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Hand Exercises for Osteoarthritis

Proper exercise can help control pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a regenerative joint disease characterised by a deterioration of joint cartilage It can occur in any joint in the body. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it can be effectively treated with various medications and lifestyle habits.

Exercise is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis. The best exercises for osteoarthritis sufferers depend on what joints are affected. This article will delve further into exercises specific for the hand, however swimming, walking, and cycling are often the best full body exercises for people with osteoarthritis. It is important you try to get thirty minutes of exercise in daily. The key is to start slowly. Build up your endurance slowly and increase the length of sessions by no more than 10 percent per week. Over time you can build up time and resistance.

Let’s look more specifically at exercises for osteoarthritis in the hand. Hand exercises may help to reduce stiffness, improve muscle strength and joint range of motion.

Guidelines to follow when doing these hand exercises:

• When exercising with arthritis it is important to find a rest/exercise balance that works for you.

• Rest is often needed to settle inflamed joints, but too much rest will weaken muscles and increase stiffness.

• Rest does not always mean lying down, for example it can be changing posture of doing a different activity.

• Avoid movements that cause joint pain. Stiff joints need more exercise.

• Joints that are weak or unstable require more support.

Hand Exercises:

1. Making a hook fist: Start with fingers and knuckles straight, bend middle and tip joints.

2. Making a full fist: Start with fingers straight, bend all joints to make a fist. Return to starting position.

3. Wrist Extension and Flexion: Start with forearm on table and wrist over table edge. Lift your hand while keeping fingers relaxed, hold for 3 seconds, return to starting position.

4. Thumb Flexion: Bend your thumb to touch base of the little finger. Return to starting position.

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