8 rehabilitation exercises for the hands

Rehabilitation exercises play an important role in the recovery of hand skills. Discover some easy activities to do at home.

Last update: February 12, 2022

Hands are exposed to a wide variety of injuries, both in sports, work and leisure environments. Regardless of their severity, these they are annoying and make it difficult to perform many everyday tasks that used to be easy. Fortunately, there are some rehabilitation exercises for the hands that help your recovery. Do you dare to practice them?

First of all, it should be remembered that the hands are the most important tools for everyone. They are essential for most actions that are carried out throughout the day. Due to this, if they suffer an injury, the quality of life is altered. Let’s see in detail what are the most frequent injuries and how to rehabilitate them.

Most common hand injuries

There are many situations that can lead to the need to do rehabilitation exercises for the hands. Often, The discomfort manifests itself with pain, difficulty in executing movements or a feeling of weakness. In particular, this may be caused by the following:

  • Cuts or scrapes: are the most frequent.
  • Sprain: It is when there is a distension of the ligaments that support the joints. These are the bands of tissue that connect the bones.
  • Dislocation: occurs when the finger slips out of the joint.
  • Fracture: bone breakage occurs. One study suggests that most of these injuries can be treated without surgery, but surgery offers clear advantages in rare cases.
Hands are exposed to a wide variety of injuries. However, milder ones tend to improve with exercise.


8 rehabilitation exercises for the hands

The hands have a structure composed of tendons, joints, nerves, bones and ligaments. In case of injuries, it is important to carry out adequate treatment. If they are not serious, therapeutic rehabilitation exercises can be a solution to calm or end the pain.

According to a study by Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, most minor traumatic causes require conservative treatment that includes immobilization and exercise. Here are 8 recommended activities.

  1. Range of motion: helps to strengthen the fingers and move them more easily. It consists of bending or straightening the injured finger with the healthy hand.
  2. Finger extension: This exercise is to straighten injured fingers. You should open your hand and stretch your fingers as much as possible. It can also be done on a surface, such as a table.
  3. Finger Spacing: it is about separating the fingers as much as possible, as if trying to form a fan. Then, they come together again and do several repetitions.
  4. Closed fist exercise: you have to close your hand to form a tight fist and hold it for a few seconds. It can also be done with a therapeutic ball, which must be held tight.
  5. Item Pickup: It consists of lifting objects in a pincer, with the use of the injured thumb and finger. It can be a coin, a button, or any small object.
  6. Thumb Extension: the function of the first finger is key, since it is opposite to the others and plays an important role in almost all actions of the hand. In case of injury, with an open hand, it can be moved in and out slowly.
  7. Squeeze a towel: To start, you have to roll up a towel and squeeze it with your hand. Then, the fingers are stretched and repeated.
  8. Hand massage: it is ideal for repairing damaged structures, but should be applied with caution. It serves to relax, improve circulation and promote mobility. It can be done with the help of an oil.


Playful activities for the rehabilitation of the hands

Beyond the exercises discussed, other ways to rehabilitate the hands is through playful activities. Board games, playing musical instruments, or doing any task that strengthens motor skills can help.

  • Play chess: It is a board game that requires fine motor skills to move the pieces. In addition, it has positive effects on cognition. Ladies, ludo or senku are other options.
  • Assemble puzzles: manipulating the pieces also strengthens fine motor skills, since they have to be placed precisely in a specific place.
  • Play an instrument: is another great therapy for the hands. The piano or string instruments —such as the guitar— are the ones that require the most finger activity. If there is still no knowledge about it, it is a good time to start some classes.
Playful games such as chess also contribute to the rehabilitation of the hands.

When to consult the doctor?

Minor hand injuries may improve with these rehabilitation exercises. Nevertheless, if the pain persists, or if it is a serious injury, it is best to leave it in the hands of the doctor.

The professional will make the corresponding diagnosis and suggest the best therapeutic measures according to the case. Keep that in mind!

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