Scientific/Clinical Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 4, P529-537, October 2017

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Load distribution of the hand during cylinder grip analyzed by Manugraphy

Published:February 28, 2017DOI:


      Study Design

      Clinical measurement and basic research.


      Manugraphy allows assessing dynamically all forces applied perpendicular to a cylinder surface by the whole contact area of the hand with a high spatial resolution.

      Purpose of the Study

      To identify the physiological load distribution of the whole contact area of the hand during cylinder grip.


      A sample of 152 healthy volunteers performed grip force tests with 3 cylinder sizes of the Manugraphy system (novel, Munich, Germany) on 3 different days. The whole contact area of the hand was sectioned into 7 anatomic areas, and the percent contribution of each area in relation to the total load applied was calculated. The load distribution of the dominant and nondominant hands and with different cylinder sizes was compared. Furthermore, the load distribution between the finger phalanges of each finger was analyzed.


      The results for the dominant and nondominant hands were in all 7 areas of the hand similar with the percent contribution differing within a range of 1%-4% (P > .138). Load distribution changed significantly with different cylinder sizes: all 7 areas differed between 1% and 7% with P < .001, most pronounced for the thumb. The load distribution of the phalanges showed that the contribution of the distal phalanges increased with ascending cylinder size, whereas the contribution of the proximal phalanges decreased. The interindividual variability of the load distribution pattern was noticeable.


      For the clinical practice, Manugraphy might be a useful supplement to traditional grip force measurement for identifying the individual characteristics of a patient's dysfunction and monitoring the progress of hand rehabilitation.


      There is no universal or typical load distribution pattern of the hand but only an individual pattern. To evaluate a compromised hand, it is permissible to compare it with the healthy opposite hand as a reference. Several cylinder sizes should be used for load distribution testing. Using smaller handles in the daily life can help to compensate impairment of the thumb and fingertips.

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      JHT Read for Credit

      Quiz: #515

      Record your answers on the Return Answer Form found on the tear-out coupon at the back of this issue or to complete online and use a credit card, go to There is only one best answer for each question.
      • #1.
        The authors identified _______ different areas of the hand in assessing load distribution during gripping
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
        • d.
      • #2.
        The subject population was approximately
        • a.
          50 healthy senior citizens
        • b.
          100 physical therapy students
        • c.
          150 patients with a history of hand injury
        • d.
          150 healthy individuals
      • #3.
        The load distribution____________________ as the cylinder size increased
        • a.
          remained constant
        • b.
          decreased across the palm
        • c.
          increased at the distal phalanges
        • d.
          increased at the MPs
      • #4.
        With different cylinder sizes the load patterns shifted, most noticeably at the
        • a.
        • b.
        • c.
        • d.
          hypothenar eminence
      • #5.
        Load patterns are individual, not universal
        • a.
        • b.
      When submitting to the HTCC for re-certification, please batch your JHT RFC certificates in groups of 3 or more to get full credit.