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Help or tip for Spasticity issues and ski pole grip

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a family member who has Spasticity in one hand following a car accident. The biggest obstacle she faces while skiing is gripping the left pole with the increased tone & spasticity in that hand, especially when cold.

This past season, she skied with BOEC, and the quick fix for her grip problem was duct taping the hand to the pole.

Has anyone else faced a similar issue, and if so, what are the alternatives?

The only alternative I see thus far, is possibly using an industrial hook and loop on the poles/mittens. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Ray
post #2 of 21
 Here's a question: does she really need poles? What kind of terrain is she skiing? Is the loss of motor control only an issue for pole grip - or does it impact balance overall? Are the lift lines/mazes where she skis too steep to negotiate without pole pushing?

Where I live, more and more folks are skiing without poles (certainly still a small minority). And more and more are realizing that poles have absolutely nothing to do with being able to "ski". And for many people, they get in the way of the balance and looseness needed to ski well. They can have lots of auxiliary functions (which is why I usually use them) -- but if their use outweighs the value of that, maybe just dump them. 

Personally, I have a ton more fun on cruisers when I leave the poles in gear check or in the car. If that's the kind of terrain she's on, she may have more - and easier - fun just dropping the poles & skipping all the Rube Goldberg-ian attempts to make poles work. Just a thought...
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Spindrift,

Thanks for the reply.

" Does she really need poles?"   - She feels secure with poles, and no longer has the ability to skate across flat terrain.

"What kind of terrain is she skiing?"  - She was skiing fairly difficult blue terrain by the end of the season.

"Is the loss of motor control limited to the pole grip?"  -  No, the entire left side was affected to varying degrees, and balance is still an issue as of now.

Thanks!

Ray
post #4 of 21
I'm not sure how easy this would be to implement or how well it would work, but what if you brought the pole and the mit to a seamstress and had velcro attached (female on one; male on the other)?  That should provide assistance to the hold, but still release if necessary.

The reason I suggest this is that I am concerned with someone having their pole attached to them as there are occassions when during a fall or loss of balance, that being stuck to the pole could cause injury.  This is particularly true skiing trees, which I'm guessing she's not doing, but I can't help feel that there would be other situations where not being able to let go of the pole would be dangerous.

Elsbeth
Edited by evaino - 12/6/09 at 1:05pm
post #5 of 21
Sorry to hear the issue is more than just pole grip...

However, the last post makes me think that maybe a Leki trigger grip is a simple place to start. And might be amenable to some supplemental modification w/ velcro, etc.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Elsbeth,
This was my initial thought. One side of velcro sewn into mitt, and the other glued to the pole handle using a gorilla glue.

Spindrift,
I'm not familiar with the Leki trigger grip. Does this design allow you to tighten the strap around the hand? Whats the advantage?

Thanks for both suggestions.
post #7 of 21
Here's the Leki.



An idea is to use velcro straps on the pole.  You will need to figure away to have them chris-cross so they will hold the pole in place.  That way she can use whatever gloves or mittens she wants without modifying them.  The only mod would be on the pole.  Again you have the problem of the pole getting in the way of a fall.

She could also just use one pole in the good hand.
post #8 of 21
 i've had saber grips on a couple of my ski poles and the ones completely shaped like the inside of a hand were verry difficult to loose.
Even with the outside curve split in the middle for safety.
As mentioned you would be looking on something like the hilt/grip of a saber/sword including a looped protector over the outside of your hand. with gloves it should hold well enough without loosing the safety feature. 
The lekis are nice, i have both the trigger and trigger s, but with the saber grips i could give lots more leverage on the ski poles even with hands more or less open due to the better supporting U shaped bottom of the grip.
Unfortunately no idea if someone is making those anymore these days. They were approx 1980/90's

Still it is better to learn to ski without them, if you velcro them you end up with a dangerous thing able to give you ski thumbs etc while falling.

If you have too, Add Velcro to the grip like a tube and to the inside part of the leki strap. It will be lousy with snow inbetween, it will have stronger hold, but it will be a bit safer.  By the way the newer model of leki is better....
post #9 of 21
T-Square is right on it with the Lekis. No glove mods needed. Just get someone with a good sewing machine (and maybe some Seam Grip) to add velcro to the palm. Then a minor mod to add velcro to the pole grip. Thirty seconds to switch gloves/mitts when you want.

Also, it is worth noting that the stock trigger grip can a) be unclipped easily from the pole and b) actually has a pressure threshold under which it will release from the pole if the pole hangs up on anything. Obviously the latter would be impacted by adding velcro to the mix.

