6 hand and finger exercises to help relieve joint pain

Are your fingers or hands feeling rigid or sore?  It could be a symptom of arthritis or simply just wear and tear.

If it’s caused by arthritis, this is because the disease wears away at the cartilage of a joint and causes inflammation and irritation. When arthritis affects the joints of the hands, it can cause pain and stiffness.

A result of having pain in your hands and fingers is that you may lose vital strength, and when you’re weak, it can by hard to do even the simplest everyday tasks, such as opening jars.

Here are some simple hand and finger exercise to relieve the pain and keep your mobility up.

1. Make a fist

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Start with this simple stretch:

  • Make a gentle fist, wrapping your thumb across your fingers.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Release and spread your fingers wide.
  • Repeat with both hands at least four times.

2. Finger stretch

After you have taken some pain relief, try this exercise:

  • Place your hand palm-down on a table or other flat surface.
  • Gently straighten your fingers as flat as you can against the surface without forcing your joints.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then release.
  • Repeat at least four times with each hand.
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3. Thumb extension

Strengthening the muscles of your thumbs can help you grab and lift heavy things like cans and bottles.

  • Put your hand flat on a table. Wrap a rubber band around your hand at the base of your finger joints.
  • Gently move your thumb away from your fingers as far as you can.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times with both hands. You can do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions.

4. Wrist rotate and flex

Build up resistance in your wrists and work through any soreness.

  • Rest your forearms on the arms of a chair so your wrists are supported by the ends of the chair’s arms and your fingers hang free.
  • Bend your wrists back, lifting your hands up toward you, and then lower your hands back down. Repeat the lifting and lowering 5 to 10 times.

5. Thumb flexion/extension

This one can really be done anywhere!

  • Begin with your thumb positioned outward.
  • Move the thumb across the palm and back to the starting position, ensuring you stretch it right out.

6. Hand/finger tendon glide

Nearly there, you can do it! Here’s one for both the hand and fingers.

  • Start with your fingers extended straight out.
  • Make a hook fist (like a C); return to a straight hand.
  • Make a full fist; return to a straight hand.
  • Repeat 10 times.

How do you relieve arthritis pain in hands and fingers?