Strengthen Hands

Strengthen Hands

Joint pain and stiffness in the hands can make tasks like writing, cooking, and cleaning more difficult. Hand exercises can help strengthen your hands and maintain flexibility and range of motion. Note in your Journal which exercises help.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Exercise

Duration

14

'Stop' Position

Hold your hand upright in front of you, with your wrist, thumb, and fingers pointed upward. Hold this position for about for 5 to 10 seconds. This also serves as a neutral starting position for other hand exercises.

Prompt:  Start in neutral.

CTA: Try this basic hand stretch.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

Fingers Flap

Hold your hand upright in front of you, with your wrist, thumb, and fingers pointed upward. Bend the base joints of your fingers, which connect the fingers to the palm. Keep your middle and end joints and your wrist straight. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat twice a day on each hand.

Prompt:  Finger bends.

CTA: Try this stretch for flexibility.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

Joint Curl

Hold your wrist and the base joints of your fingers straight. Then bend the middle and end joints of your fingers toward your palm, one at a time. Hold each finger in position for 5 seconds. Repeat twice a day on all 10 fingers.

Prompt:  Flex your fingers.

CTA: Stretch to make tasks easier.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

Knuckle Bends

Hold out your hand and bend each finger from the base joint downward toward your palm.  Use your other hand to gently help bend your fingers if needed, but do not forces the fingers downward. Repeat this movement with the second and then the third row of knuckles in your fingers. Hold each joint for 10 seconds. Repeat twice a day on all 10 fingers.

Prompt:  Do finger bends.

CTA: Do this to keep joints flexible.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

Palm Touch

Try this stretch twice a day to keep your hands and fingers mobile:

* Hold both hands out in front of you with the palms facing you.

* Slowly bend your fingers downward, until they touch your palms. Don't make a fist. Instead, your fingertips should be facing your palm.

* Hold for 5 seconds and release.

* Repeat up to 10 times.

Prompt: Banish hand pain.

CTA: Do this to ease pain, stiffness.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

'OK' Position

Start with your hands out in front of you with your fingers pointed up. Use your thumb and index finger to make an "O." Hold this position from 5 to 20 seconds. Do this with each finger and repeat 2 to 10 times on both hands twice a day.

Prompt: Finger moves.

CTA: Touch your thumb and index finger.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: Muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

Fan and Fist

Hold your hand upright in front of you, with your wrist, thumb, and fingers pointed upward and all of your knuckles straight. Slowly and gently spread your fingers as far apart as you can, like a fan opening up. From this position, make a fist. Hold each position for 5 seconds. Repeat on both hands twice a day.

Prompt: Spread your fingers.

CTA: Stretch to increase flexibility.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, joint tenderness, finger pain, hand pain

Treatments: muscle strengthening, stretching, physical therapy

Triggers:

Categories: Exercise

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on January 31, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology.

American College of Rheumatology, Subcommittee on Rheumatoid Arthritis Guidelines. American Rheumatism Association, 2002.

American Physical Therapy Association.

Arthritis Foundation.

Asia Pacific Family Medicine.

Ruddy, S., Harris, E.D., Sledge, C.B., Kelley, W.N., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 7th ed., Saunders, 2005.

McIlwain, H.H. and Bruce, D.F.  The Super Aspirin Cure for Arthritis, Bantam, 1999.

McIlwain, H.H. and Bruce, D.F. Diet for a Pain-Free Life, Marlowe, 2007.

McIlwain, H.H. and Bruce, D.F. Pain-Free Arthritis, Holt, 2003.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Riemsma, R.P. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2003.

O'Brian, A.V. Rheumatology, May 2006.

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