Bowling When You Have an Upper Limb Difference
by Amber Henson, on Oct 11, 2022
There are many hobbies that we’ve covered so far, but bowling is quite specific to how the average bowler uses their hand and wrist to position and throw the ball. So, is it still possible to bowl if you’ve lost your dominant hand? With a partial hand limb difference? With a prosthesis?
In fact, it’s even possible to bowl when you have a bilateral upper limb difference. The Skills for Life group holds an annual bilateral bowling fundraiser tournament. You can watch our patient James Orsak, who has a bilateral limb difference, in the video below:
You’ll notice that James has an activity-specific attachment for the side he bowls with. While that is not necessary (a body-powered hook or ETD can also work), using a terminal device that’s designed specifically for bowling can help you avoid overuse issues, especially if you bowl a lot.
We’re not sure what it is about our patients with bilateral upper limb differences and bowling, but check out Jason Koger in his video below. He shows off the mechanics of the bowling-specific device we created that works on his body-powered arm. Essentially, there’s a small rubber ring that expands when Jason puts the device into the hole of the bowling ball, making it possible to securely pick up the ball. To throw the ball, Jason extends his arm forward and the rubber ring contracts, releasing the ball to go down the lane.
It’s not just our bilateral patients who bowl. Here’s Mike Roth bowling while using his Point Design Digits:
Is bowling something you would like to return to? Or is it something you would like to try for the first time? No matter if you’ve experienced upper limb loss or if you have a congenital limb difference, we have fit hundreds of patients with activity-specific devices to help them fulfill their goals, both at work and off work. Please contact us to learn how you can speak with our clinical team and pursue a prosthetic device that will work best for you. You are also welcome to comment below – we’d love to hear from some bowlers! Thanks for reading.