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5 Hand Exercises to Ease Arthritis Pain

5 Hand Exercises to Ease Arthritis Pain

For patients with arthritis affecting the joints on the hand, maintaining range of motion and strength becomes very important. Exercising the hand gently throughout the day can help to increase the lubrication of the joints, enhancing mobility. Stretching and strengthening exercises should be done gently and within the patient’s pain tolerance. Due to stiffness and pain  associated with arthritis, stretching and strengthening may be painful initially, so patients should go slow.

Wrist Flexion and Extension PROM

  • Keep your elbow straight, use your unaffected hand to bend the affected wrist downward.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Continue to keep your elbow straight, use your unaffected hand to bend the wrist upward.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

 

Repeat 2 Times
Hold 30 Seconds
Complete 1 Set
Perform 2 Times a Day

 

Finger Opposition Combo

  • Begin with an open palm and fingers extended
  • Next, touch the tips of the first and second fingers, then return to open palm.
  • Next, touch the tips of the first and third fingers, continue until all fingers have performed a shown.

 

Repeat 10 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 1 Set
Perform 2 Times a Day

 

Putty Grip

  • Place putty in your hand and squeeze it firmly and slowly
  • Reshape it and repeat it
  • A soft ball can also take the place of putty.

 

Repeat 15 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 1 Set
Perform 2 Times a Day

 

Putty Key Grip

  • Hold putty at the top of your hand
  • Squeeze the putty between your thumb and the side of your 2nd finger as shown.

 

Repeat 15 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 1 Set
Perform 2 Times a Day

 

Rubber Band Extension

  • Expand a rubber band wrapped around your fingers
Repeat 15 Times
Hold 1 Second
Complete 1 Set
Perform 2 Times a Day

 

Heat and ice sometimes help with pain relief as well. Heat will help warm up the joints and muscles, and can be used prior to exercises to increase mobility. Ice is a great anti-inflammatory and can be used before or after exercises to help reduce pain. Keep in mind that icing can increase joint stiffness. Patients with arthritis may want to try alternating ice and heat. For example, use an ice pack on the affected area for 8-10 minutes. Then follow this with a heating pad or warm water submersion for another 10-15 minutes. This will give you the anti-inflammatory benefits of ice, and also the increased circulation and warming of joints with heat.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing similar symptoms and would like to feel relief within 48 hours, find us online or call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Physical Therapists at a location closest to you.

Written by Megan Self, PT, DPT

Performance Physical Therapy is the Sacramento region’s favorite Physical Therapy team. With appointments available within 24 hours, you can book your Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Hand Therapy and Vestibular Rehabilitation appointment and begin treatment quickly. We proudly serve in four locations: Folsom, Roseville, Rancho Cordova and J street In East Sacramento as well as their surrounding cities such as Midtown, Auburn, Rocklin, Elk Grove, Antelope, and Citrus Heights. Let us help you live your most mobile life and get you back to doing the activities you love.

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