Clipping Your Nails with Upper Limb Loss

Nail Clipping Upper Limb

If you live with upper limb loss, you may have discovered that trimming your fingernails is difficult to accomplish on your own. In many cases, you may rely on a loved one, caregiver, or professional salon to assist you. But what if you could trim your nails with one hand? There are solutions to help.

For those living with upper limb loss, something simple like trimming a nail may be a complicated task. So how do you maintain your nails and your independence? Let’s explore some devices available to assist with one-handed nail maintenance.

Filing Nails

When filing nails, secure the file board under a weighted object or your thigh. Glide your nail across the file.

Clipping Nails

There are a couple of options to assist with nail trimming.

1. Single Arm Press-On Nail Clippers

Press-on nail clippers feature an extra-wide and extra-long base that provides stability and leverage, while the rubber feet hold it in place. To use this type of nail clipper, place your fingernail in between the two blades of the nail clipper. Next, press down on the platform with the palm of your hand, using enough pressure to cut through the nail. For thumbnails, place the thumbnail in between the blades of the nail clipper and create a fist. Push down on the platform with your fist, using enough pressure to cut through the nail.

2. Electric Nail Clippers

To operate an electric nail clipper, simply press a button to turn it on, insert as much of your fingernail as you like, and trim your nail safely and gently. The safe fingernail slot prevents skin from contacting the trimming mechanism so even those with full vision loss can use it safely. They often also catch the nail clippings, helping to eliminate any mess.

A quick internet or Amazon search using the term “one-handed nail clipper” will reveal a variety of results. If desired, speak with your clinician or physical therapist about how to use the chosen device to ensure safety and good body mechanics.

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