This study has investigated the comparison ofdominant and nondominant hand grip and pinchstrengths of healthy subjects and their relation withhand dominance. In accordance with recent studies,our results revealed stronger grip and pinch strengthsat dominant sides for the whole group. Only 14.09%of our subjects had stronger nondominant hand grips.A similar picture was obtained for the right handedparticipants (10.93%) whereas the ratio of strongernondominant hand was significantly higher for lefthanded group (33.33%).Petersen et al analysed 48 left handed and 262right handed subjects and found a significantdifference between two groups(10). 48% of lefthanded subjects had higher grip values at theirnondominant side but this percentage was only 6.9%for right handed subjects.A general rule often used suggests that the dominanthand is approximately 10% stronger than thenondominant hand(10,11). Hence, this rule has not beenconfirmed in our study in correlation with some otherstudies(10-12). The 10% rule dates back to 1954, whenBechtol observed that most patients presented adifference of 5% to 10% between their dominantand nondominant hands on grip measurements(10).Petersen et al questioned whether the 10% rule couldbe applied to the whole population(10,11). They foundthat on average, grip strength in the dominant handwas 12.7 % stronger for right handed people. Lefthanded subjects showed no such difference betweenthe dominant and nondominant hand.ln our right handed group, grip strength scoreswere 8.20% higher for dominant hand, whereasthis percentage was 3.20% for our left handedsubjects. So we are in agreement with recent studiessuggesting that 10% rule cannot be generalised tothe whole population. While interpreting theseresults we must take into account that the world welive in is mostly designed for right handedness.Most tools and daily appliances are designed for theright hand. As a result, the right hand of both rightand left handed people is exercised more often thanleft on a daily basis(5).Pulp pinch measurements performed with manualpinchmeter were measured between the first andsecond digits of both hands. Pulp pinch is a positioningpinch used in activities requiring fine coordinationrather than power. In our study, pinch strength valueswere significantly stronger at dominant sides. In total,42 of 149 subjects (28.19%) were found to have atleast equal or higher values for nondominant pulppinch. The percentage of higher nondominantFig. 3Comparison of percentages of stronger nondominanthands for right and left handed subject groups.DominantNondominant
Singapore Med J 2002 Vol 43(5) : 237pinch scores were 28.12% and 28.57% for right andleft handers respectively. This similarity may be duethe fact that both hands are used for activities ofdaily living where fine coordination is required. Thedominant hand is used mostly for strength requiringtasks. The data of this study indicate that there is lessdifference in the strength patterns of dominant andnondominant hands for pulp pinch values comparedto hand grip.
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Test, Left-handedness, Right-handedness, Hand Dominance
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