Recovering from a hand injury or just have plain aches and pains? Regular stretching is a great way to keep your muscles from becoming stiff and increase your range of motion. We use our hands to do just about everything, and there’s simple moves that we can do at-home to keep them in check when we can’t make it into the office. If you’re recovering from an injury, practicing these moves while at-home is important to continue to progress instead of plateauing or even possibly worsening the injury.
Exercise 1: Composite Finger Flexion – Passive Stretch
To stretch all of your fingers at once, gently bring your hand into a full fist position. Cup your bent fingers with your other hand in a C position pushing them further into a fist. Hold for 10 seconds. To stretch each finger individually use your thumb and pointer finger to bend each knuckle as far as it will go and the tip of your finger tucks into your palm. Hold each finger for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times for one set.
Exercise 2: Hook Fist Intrinsic Flexion – Passive Stretch
To stretch all of your fingers at once, gently bring your fingers into a claw fist position, keeping your first row of knuckles straight and bending the remaining joints of your fingers as far as they will go. Use your other hand to push the tips (nails) of your fingers further into that position until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. To stretch each finger individually use your thumb and pointer finger to bend each knuckle as far as it will go while continuing to keep your first knuckle straight or with slight extension. Hold each finger for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise 3: Tendon Glides
Begin with your fingers fully extended and wrist in neutral. Follow each position in the video beginning with table top (knuckles bent, finger joints straight), flat fist (knuckles bent, first joint bent, last joint straight), full fist (all joints bent), hook fist (knuckles straight, finger joints bent), end with your fingers and wrist back to fully extended position. Hold each position for 3 seconds and repeat series 10 times.
Exercise 4: Thumb Opposition with Slide
Begin with your palm facing up and fingers and thumb in a resting position. Bring thumb to tip of index finger and slide down index finger while bending thumb as far as it will go and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat with middle, ring, and small finger. Extend thumb back to starting position. Repeat series 10 times.
Exercise 5: Wrist Tenodesis
Begin with wrist in neutral position. Actively extend wrist back and allow fingers and thumb to naturally form fist position, hold for 3 seconds, extend wrist forward and all fingers to naturally extend, hold for 3 seconds. Repeat series 10 times.
It’s important to continue your care at-home so you are able to recover completely and more quickly. When you aren’t able to make it into the office, completing these stretches will help you along your journey instead!