As people get older, it is possible to notice more pain or stiffness in the hands and wrist. This does not necessarily mean to stop doing things needing or enjoyable to do. Now, there are more options available to help ease joint pain, strengthen hands, and continue doing things that before were taken for granted.

Arthritis affects the bone, cartilage, soft tissue, and connective tissue in joints. The pain can get worse with repetitive tasks, and make it difficult to do everyday things, such as opening a jar. Signs of arthritis include pain, stiffness, weakness, and joint deformity.

Home treatments and exercise, sometimes with professional supervision, can help reduce the pain and other symptoms, and can be a noninvasive way to:

  • Keep joints flexible
  • Improve range of motion
  • Relieve arthritis pain

There are hand exercises that can help strengthen the muscles supporting the joints and will also help perform hand movements with less discomfort. Always consult a physical therapist or healthcare provider before beginning any exercise regimen or if you develop any pain during any exercise:

  • Make a Fist – Start by holding all fingers out straight. Slowly bend the hand into a fist with the thumb on the outside. Open hand again until all fingers are straight. Do this 10 times with each hand.
  • Finger and Thumb Bends – Start by holding all fingers out straight. Bend each finger or thumb down toward the palm, hold for a couple of seconds, then straighten. Repeat this sequence on each hand.
  • Make an ‘O’ – This exercise can be performed any time the hands feel achy or stiff. Start with all fingers out straight. Curve all fingers inward until they touch, forming the shape of an ‘O’. Hold for a few seconds, then straighten and do on each hand.

Learn more:

Liberating Relief from Aching, Stiff or Injured Hands [Internet] Available from:

Arthritis in hands and fingers [Internet] Available from: