4 Arthritis Hand Exercises

By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

4 Hand Exercises for Arthritis

Hand exercises can help to improve the use of your hands if you have arthritis.  But, exercises for arthritis is not the same as other strength exercises.  Arthritis is inflammation in the joints due to the cartilage’s wearing on the surfaces of a joint.  Overloading or stressing an arthritic joint can lead to more pain and less mobility.

4 Top Exercises for Hand Arthritis

Anatomy of the human hand and wrist.

The hand has 29 bones that are connected with ligaments and joints.  That means that there are lots of joints that can become arthritic.  This is why you must be very careful when choosing exercises for the hands if there is arthritis.

JOI hand arthritis treatment

Hand and Finger Arthritis

To learn more about why Hand Pain Can’t Wait, read this ARTICLE or watch this VIDEO.


4 Top Hand Exercises for Arthritis

  1. Opening and Closing the hand under warm water.  Move the hand gently and allow the heat from the warm water to soothe the area.   Repeat gently for several minutes as tolerated.
4 Top Exercises for Hand Arthritis

Opening and Closing Hand Under Water

2. Wrist flexion and Extension Stretches.  Hold each position gently for 30 seconds as tolerated.

Wrist flexion and Extension Stretches

Wrist flexion and Extension Stretches

3. Finger Bending and Extending.  Repeat 20 x gently as tolerated

Finger Bending and Extending

Finger Bending and Extending

4. Wrist movement. Repeat 20 x gently as tolerated.

Wrist movement.

Wrist movement.


Exercises to Avoid with Hand Arthritis

Arthritis in the hand can become worse with excessive loading or stress on the joints.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with hand arthritis.

  • Avoid heavy resistance with gripping
  • Stop stretching if you feel pain
  • Avoid opening jars or turning a screwdriver

To schedule an appointment with a JOI Rehab Hand Therapist, please call 904-858-7045.  To learn more about hand arthritis, please read these articles: hand arthritis and hand therapy at JOI Rehab. 

Pain in the Hands with Exercises

If you have arthritis in the hands and these hand exercises do not help, it is time to see a Hand Specialist.  The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Northeast Florida’s top hand specialists and are here to help.  JOI is taking precautions during COVID-19 to keep you safe so that you don’t have to wait to get treatment.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Hand Specialist, call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

New To JOI: You now can make and cancel follow-up appointments for your JOI Physician through the JOI Portal.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

Image of Book An Appointment with a JOI Rehab

Skip to content