Dealing with osteoarthritis can be difficult, and sometimes the most frustrating part is the pain in the hands and fingers. But patients do not have to sit by and live with this pain. The following exercises can help patients strengthen their hands and fingers, increase their range of motion, and give pain relief. Just remember to stretch only until the feeling of tightness and the feeling of pain should not happen. The pain management specialists at Chronicillness.co Site of United States recommends that you do exercises frequently, but not if it causes a significant amount of pain.
Begin by making a fist. Make a gentle fist, wrapping your thumb across your fingers. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Release and spread your fingers wide, then repeat with both hands at least four times.
The finger stretch helps with pain relief and to improve the range of motion in your hands. Start by placing 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.
The claw stretch helps improve the range of motion in your fingers. First, hold your hand out in front of you, palm facing you. Bend your fingertips down to touch the base of each finger joint (your hand should look a little like a claw). Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release. Repeat at least four times on each hand.
The grip strengthener can make it easier to open door knobs and hold things without dropping them. Find a softball and hold the ball in your palm and squeeze it as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each hand. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions. Don’t do this exercise if your thumb joint is damaged.
The pinch strengthener helps strengthen the muscles of your fingers and thumb. It can help you turn keys, open food packages, and use the gas pump more easily. Find a softball or some putty and pinch either the ball or putty between the tips of your fingers and your thumb. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times on both hands. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions. Don’t do this exercise if your thumb joint is damaged.
The finger lift is helpful in increasing the range of motion and flexibility in your fingers. Place your hand flat, palm down, on a table or other surface. Gently lift one finger at a time off of the table and then lower it. You can also lift all your fingers and thumb at once, and then lower. Repeat eight to 12 times on each hand.
The thumb extension strengthens the muscles of your thumbs and can help you grab and lift heavy things like cans and bottles. Put your hand flat on a table and 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.
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