7 Exercises To Help Ease Wrist & Hand Pain – Flexiseq

7 Exercises To Help Ease Wrist & Hand Pain

In the UK, 20.3 million people have a musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis or joint pain. Living with joint pain can have a big impact - not just on a person’s physical health, but on their mental health as well.

A key way of managing joint pain and arthritis is through exercise. This doesn’t have to be rigorous exercise in a gym or running, but can be as simple as stretches and exercises that are done from home to keep painful joints moving.

By moving a painful joint, you encourage the essential synovial fluid within the joint to keep moving and bringing in essential nutrients. Furthermore, by moving painful joints you increase the strength in the muscles around them, allowing the joint to be better supported.

Living with arthritis in the wrists and hands can often leave you feeling frustrated by simple tasks you were once able to do but now cause you significant pain. But we’ve found 7 simple exercises and stretches that can start to build strength and help support the joints in your wrists and hands.

As with all exercises, listen to your body and only do what you feel comfortable doing. A little bearable pain when you begin is okay but if it starts to hurt more, stop immediately. If you are unsure, please consult your GP or a trained healthcare professional. If you have not done any exercise in a while, take it slowly and do not put your joints under any strain you do not feel you can take.

Wrist Circles

The purpose of the wrist circle is to improve mobility in the wrist joint which is essential for even the smallest of day to day tasks as it helps stabilise everything you do with your hands.

  • Extend your arm and rotate your wrist clockwise for 30 seconds.

  • Then rotate your wrist counterclockwise for another 30 seconds.

  • Repeat on your other wrist.

Finger Lift

These are great for improving the muscles in your fingers and supporting the finger joints, as well as improving the range of motion in your fingers.

  • Place one hand flat on a surface such as a table, desk or kitchen top.

  • Gently lift each finger one at a time and hold for a few seconds when at the top of the lift before moving onto the next finger.

  • Repeat this two to three times before switching hands and repeating the exercise.

Wrist Flexion

Wrist flexions are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your forearm to better support the wrist joint and to also improve mobility in the wrist joint.

  • Rest your forearm on a table or desk with your wrist and hand hanging over the edge.

  • Slowly lower your hand towards the floor and then gently raise it back up so it is pointing up to the ceiling (or as far as you can comfortably get it).

  • Hold for a few seconds and then repeat 10 more times.

  • Then switch to the other hand.

You can take this exercise further if you feel the joint is strong enough by holding a small dumbbell or something of light weight if you feel comfortable.

Hand Squeezes

This is a simple yet effective exercise to strengthen the muscles in your hands to give you confidence in its joints.

  • Find a soft ball - a tennis ball can be used for this but be aware you will only be able to squeeze it so much - or a specially designed hand squeezer.

  • Squeeze as hard as you can, or as hard as you feel comfortable, and hold the squeeze for 10-15 seconds.

  • Release and repeat this 10 times before switching to the other hand.

Thumb-Finger Touch

Thumb-finger touches are a good way of strengthening the muscles in the thumb to ensure you retain your ability to grip things.

  • Hold your hand out in front of you and spread your fingers as wide as possible. You should feel a slight pull in the base of your hand near your wrist.

  • Touch the tip of your thumb to each finger and return to the spread position between each one.

  • Repeat this ten times and do the same on the other hand.

Thumb Strengthening

Building up strength in your thumb tendons can greatly help strengthen your grip and also support the thumb joint.

  • Hold your hand in front of you and place your thumb on the tips of your other hand’s index and middle fingers.

  • Push your thumb against your fingers, being sure not to move the fingers so they create a resistance.

  • Hold for a few seconds and then release.

  • Repeat 10-15 times and then switch to the other thumb.

Finger Bend

This is particularly important if your finger joints are becoming stiff and you are losing some dexterity or ability to grip certain things.

  • Place your hand flat on a surface like a table.

  • If any of your fingers are not flat on the surface, gently use your other hand to straighten them. It might feel a little painful at first so go gently and only do what you feel comfortable with.

  • You can then make a fist and use your other hand to bend all the fingers so they are in the same position as each other.

  • Do this 5 times and then switch to the other hand.

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