The end of arthritis

Arthritis wears away at the cartilage of a joint, which is the cushioning material between bones. This can cause inflammation and irritation of the synovial lining, which produces the synovial fluid that helps protect and lubricate the joint. When arthritis affects the joints of the hands, it can cause pain and stiffness.

That pain can get worse whenever you use the hand a lot for repetitive tasks. For example, typing on a computer keyboard or gripping utensils in the kitchen can cause discomfort. You may also lose strength in your hands. Weakness in your hands can make it hard to do even the simplest everyday tasks, such as opening jars.

Your joints hurt and it's not getting any better?

There are many home treatments you can use to reduce the pain and disability of arthritis. One easy and noninvasive way to keep the joints flexible, improve range of motion, and relieve arthritis pain is by doing hand exercises. Hand exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support the hand joints. This can help you perform hand movements with less discomfort.

Movement can also help to keep ligaments and tendons flexible, which can help improve range of motion and hand function. Finally, exercise can increase the production of synovial fluid, which can also improve joint function.

Exercise #1:

Make a fist

You can do this easy exercise anywhere and any time your hand feels stiff.

You can do this easy exercise anywhere and any time your hand feels stiff. Start by holding your left hand up straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Be gentle, don’t squeeze your hand. Open your hand back up until your fingers are straight once again. Do the exercise 10 times with the left hand. Then repeat the whole sequence with the right hand.

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Exercise #2:

Table bend

Place the pinky side edge of your left hand on a table, with your thumb pointed up.

Place the pinky side edge of your left hand on a table, with your thumb pointed up. Holding your thumb in the same position, bend the other four fingers inward until your hand makes an “L” shape. Hold it for a couple of seconds, and then straighten your fingers to move them back into the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and then do the same sequence on the right hand.

Outlook for arthritis in hands

Make these exercises part of your daily routine for best results. Talk to your doctor if these exercises become difficult for you to do. Your doctor can recommend more specific exercises for you, or other treatments to help your pain.