We use our hands constantly throughout the day. This may be by typing on your computer at work, cooking dinner for your family, doing sports, and much more. According to statistics found on InnerBody, each hand consists of 27 bones. That is a lot of bones to take care of! These bones support the muscles in the hand that create movement and allow you to grip and grasp at things. Injuring your hands can make even the simplest tasks difficult!

An injured hand is a huge hassle to your daily life. Once you have a hand injury, you will want to start recovering quickly. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises that you can do on your own to prevent injuries in the first place and help you heal quicker when an injury occurs. Keep in mind, that you should always consult with a physical therapist or physician before doing these exercises to prevent your injury from becoming worse.


Causes of Pain in the Hands

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI): RSI is a term used to describe overusing the hand. Throughout the day, you are using your hand to do the same motions. These repetitive movements cause the muscles, joints and tendons in the hands to become strained and inflamed.

Symptoms of RSI include:

  • Burning, aching and shooting pain
  • Tremors, clumsiness and numbness
  • Fatigue or lack of strength
  • Chronically cold hands, especially fingertips


Sudden (acute) Injury: An acute injury is an injury that occurs from sudden trauma. This may include a direct blow, a penetrating injury, a fall, jerking, jamming or bending your hand abnormally. These cause a sudden injury that will also cause sudden pain.

Acute injuries include:

  • Bruise
  • Injuries to ligaments, tendons and joints
  • Pulled muscles
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations

Stretching Exercises

Stretching your hands will allow your muscles and tendons to become looser and you to gain more movement in your hands.

  • Prayer Stretch: Start with your palms together in front of your chest just below your chin. Slowly lower your hands towards your waistline keeping your palms together. You will feel a stretch in your forearms. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 2-4 times.
  • Clutching Stretch: This stretch will mimic clutching an object in your hand. Spread your fingers wide and then bend the first and second knuckles of your fingers and thumb. Don’t bend the third knuckle that meets the palm. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Your wrist should remain in a neutral, straight position.
  • Finger Pull Stretch: Spread the fingers of your hand and hold the tip of one finger with your other hand. Give each finger and the thumb a gentle tug forward, backward and to each side.


Strength Exercises

Strengthening the muscles in your hands will help avoid injury as well. By having stronger muscles, they will be less prone sprains and strain.

  • Desk Press Exercise: While seated, place palms face up under a desk of table. Press upwards against the bottom of the desk. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Tennis Ball Squeeze: Squeeze a tennis ball or tension ball for 1o seconds to build the muscles in your hand. Don’t squeeze so hard that it’s painful, but you should feel tension in your muscles.
  • Thumb Work: Make a thumbs up with your hand. With your thumb pointing up, create resistance while using your other hand to gently pull on your thumb. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Switch hands and repeat.


Care First Rehab in Cary, NC provides in-home and clinic therapy services including physical, occupational, pediatric, speech, massage, sports injury and more. Contact Pragati Sonker at (919) 460-1921 to schedule your therapy appointment.


Additional Resources:

Hand and Finger Stretches

Finger, Hand and Wrist Injuries

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