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Meglio Therapy Putty is ideal for regaining hand strength, mobility and range of motion after an injury – and a putty programme can also be useful for cyclists who suffer from pins and needles in their palm on long rides.
Why do cyclists need hand putty? If you've been injured following the type of FOOSH (fall onto an outstretched hand) to which cyclists are prone, you may already be familiar with therapy putty as part of a physio programme to improve range of motion, strength and functional mobility. FOOSH injuries include wrist fractures, elbow dislocations or fractures, and the dreaded collarbone fracture, a rite of passage for road pros.
I broke my little finger quite badly in a bike crash in 2003 – I snapped it clean through and had to wear a plaster cast up to my elbow – and it's still weaker and thinner than the other little finger. Probably what I needed was putty rehab, so it's a shame nobody suggested it at the time. Having been squeezing the Meglio putty for a couple of months now, I can now see how it could have helped.
NHS supplier Meglio says its putty also has wider uses outside of injury rehab, including to increase grip, finger and wrist strength in 'healthy' hands; to increase blood flow and to reduce inflammation in the hands. If you suffer from pins and needles in the palms – sometimes called cyclist's palsy – it could be worth giving a putty-based strengthening programme a go: the pressure on the ulnar nerve, which runs from the forearm down the wrist and into the palm, controlling the hand muscles, can often be relieved by a good bike fit that places your hands more comfortably on the bars, but, if you're prone to ulnar nerve pain anyway, hand-strengthening exercises with putty can help, according to some experts.
And finally, putty as stress relief. This was probably the Meglio putty's most useful function for me, having accepted I'll never win a little-finger-wrestling contest. I found squeezing, squidging and moulding it very calming – in fact I'm doing it in between typing this. You can just knead out your troubles. And it's not just touch – there's a visual element to it too: the detailed lines printed into in it by fingers and palms and any surface you leave it on are oddly compelling... Then, if left on a hard surface, it very slowly, imperceptibly, 'melts' into a smooth, brightly coloured puddle. Rolled into a ball it's bouncy, like silly putty. If you have kids they will love all this. My kids stole my putty to use as killer slime from outer space in their own games.
Talking of leaving it on surfaces, don't put it down on a carpet or any sort of fabric because it will stick to it and leave tiny bits of itself there forever – see the picture of my younger son's bedroom carpet post-alien killer slime game.
Although it sticks to carpet, it doesn't leave any residue on the skin at all, it's completely odourless and it doesn't dry out if you don't put it back in its pot. I've been really impressed and intrigued by how its consistency and resistance has stayed exactly the same – even after peeling it off the carpet.
Therapy Putty comes in four progressive resistances, all colour coded: extra soft (yellow) and soft (red) is required if strength or recovery is needed after an recent surgery; medium resistance (green) targets aches and pains which cause slight discomfort throughout the day, and firm (blue) offers the best resistance for increasing grip strength, says Meglio.
Somehow, incredibly, we've never reviewed any other hand putty here at road.cc so we don't have any other house reviews to compare it to, but £4.99 seems reasonable enough and in line with other hand putties. However, I would probably pay £11.99 and get the much bigger 454g pot so that I could squeeze a bigger ball of it. It feels so good that the standard 57g pot just isn't enough...
Silly putty that does sensible stuff like strengthening hands and relieving stress
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Meglio Therapy Putty
Size tested: 57g
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Meglio says: "The Meglio Therapy Putty can be used in a broad range of treatments and rehabilitation needs. Beneficial for building muscle, increasing flexibility, and promoting faster recovery .Perfect for stretching, pinching, twisting and gripping, Meglio Therapy Putty is designed to meet a wide range of strengthening applications for hands, wrists or feet and is suitable for adults and children.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Meglio's website:
Meglio Therapy Putty is available in the following strengths and weights:
Yellow - Extra Soft (53g)
Red - Soft (57g)
Green - Medium (57g)
Blue - Firm (57g)
Perfect for rehabilitation, physiotherapy and improving fine motor skills, Meglio Hand Therapy Putty can be used at home, at the clinic or on the move.
Benefits of using Meglio Therapy Hand Putty:
Increase grip, finger and wrist strength
Increase blood flow to hands
Reduce inflammation in hands
Supports recovery from carpal tunnel and tennis elbow
Wrist pain relief
Full marks. Despite the surface it 'melts' on, it goes back to its original consistency and doesn't dry out.
In the very expensive world of cycling, £4.99 is not much, but this therapy putty has a range of uses and can be invaluable. It's around the same cost as other putties; the 454g pot for £11.99 is better value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It literally does what it says on the pot.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The feel of it. It has to be felt to be believed.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing – except it got me in trouble when it stuck to my son's bedroom carpet.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've never any other hand putty on road.cc, but £4.99 for 57 grams is pretty much in line with other therapy putties – it's neither a bargain nor expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is amazing stuff. If I had been told to use putty in 2003 when I broke my little finger very badly and had a plaster cast up to my elbow, I might now have two little fingers the same size.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem