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How to Properly Hold a Leash to Prevent Upper Extremity Injuries

Dogs and people go hand in hand in Flagstaff, literally. We are a very dog-friendly town and many of us own furry friends. With owning a dog comes the responsibility of walking your furry companion. Have you ever been knocked to the ground by your friend’s excitement in chasing a squirrel?  Holding a leash can be dangerous at times and many different injuries can occur. I have seen people for occupational therapy, after a fall, when they present with a broken wrist or a thumb ligament injury after having their hand caught around the leash. Preventing injuries that can significantly impair life and require recovery time may be avoided by properly holding a dog leash.

Wrapping your hand around the leash does not allow for a quick release in case your dog decides to get very excited and pull. Retractable leashes have been found to pose a hazard as they can offer a very quick jerk when the tension is taken up often resulting in an injury or fall.

The proper way to hold a leash is to use a hold that will give you a strong hold to control your dog but will allow for a quick release.

With this hold, you can easily adjust the length of the leash simply by picking up the slack and making the “U” smaller or extending the leash amount and making the “U” larger.

It is important to avoid injury while out enjoying time with your dog, also while keeping them safe. This leash hold provides a way for allowing a safe and enjoyable experience for all hoping to cut down on the chance for injuries.  FBN

By Ariel Coffey, M.S., O.T.R./L., C.H.T

Ariel Coffey is a certified hand therapist (C.H.T) at Flagstaff Bone and Joint. For more information about Flagstaff Bone & Joint, please call 928-773-2280 or visit flagstaffboneandjoint.com.


Flagstaff Bone and Joint offers excellence in bone, joint and muscle care. The specialty-trained doctors at Flagstaff Bone & Joint are dedicated orthopaedic experts. The practice’s nine doctors specialize in the ankle, elbow, foot, hand, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist as well as joint replacement and revision, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, sports medicine and trauma care. Flagstaff Bone and Joint offers orthopaedic care to Flagstaff, Kingman, Cottonwood and the surrounding areas.  At their Flagstaff location, they also offer Injury Care, an orthopaedic urgent care that offers same-day appointments as well as accepts walk-ins.

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