Hobbies When You Have a Limb Difference

by Amber Henson, on Jun 7, 2022

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Many people find it helpful to have a prosthesis to help them with their everyday work and home lives. A prosthetic device can help people excel at their job, get back to work and keep them from experiencing overuse issues. At home, people use their devices to cook, clean and perform their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). But as everyone knows, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

There are two different ways a prosthesis can be helpful for a hobby. Either the prosthesis that the patient wears everyday can be employed while the user takes part in their pastime or the user can wear an activity-specific device that allows them to perform the task without any worry about damaging their device (or themselves!).

An example of the first way of participating in a hobby is below. Here, our patient Sam is using his bebionic hand to fish on a riverbank:

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Because Sam doesn’t plan on getting his prosthesis wet, he doesn’t need an activity-specific device for this occasion. Which isn’t to say Sam doesn’t have an activity-specific device:

Sam uses his device for hunting, fishing (on a boat), and riding his snowmobile and ATV.

It’s up to you, your prosthetist and your clinical therapy specialist to discuss which hobbies you want to return to after an amputation or start for the first time if you have either a congenital limb difference or have had an amputation. Our clinical therapy specialists can also recommend adaptive tools to help with a hobby alongside a person’s prosthesis. Check out some of the hobbies that our patients enjoy:

Cooking and Baking

Your time in the kitchen can be as lowkey as making sure you have the right tools for the job or as intense as attaching a knife to the end of your arm! You can learn all sorts of tips and tricks in our two articles Kitchen Tips for Upper Limb Amputees - Cutting and Chopping and Baking for People with an Upper Limb Difference.

Swimming

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Our patient Lizzi Smith, swimmer and a US Paralympic silver medalist, needed a device to train with in the pool. Our Southwest center provided her with a swimming device, and a prosthesis to help her work out at the gym.

Weightlifting and Working Out

Getting into or getting back into the gym is one of the questions we are asked about most. Learn more in our blog article, Weightlifting with an Upper Limb Prosthesis.

Yardwork and Gardening

Because myoelectric devices generally don’t handle getting wet or dirty very well, a body-powered device might be your best choice. Learn more in our two blog articles, Yardwork with a Prosthesis and Gardening with a Prosthesis.

Video Gaming

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Being a gamer with a limb difference comes down to three factors: adapting the controller, picking the right video game system and using a prosthesis to assist playing. You can learn more in our blog article Video Gaming with a Limb Difference.

Playing Music

Drumming, playing the guitar, even the concertina - you can watch it all in our blog article Rock On! Being a Musician with a Limb Difference.

Building and DIY

Yes, it is possible to weld. Yes, it is possible to run a skill saw (even as a bilateral amputee). Yes, it is possible to run a giant chainsaw. Learn more in our blog article Heavy-Duty Activities When You Have an Upper Limb Difference.

Bowling

Jason isn’t the only bowler we’ve helped. Be sure to subscribe to our blog (just use that blue box to your right under this section on a laptop, phone or tablet) we’ll soon have an article that focuses specifically on our patients who love to bowl.

What hobby would you like to get into or back into? Our prosthetists and clinical therapy specialists have helped thousands of our patients figure out how to do what makes them happy. Want to learn how we can help? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us, either in person or via video. Do you have any advice for your peers regarding hobbies? Please comment below. Thanks for reading!

Topics:Activity-Specific DevicesAthletesHeavy Duty ProsthesesHobbiesOutdoor ActivitiesIndoor Activities

About the Upper Limb Library

Arm Dynamics is the most experienced upper limb prosthetic care provider in the world. Our Upper Limb Library is our community space for articles for and by those with an upper limb difference. Read on to learn all about issues that affect those who have had an amputation, and be sure to leave a comment letting us know what topic you’d like to know more about!

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