If your hand requires extra rehabilitation after seeing a hand therapist, at-home exercises may be recommended. These at-home exercises can help people who suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in their hands or wrists. Below we’ve listed just some of the exercises that many be suggested to improve hand mobility. Practicing these exercises at-home in a timely manner, as per recommended by your hand therapist, can help you gain back range of motion and movement in your hands and wrists.
Wrist extension / flexion
Wrist extension and flexion exercises are recommended for those who have difficulty moving their wrist in a normal range of motion. These exercises involve moving your wrist up and down. To start, place your forearm on a table with a rolled-up towel for padding. Make sure your wrist is placed on the towel and your hand is hanging off the edge of the table with your palm down. Next, move the hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch and then return to the starting position with your hand hanging down. Repeat this motion 10 times per day with the elbow bent at your side.
Wrist supination / pronation
Supination and pronation wrist exercises rotate the wrist sideways. To begin, stand or sit with your arm at your side with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and palm facing down. Next, rotate your forearm, so that your palm faces up and then down. Hold each position for 5–10 seconds and repeat this motion 10 times per day.
Thumb flexion / extension
Thumb flexion and extension exercises are great for those who need to focus more on rehabilitating the thumb. To begin, have your thumb positioned outward. Then, move the thumb across the palm and back to the starting position. Hold each position for 5–10 seconds and repeat this motion 10 times per day.
Each of these exercises should be done slowly to avoid injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop what you are doing and contact your doctor immediately. If you’ve recently had a hand injury or hand surgery please consult with your hand therapist before practicing these exercises to improve hand mobility.
For more information on hand exercises, click here.
Article written by William Graves.