Lifestyle 

Have you got painful joints? These seven hand exercises could relieve arthritis symptoms

Arthritis affects about 10 million people in the UK, including people of all ages.

Joint pain, tenderness, stiffness and inflammation are all symptoms of arthritis.

There’s currently no cure for arthritis, but some treatments could help to reduce some of the painful symptoms.

These simple exercises could help to relieve some of the arthritic joint pain.

Fist clenching

Beginning with your hands and fingers spread out, slowly clench your hand into a fist.

Keep your thumb on the outside of the fist, being careful not to squeeze your hand too much.

Slowly unclench your fist into its original position. 

Repeat this 10 times, and then swap hands.

Knuckle bending

“Keeping your fingers straight, bend your knuckles as far as comfortable [apply a stretch],” said the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

“Straighten your fingers fully.”

Make an ‘O’

This stretch will help relieve achy or stiff pains in the hands, according to medical website Healthline.

“Start with your left hand out and fingers straight,” it said. “Then, curve all of your fingers inward until they touch.

“Your fingers should form the shape of an ‘O’. Hold this position for a few seconds. Then straighten your fingers again.

“Repeat this exercise a few times a day on each hand.”

Towel bunching

Begin with the palm of your hand face down on a laid out towel, on a table, with all of your fingers spread apart.

“Pull fingers together by pressing your hand down into the table and bunching up the towel between your fingers,” said Arthritis Research UK. “Relax the fingers and repeat.”

Thumb bending

Using one of your hands, hold the base of the other hand’s thumb, recommends the NHS.

Without moving the base of the thumb, bend the top half of the thumb, until you feel the stretch.

Return the thumb tip to its original position, and repeat.

Finger lifting

Rest the palm of your hand on a table, with all of your fingers spread apart.

One by one, slowly lift each finger off the table.

Hold the finger in the air for a few seconds, before slowly lowering it.

Play with clay

Playing with clay could help to ease arthritis pain, according to medical website WebMD.

“Playing with putty or clay is a great way to increase the range of motion in your fingers and strengthen your hands at the same time – and it won’t even feel like exercise.

“Just follow the kids’ lead – squish the clay into a ball, roll it into long ‘snakes’ with your palms, or use your fingertips to pinch spikes on a dinosaur.”

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