5 Exercises to improve hand mobility – Harvard

I have written numerous times about the arthritis I suffer from in my hands and the various techniques I have tried to relieve the pain. Here is Harvard with five exercises that will restore some of the mobility in your hands.

If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right hand mobility exercises can help get you back in motion.

 

pexels-photo-862734.jpeg

Therapists usually suggest specific exercises depending on your particular hand or wrist condition. Some help increase a joint’s range of motion or lengthen the muscle and tendons via stretching. Other exercises strengthen muscles around a joint to generate more power or to build greater endurance.

Your muscles and tendons move the joints through arcs of motion, such as when you bend and straighten your fingers. If your normal range of motion is impaired — if you can’t bend your thumb without pain, for example — you may have trouble doing ordinary things like opening a jar.

These exercises move your wrist and fingers through their normal ranges of motion and require all the hand’s tendons to perform their specific functions. They should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

Below are five easy-to-do range-of-motion hand mobility exercises. Hold each position for 5–10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise at a time. Repeat three times a day.

1. Wrist extension and flexion

Place your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding with your hand hanging off the edge of the table, palm down.

Move the hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch

Return to the starting position.

Repeat the same motions with the elbow bent at your side, palm facing up.

2. Wrist supination/pronation

Stand or sit with your arm at your side with the elbow bent to 90 degrees, palm facing down.

Rotate your forearm, so that your palm faces up and then down.

3. Wrist ulnar/radial deviation

Support your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding or on your knee, thumb upward.

Move the wrist up and down through its full range of motion.

4. Thumb flexion/extension

Begin with your thumb positioned outward.

Move the thumb across the palm and back to the starting position.

5. Hand/finger tendon glide

Start with the fingers extended straight out.

Make a hook fist; return to a straight hand.

Make a full fist; return to a straight hand.

Make a straight fist; return to a straight hand.

For more information on the causes and treatment of hand pain, and strengthening strategies for hands, you can order Healthy Hands, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Leave a comment

Filed under arthritis, hand arthritis, hands, osteoarthritis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s