Whether it comes from arthritis or another source, joint pain in the hands can be excruciating. The pain itself can be debilitating, while the condition can lead to weakness that makes it hard to perform necessary tasks like opening a jar.
When joint pain affects the hands, it leads to pain and stiffness. Part of that is caused by a lack of synovial fluid, which helps lubricate joints. It is possible, however, to get synovial fluid pumping. All it takes is a little movement.
It might sound counterintuitive, but having a routine to help strengthen and lubricate your hands can help with pain management and overall functionality. Hand exercises can help keep your joints flexible, lubricated, strong, and less likely to fail you when you need them.
Here is a routine you can use to boost synovial fluid production, increase your range of motion, and prevent your own hands from holding you back. You can perform these as part of your daily routine, or when your hand begins to feel sore and stiff.
Make a Fist:
- Hold the affected hand out with all of your fingers extended.
- Slowly bend your finger in to form a fist (keeping the thumb outside).
- You don’t need to squeeze tight.
- Open your hand back up again so fingers are extended.
- Do it 10 times, switch hands if desired.
- Use the same starting position as the above exercise.
- Bend thumb down towards your palm and hold for a few seconds.
- Straighten it.
- Repeat the same movement with each finger, individually.
- Place hand on a table, palm down.
- Starting with your thumb, lift each finger slowly off of the table, one by one.
- Hold each finger up for a second or two before lowering.
Additionally, you can perform wrist stretches too. Keeping your hand limber, warm, and well lubricated with activity and engagement can help restore independence and relieve pain.
If you’re living with joint pain in your hands, try these exercises to improve mobility as a part of your pain management protocol.