Hand Arthritis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

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Hand arthritis is pretty common, and it can be very debilitating. Since the joints in the hand are small, you don’t have to do much to relieve the pain, you just have to keep them moving. These stretches and exercises should help your hand arthritis feel better. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at: http://www.askdoctorjo.com/hand-arthritis

You can set your arm on a table or flat surface to relax it, or if you don’t have anything available, you can prop your elbow up on your knee or thigh.

Start off with a fist and warm up your wrist. With your palm side facing down, move your fist up and down at the wrist for flexion and extension. Now move it side to side in a radial and ulnar deviation movement. Ten in each direction should be fine since this is just to warm up the muscles.

Next, you will keep your fingers straight, and take your thumb and touch each finger in the middle of your hand, and then spread them all back apart. You can do three times back and forth.

Now bend your fingers at the joint closest to your wrist, still keeping the fingers as straight as you can. Bend down and back up gliding the tendons up and down. Now move to the next joint down the fingers. This time open your fingers, and then curl the top part of your fingers down for the stretch. Finally, go to the last joint farthest down the finger. You might have to hold onto the near part of your finger so just the last joint moves. Just start off with ten of each of these with a continuous movement.

For the last stretch, start with all your fingers close together, and then spread them out as far as you can, just like you are fanning them out. You don’t have to do a lot of these exercises since these are small joints. 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a day should be plenty.

Related Videos:

Hand & Wrist Stretches for Arthritis Pain Relief:

De Quervain’s Syndrome Stretches, aka Blackberry Thumb:


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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Hand Arthritis Stretches & Exercises:

DISCLAIMER: This content (the video, description, links, and comments) is not medical advice or a treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. This content should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this content to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in this content. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC and its officers for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this content is at your sole risk.


AskDoctorJo says:

Buy a worksheet with these Hand Arthritis Stretches & Exercises at: https://www.askdoctorjo.com/hand-arthritis-worksheet
Don't forget to hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above! Find all of my videos at youtube.com/askdoctorjo

Majesty Viry says:

Really appreciate it

Dan says:

I was just diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my thumb joints both hands. Hurts ;( Trying these exercises now.

App Free says:


Tanya Booysen says:

Wow I felt immediate relief after doing these exercises,how often should I do them?

Joseph Smith says:

Thanks Dr. Jo! I've had colon cancer, so I can't take NSAIDS anymore, and needed some way to get relief. This helps a lot.

Norah Alchian says:

Thank you Dr Joe. I broke 3 finger on my right hand🥺last September. I had surgery on the 3 fingers, but It’s been a painful and slow recovery
my fingers gotten so rigged, that I can’t make a fist 🤜 I go to hand therapy once a week she’s treating to fold them down! But it’s to painful 😓 The pain management therapist suggested to watch your video’s you are great! i like your exercises. I stared yesterday, and this morning my hand was less stiff, but then again during the day gets swollen and painful 😓 Maybe I’m doing something wrong, 🤷🏽‍♀️ I don’t know.
Thank you again, I love your videos and different exercises.

J P says:

Does finger arthritis always come with swelling? I have been having pain on my thumb and index for a few months but there's no swelling. On my thumb, I can pinch the joint with my other hand and it hurts. My index hurts badly when it's moved side to side. But there's no pain on either fingers when they're not moving.

Whitelivesdon'tmatter? says:

What about stretches for your palms?

William Jubi says:

Excuse the long comment here. Experience consistent pain in my hands, primarily the palms when gripping weights. Typically by the second set it's flaring up and eventually have to stop the exercise not from muscle fatigue but from the tightness/pain in the palms. Dropped down significantly in the weights used and still have the same issue. Was told it may be neck related nerve pain, yet the treatments haven't yielded any results. This has been the case for a few years now with no one able to provide any answers/relief. While it's understandably impossible to diagnose from a comment, have you any potential theories and solutions? Thank you very much for your time Doctor Jo.

Carla Acevedo says:

Hahaa loved the ending!!!!

Allie Baillie says:

Thank you almost immediate relief 😌. Idk why my hands are in so much pain at 21 though 😫

Stuyk says:

Hey, worked like a charm. Been experiencing some arthritis in my hands from typing so much. It's gotten to the point where every once in a while my hands go fully numb and this completely relieves it. I'm going to make it a point to put this into my daily routines at least every hour. Thank you.

Samara Dawod says:

Do you have Instagram or Facebook?

Samara Dawod says:

Thank you very much you helped me a lot🙏

Danilo Betonio says:

really help.tn

Dynamite Thunderstruck says:

Hello doctor Jo! I'm a student and sometimes I get back pain. Not long ago I discovered that one of my shoulders hangs lower than the other. Do you have any idea what this could be due to and what I could do about it?
If I don't study long hours, I usually don't have any back pain. Also, I went back to see old pictures and noticed that my shoulder's been that way for a while (at least since 2018).
I hope you see my message, have a good day and thank you!

Ju Value says:

Ty for sharing I plan to work my hands out everyday in 2222 👐🏾

Zubaidah Almaliki says:

Thanks a lot this helped relieve my pain I don't have arthritis but I have hypermobility condition which really cause me pain in my joints some times and possibly infections ,I've whent to two doctors and they both basically told me to just live with it

Bunebushsquirrelammilsalaciabeansmelon says:

literally everyone in my family has athritis and it scares me im only 17 i play guitar all the time and i can feel the stiffness after about 2 minutes of playing so im saving this video for the future when im like 50 i guess

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