If you consider how often you need your hands to do things throughout the day, you may be a little surprised at how much they do! From brushing your teeth to tying your shoes to turning on and off a light switch, your hands and fingers are involved in many steps of your daily routine. And if you tend to talk with your hands, they get even more work during the day! Many of these simple tasks can become quite painful if you have arthritis in your hands.
There are things you can do to help with the discomfort of hand arthritis. For starters, try applying 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. Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel helps relieve your arthritis pain, so you can get a better grip on objects—whether it’s a paintbrush, hammer or shovel—to tackle your next DIY project.
Hand exercises and stretches can also provide arthritis pain relief. Focus on using your hands and strengthening them to help reduce arthritis symptoms overall.1 How exactly? 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, 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.” Gentle, daily stretches and exercises can help decrease your pain while improving your range of motion, strengthening your muscles and increasing your endurance.1 For those who work with their hands, this can make a huge difference!
Try adding the below hand and finger exercises for arthritis 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.]
1. Ball Squeezes
Pick up a small, soft ball (stress ball, tennis ball, etc.) in hand. Squeeze for five seconds, then release.2 Do 10 repetitions, then switch hands and repeat.
2. Mold Hand Putty
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. Your doctor may recommend specific hand exercises for arthritis pain relief like squeezing the putty flat between your thumb and fingers, or using your fingertips to pinch it.3 You may be instructed to weave the putty between your fingers like a rope or to pinch it between two fingers, depending on how arthritis affects you.3
3. Wring Towel
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 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. The helpful mechanism in this exercise is making a gentle fist around the towel.2 Make sure that your thumb is on the outside of the fist and be intentional in your movements.2
4. Wrist Bends
Hold your right or left arm out in front of you with your palm facing down.4 Use your other hand to gently press the top of the downward-facing palm down, toward the floor.4 Do this exercise 5-10 times, then switch hands and repeat. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and don’t overdo it.
Give these hand exercises and stretches for arthritis a go and you’ll notice less and less arthritis pain as the weeks go by. Manage daily arthritis pains with non-greasy Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel.