7 Simple Hand Exercises to Fight Arthritis That You Can Do Anywhere
7 minute read
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain in the country, with millions affected each year. The inflammation causes joint pain and discomfort that can interfere with everyday activities and quality of life, especially when your hands are affected.
Opening jars, typing, writing, and even driving can be painful when your hands are affected by arthritis. When you think about how much you do with your hands each day, you realize how potentially problematic arthritis can be.
The good news is that there are exercises and natural joint supplements you can try to promote hand strength in the face of arthritis.
The Usual Arthritis Treatments
Many people opt to get steroid injections in their hands to reduce inflammation and splints to support the joints.
Oral pain medications also help to alleviate pain, swelling, and inflammation. In severe situations you may also have to get surgery to fix joints that have been damaged by arthritis.
You can also opt for noninvasive methods such as hand exercises. Strengthening the muscles that support your hand joints allows for less painful movements.
By keeping your joints flexible, you may be better protected against arthritis pain. By strengthening ligaments and tendons, you can experience a wider range of motion. Hand exercises also increase your body’s natural production of synovial fluid, which is necessary for joint lubrication and function.
Helpful Hand Exercises
1. The Fist
Anytime your hand is starting to feel stiff, simply make a fist. Hold your hand out with your fingers straight, and then slowly make a fist with your thumb on the outside.
Take care not to squeeze too hard and release after a few seconds, spreading your fingers out again. Repeat this ten times for each hand and you will notice a reduction in joint stiffness.
2. Thumb Bend
With all your fingers out straight, slowly bend your thumb inwards. Stretch it towards your pinky as far as you can without straining or causing pain. Hold that position for a few seconds before releasing and stretching your thumb back out. Be sure to do this with both hands to get the best results.
3. Finger Bends
Start with your hand out straight, and then bend your thumb towards your palm and hold for a few seconds. Straighten your thumb out and then do the same thing with your index finger.
Repeat with each finger on your left hand and then for each on your right. This can be done every day as a preventative measure or just before an activity that will require prolonged use of your hands, such as sewing or drawing.
4. Make an “O”
Starting with your hand and fingers straight, slowly curve them all inwards to meet. The “O” shape will form and you should hold this for a few seconds before releasing to a straightened position again.
Perform this ten times on each hand and you will notice improved range of motion and less arthritis pain.
5. Wrist Stretch
Many people forget about their wrists being instrumental components of hand movements. Performing wrist exercises will promote more fluid hand motions and prevent wrist stiffness that is associated with arthritis.
| Related: A Quick Guide to Osteoarthritis (OA) vs. Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) |
Hold your left arm out with your palm facing down. With your right hand, gently press the left hand down until you feel a light stretch in your wrist and forearm.
Take care not to overdo it and hold for a few second before releasing. Repeat this ten times with each hand.
6. Table Bend
This is the perfect exercise to do on your breaks at work, and all you need is a table or desk. Place the edge of your hand (pinky-side) along the desk or table with your thumb pointing upwards.
Keeping your thumb up, fold all your fingers inward until you make an “L” shape with your hand. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
Repeat this ten times with each for the best relief of pain during the day and improved hand muscle strength for work’s daily tasks.
7. Finger Lift
To switch up your table exercises and get some variety in your at-work hand exercises, try the finger lift too. Place your hand flat down on a table and starting with your thumb, lift each finger, hold, and lay back on the table. Do this with every finger on each hand.
When Exercise Is Over
Outside of regularly performing hand exercises to protect against arthritis pains, there are supplements that support joint health and relieve inflammation associated with arthritis. Important compounds to remember when it comes to promoting joint health include omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin, and hyaluronic acid.
| Related: Understanding Our Joints, Cartilage, and the Aging Process |
Together as part of a clinically proven new supplement, KrillFlex, these compounds promote joint health and ease the pains associated with arthritis.
Astaxanthin: A powerful antioxidant which destroys free radicals that cause tissue damage associated with arthritis pain. Proven to be more effective than traditional choices of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, astaxanthin will deliver pain relief and optimal joint health.
Hyaluronic acid: The benefits of this ingredient go directly to the synovial fluid that ensures your joint move fluidly and without friction. Hyaluronic acid nourishes this fluid and eases arthritis discomfort when taken regularly.
Krill oil: Krill oil contains valuable omega-3 fatty acids which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Studies have found that, by protecting the cell membranes, joint pain can be avoided, as the deterioration of joint cartilage is reduced.
The Bottom Line
You may be one of the millions affected by arthritis, but it doesn’t have to keep you from doing what you love each day. The inflammation contributing to joint damage and pain is manageable with the right supplemental support.
In addition to this, a few daily hand workouts will keep your hands strong, your joint movement fluid, and your favorite activities on the calendar.