If you consider the countless number of times you need your hands to do things throughout the day, they may be one of the body parts you use most frequently. From brushing your teeth to tying your shoes to turning on and off a light switch, your hands and fingers are involved in so many steps of your daily routine. And if you’re a hand talker, they get even more work during the day! But many of these simple tasks can become quite painful if you have arthritis in your hands.1
There are things you can do to help with the discomfort of hand arthritis. For starters, rub some Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel on your hands at the first sign of symptoms. It’s the first and only OTC gel to contain an NSAID, a powerful medicine for joint pain due to arthritis.
Once the initial discomfort has dissipated, contrary to popular belief—or want—you need to focus on using the hands and strengthening them to help reduce arthritis symptoms overall. How exactly? We asked industry experts Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, CSCS, orthopedic physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy & Fitness in New York City, and Jordan Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at Hospital For Special Surgery, to share their top picks for exercises that can help ease arthritis in the hands. “
“Make sure the stimulus you’re putting into the exercise is big enough to make a change,” reminds Dircksen. “You want to do it to get stronger.”
Try adding the below exercises into your routine. We’re guessing you’ll give them a thumbs up with less pain soon enough!
[NOTE: Before trying any exercise, consult with your health care provider to be sure these movements are safe for you.]
Pick up a small, soft ball (stress ball, tennis ball, etc.) in hand. Squeeze for five seconds, then release. Do 10 repetitions, then switch hands and repeat.
Grab hand putty with one hand. For two to three minutes, mold the putty with your hand, constantly squeezing and moving the hand and fingers. Then switch putty into your other hand and repeat.
Roll or gather a towel lengthwise and hold the ends in either hand, one palm facing the floor, one palm facing the ceiling. Squeeze your hands tight around the towel and roll your wrists in opposite directions as though you’re wringing out the towel. Hold this position with tension for three to five seconds, then release. Continue for 10 repetitions, then reverse hand positions and repeat for 10 more repetitions.
Hold your hands up in front of you. Slowly rotate your wrists inwards for 10 repetitions while simultaneously opening and closing your fingers. Then reverse the direction and repeat for 10 more repetitions.
Give these exercises a go and you’ll notice less and less arthritis pain as the weeks go by.
You can take control of symptoms in a few ways: by exercising daily, eating healthy, and using hot or cold packs. Taking these lifestyle tips into consideration can help make life a little easier.
Did you know that your arthritis pain might be induced by stress? Learn to identify the symptoms and what you can do to ease them for more stress-free days with less pain.