Hand exercises can be effective in improving the strength, flexibility, and range of motion of the joints in the hand. These exercises are recommended especially for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, according to WebMD.
Those suffering from pain in the hands can benefit from exercises that improve the flexibility and strength of these joints. The following exercises are recommended by WebMD specifically for improving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but more specialized programs can be prescribed by a rheumatologist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist.
The initial stretch recommended by WebMD is simply holding the hand and wrist in a straightened position, with fingers and thumb extended straight ahead. The next stretch involves bending the fingers away from the palm of the hand. The top two joints of the fingers should not bend at all, but the joint closest to the palm will flex backwards. Next, the individual should practice bending those top two joints of the fingers towards the palm, one finger at a time.
After this is completed, the third joint of each finger is bent, and the fingertips may touch the palm. A fist should not be made during this stretch. These active stretches may also be done passively by moving the joints with the opposite hand. Each of these stretches should be held for ten seconds and repeated twice daily for maximum relief from hand pain.