We are constantly using our hands. They perform countless tasks, small and large, from driving, writing, playing a musical instrument, eating, opening a jar, to turning a key, pouring coffee, or buttoning a shirt. Our hands also help us communicate with others. Although our hands are very important and integral to daily activities, they are also very easily hurt or injured. Whether through work, play, or simply a freak accident like slamming your hand in the car door, we are all just a clap and a snap away from a hand injury. So, what can you do to strengthen your hands and prevent possible injuries?
When you are plagued with hand pain, even the most basic tasks and activities can be difficult to accomplish. Hand pain, or any type of pain for that matter, is disruptive and debilitating. The hands are very susceptible to injury, and conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can cause symptoms of pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility and mobility in the joints. Joint problems happen to be the most common cause of hand pain and disability.
Some exercises can help increase your hand joint’s range of motion, while also strengthening the muscles around the joint. Whether recovering from an injury, or trying to prevent one, hand exercises can improve strength and dexterity to help sustain hand health.
If you have a serious hand or wrist injury, consult your doctor first before participating in any exercise routines. All exercises should be done in a slow and methodical manner, to avoid pain and injury. Do these stretches gently, until you feel the stretch, but stop if you start to feel any pain. Hold the positions for a count of 15 to 30 seconds to get the most benefit. These hand exercises aim to allow your wrist and fingers to move through their normal range of motion, while stretching, strengthening, and conditioning the hands.
- Fist Flex: Open your hand all the way with your fingers spread apart and upright. Slowly bring your hand into a fist with your thumbs being on the outside. Don’t squeeze or clench your fist tightly. Open and close your hand like this 10-15 times. This exercise will help make sure that your hand and fingers have proper range of motion.
- Wrist Rotations: Rest your forearms on a chair or table where your fingers are hanging freely. Bend your wrists backwards and lift your hands up towards you, and then lower them.
- Grip Strengthener: Hold a soft ball, like a stress ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze as hard as you can and release after a few seconds. This exercise will help with grip strength and range of motion.
- Finger Lift: Gently lift your fingers one at a time to help increase motion and flexibility in your fingers.
- Warm Your Hands: If your hands and fingers feel painful and stiff, warm them up before you exercise. This can make mobility and stretching easier and less painful. Use a heating pad or soak them in warm water for about five to ten minutes.
To learn more about the hand and exercises that will help relieve pain, or improve strength, function, and mobility, call South Palm Orthopedics at or request an appointment online.