A Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) viewer who is on Hemodialysis (HD) asked, "Do you still exercise your fistula once your clinic has started to use it?" Well, the simple answer is, "Yes!" However, the type of exercise you do to maintain and improve your Arteriovenous (AV) fistula is as important as conducting the exercise in the first place.
Exercising your arm before and after surgery may assist your fistula’s development and maturation. While, your fistula typically can take up to 6 months to mature, many Nephrologists believe that consistent upper and lower arm exercises help the fistula strengthen and develop which will significantly improve HD treatment outcomes. Below are some simple and lesser known daily exercise techniques that may be used to preserve and substantially prolong your fistula.
Recommended Reading: Exercises Tailored for Chronic Kidney Disease on Dialysis
Clothes-Pin Grasp: Using a clothespin, squeeze open and allow to close repeatedly for 5 minutes, 6 times daily.
Handgrips: This exercise will improve the maturation of your fistula immediately following surgery. You will use handgrips daily for eight weeks following surgery, according to the National Institutes of Health. Your Nephrologists will determine the exact amount of repetitions.
Stress Ball: It usually will take three to four months for an AV fistula to become effective. For this reason, they are normally inserted months before starting dialysis. Your doctor may encourage you to frequently squeeze a stress ball in order to speed up the maturation of the fistula and maintain its health. You can do this exercise at home or in any other convenient location.
Finger Tip Touches: Another good exercise to help strengthen and develop your fistula are finger tip touches. Touch each finger to the tip of your thumb, opening up your hand after each touch. Touch tips to your thumb repeatedly for 5 minutes, 6 times a day.
Resisted Forearm Supination: Complete this exercise while seated or standing. Place the affected arm palm down on your thigh. Use your other hand to hold the arm in place. Slowly turn your hand up as far as you can while applying light resistance with your opposite hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Relax and repeat at the direction of your Nephrologists.
Resistance Band Wrist Flexion: This exercise helps to enlarge the veins in your arm in order to prepare them for dialysis and improve your cleaning. Using a resistance band, place one end underneath your foot as you sit in a sturdy chair. Hold the other end of the resistance band with your affected arm. Rest your forearm on your thigh with the palm side of your hand facing the ceiling. Bend your wrist up slowly and as far as possible. Your forearm should never leave your thigh. Complete this exercise as directed by your Nephrologists or Surgeons.
By using these simple strategies, you can maintain your fistula to help avoid further painful surgeries and improve your quality of life. KidneyBuzz.com publishes daily news related to improving the quality of life for those on dialyisis as well as breaking CKD news including how to get a transplant sooner. Hence visit KidneyBuzz.com everyday, follow us on Twitter @kidneybuzz and "Like" our Facebook Fan Page so you can receive the latest CKD news and information.
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"Upper and Lower Arm Fistula Exercises." Http://kidneykorner.com/. Kidney Korner.
Zehr, Michelle. "Exercises for an AV Fistula." Http://www.livestrong.com/. LIVESTRONG.