Arthritis in hands causes stiffness and pain. Hence, it is essential to do a few exercises that help in maintaining the motion and strength of the hands. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two types of arthritis that usually affect the hands. The cartilage present in the joints is worn out in the former type while inflammation of joints is the characteristic of the latter. If the deformity sets in then you will have trouble in performing even the day to day activities. The less you move your hands the more stiff and painful your hands will become. Therefore, exercise helps in slowing down the progression of the ailment. It strengthens the muscles around your joints and helps in improving the bone strength. Besides practicing these exercises, you can use cold packs that help in reducing swelling and pain in the finger joints. If the joints are only painful without any inflammation then you can use heat to decrease pain.
Exercises to Keep Your Hands Strong
Open and Close
In this exercise, you need to raise your hands up with fingers together. Now, spread your fingers slightly apart and hold it in that position for a couple of seconds. Then slowly bring back the fingers together. Repeat the exercise for ten times.
Place your hands in such a way that it resembles the “thumbs up” position and slowly turn your thumb in a circular manner. After a couple of seconds change the direction of rotation.Now, hold the hand upright and comfortably spread your fingers apart. The tips of your finger must be touched with your thumbs (on the same hand) and then after touching open your hands and go back to the initial position. Continue to do this with the next fingers until your thumb has touched all the 4 fingertips.
Place your forearms on a chair’s arm, so that the wrists are supported and the fingers hang freely. Now, bend the wrists back (lift your hands towards you) and then gradually lower them back. Repeat this lowering and lifting for five to ten times.
Place your hand on a flat surface with your palm down and spread out your fingers slightly. Starting with the index finger, gradually lift and move the finger towards your thumb. Continue to do this with each finger of the hand.However, make sure that you do not use your thumb or wrist in the motion. Repeat this finger stretches with both the hands.
Making a Fist
Relax your hands. Straighten and spread your fingers slightly apart. Now, bend your fingers into the palm to shape it like a fist. Wrap the thumb around your fingers. Slowly uncurl and bring them back to the initial position. Repeat this with the other hand too. Make sure, while doing this exercise, you don’t squeeze the fist too tightly.
Have your thumb, fingers and wrist point upward. Now, touch the tip of the index finger and the thumb to form an O shape. Hold the fingers in this position for about five to twenty seconds. Repeat this two to ten times and it is suggested to do this exercise two times in a day.