When you’re experiencing hand or finger pain from arthritis, even simple tasks like tying shoes, opening a jar, or holding a pen can be difficult. Ironically enough, while the pain may discourage you from moving your hands it’s often better to exercise them with some simple stretching and movement techniques. WebMD has some good tips on finger exercises worth checking out, and we’ve condensed most of them below. Try them out and see if these will help you restore some mobility and function to your hands and fingers.
Begin by relaxing your arms, allowing them to hang at your sides with elbows slightly bent, palms outward. Slowly bend each finger to touch the tip of your thumb, and slowly return the your finger again to its natural resting point. Do the same with each finger as many times as necessary, and repeat for the other hand.
Begin with arms relaxed, at your side, elbows slightly bent. With your palms facing outward, cross your thumb across the palm of your hand, touching the base of your pinky finger. Then return the thumb to its original position. Repeat as necessary for both hands.
Turn your hands to that your palms are facing away from you. Slowly curl your fingers, making a fist that isn’t too tight. You should be touching your palms with the tips of your finger. Loosen your hands, and slowly extend the fingers back to their original spot. Repeat as necessary.
Place your hands flat on a table or surface with palms down, fingers spread. Slowly lift each finger and thumb individually as high off the table as possible while keeping your palm on the table. Hold for a few seconds, and then put it back down. Repeat for each finger and hand as many times as you need.
Place your palms down on a flat surface with your thumb pointing away from your hand. (like a thumbs up, but with your fingers pointed out.) Starting with your index finger, lift it off the table and over towards your thumb as far as you can while still keeping your palm on the table. Then, gently place it back on the table. Do the same for each finger, moving it over and setting it down again.
Index Card Pull
Clasp a thick piece of paper between your finger and thumb. Using the other hand, pull the paper out from your fingers while pinching the card. You should offer some resistance on the paper while pulling it, and take about three to five seconds pulling the card. Repeat as needed.
Hot or cold treatments can be used with these exercises, and so can pain medications like ibuprofen or tylenol. Remember to always consult your physician or care provider about any exercise or stretching routine. They can also offer advice on what treatments may work better for you. Hopefully you’ll find these exercises useful, and they can provide you with some form of relief. Happy exercising!