Easing Arthritis Pain with Hand & Wrist Exercises

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes pain, inflammation, joint deformity, and eventually, deterioration. The body attacks its own joints, particularly the hands and fingers, which can ultimately lead to loss of hand function. Exercising or moving joints can help alleviate pain, strengthen muscles, increase fine motor skills, grip strength, and more. Try some of these hand and finger exercises below to prevent arthritis-related deformities.

Putty Squeeze – improve grip strength

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Place the putty tube in the palm of your hand
  • Squeeze fingers to make a fist around the putty tube
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Putty Pinch – improve thumb muscles and pinch grip

  • Roll a piece of putty into a ball
  • Place the putty between your thumb and pointer finger
  • Press your thumb into the putty ball in a pinching motion
  • Squeeze your fingers and thumb together
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Finger Adduction – improve finger mobility and stabilize joints

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Weave the putty tube between each of your four fingers
  • Squeeze fingers together into the putty, bringing them as close as possible
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Rubber Band Finger Abduction – improve finger mobility

  • Touch your thumb and four fingers together
  • Place a rubber band around them
  • Push your fingers out against the rubber band, stretching the rubber band
  • Maintain outstretched fingers for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Sequential Finger Extension – improve finger mobility and coordination

  • Place your fingers and palm on a flat surface
  • Isolate just the index finger and lift it up off of the surface
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Bring your index finger back down, then isolate and lift your middle finger
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Repeat these steps for your ring and pinky fingers
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

Thumb Abduction – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face each other
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out toward the opposite hand
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Flexion and Extension – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out away from your palms
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Opposition – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Bring your thumb and pointer finger to touch, tip to tip
  • Relax your thumb and pointer finger by placing them back in line with your palms
  • Repeat this process with your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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