Arthritis in your hands can be quite debilitating. Everything, from tying your shoelaces to brushing your teeth, becomes painful, and you may struggle to work in the capacity you did prior to the arthritis diagnosis. There is no cure for arthritis, but luckily there are some physical therapy exercises that can ease the pain in your hands and make you more comfortable. Take a look at a few of them below.
This exercise is easy and you can do it before you get out of bed in the morning. It should help loosen up all of the stiff joints in your hands. Starting with your pointer finger, bend your finger inward until it touches your palm, and then hold it in that position for a few seconds. Slowly bend it back out again. Repeat this action with your other fingers, one at a time, and then cycle back to your pointer finger and do the exercise with all of your fingers again. Usually, after a few times through, your fingers will feel looser and more limber.
This exercise can help strengthen the muscles in the back of your hand, which will help take some of the strain off of the arthritic joints in your fingers over time. It can also be helpful if your arthritis makes it painful to straighten your fingers. Start with your hand resting flat on the table. Lift your pointer finger up while keeping the remaining fingers and your thumb on the table. Count up for a few seconds, and lower the finger back down. Repeat this with each of your remaining fingers, and then do it a couple more times with each finger. After a week or so of doing this exercise daily, you can start holding each lift for a longer amount of time.
This is a good quick exercise to do whenever you start feeling tight throughout the day. Simply make a fist, and squeeze, slowly increasing the pressure with which you squeeze as you count down. Release, and repeat the fist-making if needed. This should help loosen all of the joints in your hand and keep you comfortable for a little while.
If the exercises above are not as effective, then you may want to call a physical therapy office and make an appointment. They can guide you through exercises that are specifically suited for your needs and the severity of your arthritis. Contact a physical therapist for more information.