I'm biased, but I'd favor the "old" style (pictured) trigger vs the newer "S" style.
post #10 of 21

How has your family member's spasticity been treated?  Has she had botulinum toxin injection for spasticity?  Most people with arm spasticity have flexion of the elbow and wrist, as well as finger flexion.  Although botulinum toxin injection will not improve coordination of the fingers, it can help release abnormal postures.  A specialist in physiatry or movement disorders can discuss this with her.   

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys,

All of the above are excellent ideas. I will look into the Leki with Velcro added to start with.
As far as the safety issue, the velcro should release under pressure much sooner than the duct tape we were using.
The grip becomes an issue mainly when pushing, as in a lift line or flat area. Without a strong grip, or a surface area under the heel of the hand to apply pressure to the pole, the grip tends to slide up and out of the hand.

Is there still a risk having the pole secured to the hand? probably, but she's willing to take the risk of just getting back on skis again knowing the danger that skiing poses.

Acrophobia, the Botox does help, and she continues to receive these.
post #12 of 21
The Lekis will give you lots of leverage downwards, ive used the old and the new ones, still dubbed which ones are the best, the older are a bit stiffer the newer are a lot better when you get snow in the lock mechanism.

Any shoemaker / saddlemaker / sailmaker should be able to sow the velcro in the palm side of the leki straps. i think it is even thin enough to diy. The grip side might require winding thin velcro strip like a tennis bat.

if the only part of velcro you have is the palm it should not be a real issue, if you extend it to the fingers, well then it will be a different story.

you might consider adding the bottom halve of a pole guard http://www.the-raceplace.com/poleguards.html rotated to the side and if needed filed up with some rubber. this should give you even more leverage downwards.

I hope you succeed, regards, Ivo
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ivo,

The Knuckle guard is exactly what I was looking for to complement the rest of the new poles.
Leki makes a mini guard that should work fine, especially rolled slightly outward, placing it directly below the knuckles.

Thanks to everyone for their help with this.
I plan to order the Leki poles and guards this week.

Ray
post #14 of 21
 LOL glad to help you out,m and when you mentioned you wanted a bigger base plate for leverage as is with my oll saber grips (kind of knuckle protector to the side but with that fat bottom support for your hand.
post #15 of 21
We also use the Tetraglove by spokesnmotion (http://www.spokesnmotion.com/catalog/product.asp?product_id=1070). The one below is not exactly the same model we have, but it slips over the glove and a velcro wraps over the fingers and connects to the inner wrist area. We usually use them with outriggers but there is no problem using this with a regular pole. It offers an excellent grip, altough, as mentioned, poor release in the event of a fall.



Hope this helps.
Francis
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
For those of you who helped with this:

We used a high strength fabric glue to adhere a wide strip of velcro into the palm of the left mitten, and the other side of the velcro we used superglue to attach it to the pole handle. Thanks Elsbeth.

We added a knuckle guard to the pole for leverage, and the setup worked fine. Ivo, great suggestion.

Spindrift, I looked at the Leki poles and I'm convinced that this would have improved the setup even more. I plan to by a pair before her next trip.

Thanks guys!
post #17 of 21
I'm always late to the party.

Take a look at the Reliable Racing site for .... Leki WC TTB Trigger S Slalom Pole

There is a pic on the web site and the whole thing retails for like $179 but they are high quality poles and combined with the Leki glove (check if the slot on glove work together) ... the Leki gloves are my favorite and the leather is soft and they are pretty warm.
post #18 of 21
BTW, IMHO, the saber guard got a bad rep.  I think most beginners will fall with their hands open and thumbs out; it's the natural thing to do when breaking a fall.  As you go along you realize this is not a good idea.  Data may prove me wrong of course.

At Reliable Racing ... you can get a "warm body" to talk to and they have been real nice.

Good luck!
Edited by Yuki - 1/6/10 at 5:23pm
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yuki,

I plan to look at the Leki poles in Aspen next week, if available. Just out of curiosity, do the New "Trigger S Power Straps" allow you to
draw the hand(s) up against the pole?

The velcro I described above worked well to keep the mitten on the pole, but at times, her hand would begin to slip out of the mitten.
Having a strap around the hand/mitten that would allow it to be tightened against the pole would be ideal. I think.
post #20 of 21
I have a pair of Leki gloves and they came with the straps.  The bad news ..... this is where I'll fall flat on you ... they pulled the rep's supply sooooo I could never get them at discount and had too many poles to justify (read sneak em' past my wife) .... unless I got them for cheaps.

Give Reliable Racing a call ...... and take a look at the pic of that model on the web site .... I was just thinking of SL guards but if that combo is possible.

Let me know what you think of the photo ...  Leki WC TTB Trigger S Slalom Pole ...

Actually I think the link to the photo came up when I ... :Googled .... Slalom guards .... I'd post a link but I am a total dinosaur on this thing ...  
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank's Yuki,

I appreciate the help.


Ray
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