Frustrated, I decided to do something about it. On the internet, I found several sites that had finger and wrist exercises. In February, I incorporated a dozen of the exercises into my daily workout routine. By day three, my fingers, hands and wrists were sore, and I decided to back off a little. I now perform these exercises every other day. It has been a month and my fingers are stronger. It is easier to grip things and my hands function better.
1. Finger Curls
Keeping your wrist straight, extend and spread your fingers. Then make a loose fist, keeping your thumb on the outside of your fingers.
2. Make a Fist
Hand and finger exercises can help strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion, and give you pain relief. Stretch only until you feel tightness. You shouldn't feel pain. Start with this simple stretch:
- Make a gentle fist, wrapping your thumb across your fingers.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Release and spread your fingers wide.
- Repeat with both hands at least four times.
Try this stretch to help with pain relief and to improve the range of motion in your hands:
- Place 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.
This stretch helps improve the range of motion in your fingers.
- 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.
This exercise 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.
- Pinch a soft foam ball or some 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.
Use this exercise to help increase 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.
Strengthening the muscles of your thumbs can help you grab and lift heavy things like cans and bottles.
- Put your hand flat on a table. 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.
This exercise helps increase the range of motion in your thumbs.
- Start with your hand out in front of you, palm up.
- Extend your thumb away from your other fingers as far as you can. Then bend your thumb across your palm so it touches the base of your small finger.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Repeat at least four times with both thumbs.
- When the above become easy, add the following: Starting with an open hand, touch your thumb to the pad just below your pinkie finger. Release and then touch your thumb to the tip of your pointer finger, ring finger, index finger, and pinkie finger, in sequence. Repeat at least six times with both thumbs.
9. Thumb Touch
This exercise helps increase the range of motion in your thumbs, which helps with activities like picking up your toothbrush, fork and spoon, and pens when you write.
- Hold your hand out in front of you, with your wrist straight.
- Gently touch your thumb to each of your four fingertips, one at a time, making the shape of an "O."
- Hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat at least four times on each hand.
- Place your hand palm-down on a table.
- Place your other hand on top of that hand, and lift up with the fingers of the hand on the bottom. You can lift the fingers all at once or one at a time.
11. Finger Joint Blocking
- Lay your hand palm side up on a table. With your opposite hand grasp and hold the affected finger at the middle section just below the end joint. Bend and straighten the finger at the end joint only while holding the rest of the finger straight. Repeat for each finger.
- With your hand in the same starting position, bend and straighten the finger at the middle joint only, while holding the rest of the finger straight. Repeat for each finger.
This exercise can make it easier to open door knobs and hold things without dropping them.
- Hold a soft 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 between sessions. Don't do this exercise if your thumb joint is damaged.