Hundreds of patients in Nottingham, UK, are benefitting from an almost unlimited supply of free tennis balls to help with exercises to control the often debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Physiotherapists at Nottingham University Hospital use the balls in a series of exercises to help reduce hand stiffening and aid tremor reduction. Patients are encouraged to roll the tennis balls in the palm of their hands to keep fingers supple and to roll them along the table to stretch out their fingers and help increase manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

"These simple exercises can play a beneficial role in helping Parkinson’s patients retain their hand mobility, making everyday tasks easier to perform," says Sandy Gill, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s physiotherapist. Gill is a member of the gym at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, and asked the center to donate the used balls. "Having a guaranteed, regular supply of free tennis balls has enabled us to give our patients balls to take home with them so that they can practice their exercises at home. It means we can use and distribute them as needed rather than having to be prescriptive over their use.

The center has established a "ball bin scheme" to donate balls to appropriate organizations.

[Source: Medical News Today]