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Does exercise help make hands and fingers more flexible if I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

ANSWER

Regular exercise is very important to make your hands and fingers more flexible. You also need to rest painful joints. It helps to use hand or finger splints to ease pressure if your rheumatoid arthritis flares up.

To exercise your hands and fingers, you can use a soft foam ball like a Nerf ball (not a hard tennis ball). Squeeze it and then relax your hand muscles.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Living with Arthritis." 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institutes of Health: "X-Plain Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Resources."

Arthritis Today: "How is Rheumatoid Diagnosed?"

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

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

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: "Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand."

The Merck Manuals: "Deformities."

EMedicine: "Swan-Neck Deformity."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 06, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Living with Arthritis." 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institutes of Health: "X-Plain Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Resources."

Arthritis Today: "How is Rheumatoid Diagnosed?"

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

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

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: "Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand."

The Merck Manuals: "Deformities."

EMedicine: "Swan-Neck Deformity."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 06, 2018

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What gadgets may help with everyday tasks if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

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