2022 at 7:28 am

      Awesome! Glad it was helpful!

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