Five hand and finger exercises to aid in arthritic pain relief
If you have arthritis in your hands and fingers, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be to do simple things like pour a cup of coffee or turn a doorknob. Fortunately, there are noninvasive ways to reduce pain that can be done at any time, regardless of where you are! By implementing these hand exercises into your daily routine, you may experience pain relief, an improved range of motion, reduced inflammation and added hand strength. Keep in mind that these recommended durations are flexible and can be altered depending on your preference.
- Make a Fist
If you feel stiffness in your hands, start by spreading out your fingers and slowly curving them into a fist. Your thumb should gently rest on the outside of your fingers. Hold the fist position for 30-60 seconds and slowly spread your fingers out again. Repeat 3-4 times and then do the same with the other hand.
- Finger Flexibility Lifts
Rest your hands face down on a tabletop or other flat surface and spread your fingers slightly. Lift and lower each finger individually. You can also lift and lower all fingers at the same time or intersperse between the single-finger lifts. Repeat several times for each hand.
- Pinch Stretch
This pinching stretch is ideal for those who have a hard time opening packaging or turning keys. Start by holding a soft ball between the tips of your fingers and your thumb. Pinch gently and hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times for both hands.
- The “O’s” have it
When your fingers and hands start to feel achy, try this stretch. Start with your fingers together and straight out. Slowly curl your fingers and thumb together until they touch and form an “o” shape. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds and repeat with the other hand. Perform this stretch as often as needed!
- Thumb Extender
Finger and hand pain can make it hard to grip things like bottles and containers. This quick stretch will help build your thumb strength to reduce pain while holding things. Wrap a rubber band around the base of your finger and thumb joints. Slide your thumb as far as you comfortably can from the other fingers. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and slide your thumb back toward your other fingers until they touch. Repeat 10-15 times for each hand.