Rheumatoid Arthritis causes a lot of stiffness and pain in the fingers and relieves hands which keeps you from doing everyday tasks that might be simple. This is because the disease affects the cartilage of a joint and this cartilage plays the role of cushioning between the bones.This pain in the joints can worsen when you use your hands for repetitive tasks like typing or picking utensils while losing strength in your hands.
Apart from getting medical treatment for arthritis, you can indulge in self-care at home by following some easy exercises. These hand exercises will help you strengthen muscles to support the joints and perform movement of hands with ease. These hand movements can also help you keep the tendons and ligaments flexible and improve the function of the joints.
Let’s discuss a few exercises that can help you:
Making a Fist
When you feel your hand is feeling a little stiff, do this exercise. It is very easy and comfortable to do anywhere and in your time. To make a fist, hold your one hand out keeping all your fingers straight. Then fold your hand forming a fist. Keep your thumb on the outside and fingers in. Open and close your hand straightening again and again. Repeat it at least 5 times in the beginning, increasing it with time. Repeat this exercise with the other hand.
Another exercise that you can do from the comfort of your home is the finger bending exercise. You can practice it anywhere. Hold your hand out keeping all the fingers straight, start by bending your thumb towards your palm. Holding it for a couple of seconds straightens it back. Now, bend the index finger of the same hand and repeat the process. Then with the middle, ring, and little finger. Repeat the entire process with the other hand.
Making an ‘O’
For this exercise, start by putting one hand outside and straightened fingers and thumb. Now, turn your fingers inwards to touch your thumb forming an ‘O’. hold on to the O for some seconds and then open your hand again straightening the fingers. Repeat this at least 5 times to begin and then keep increasing with time. Now repeat the entire process with the other hand. You can do this whenever you have time and anywhere in the day.
For this exercise, put your hand on the table and place it horizontally keeping the little finger side on the lower end and your thumb pointed upwards. Now, keeping your thumb in the same position turn all the fingers of this hand inwards touching the palm for your hand. This position will make an ‘L’ shape. Hold it for a few seconds and then straighten your hand moving back to the open hand position. Repeat this at least 10 times in the beginning and increase with time. Repeat the exercise with the other hand.
This is another exercise where you will require a table. Place one hand on the table keeping your palms inside. Now start by trying to lift each finger one by one keeping all the others still down. First your thumb, then all the fingers. Hold each finger for 2 seconds and then bring it back down. Repeat this with the other hand and keep repeating alternatively for 4-5 times in the beginning and keep increasing with time.
For this exercise, keep your hand straight and then form a fist keeping all your fingers inward and thumb on the out. Now, twist this fist into 360 degrees from the wrist. Do a minimum of 10 twists and then move up with time. Repeat this with the other hand. Keep doing this alternatively for 3 to 4 rounds.
Let’s give our wrists some exercise and relieve it from the soreness due to arthritis. For this exercise, hold your arm out with the palm facing downwards. Now, with the other hand gently push the hand down towards your wrists. Do not put a lot of effort, just till you feel a stretch in your arms. Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat it with the other arm. Repeat this exercise about 10 times and increase with time and practice.
For this exercise, you will need a table. Keep one of your hands on the table and fold the ring and little finger inwards covered with the thumb which is also folded inwards. Now, walk the index and middle finger front and back to a distance of about five steps. Repeat the process with the other hand. Do this alternatively for about 10 times minimum and then keep increasing with practice.
This is one of the most interesting exercises where you get to practice being Lord Krishna yourself.
Bring your hands in Infront of you and fold the first three fingers and the thumb of your left hand and all the four fingers of your right hand. Now, open only the little finger of your left hand and thumb of the right hand. Keep alternating your little finger and thumb between both your hands. Repeat this exercise for at least 10times and then increase.
These exercises are not the solution to arthritis but will help you relieve the pain and stiffness which makes everyday tasks impossible. Apart from consulting your doctor regularly, keep practicing them for better recovery and take your herbal supplements on regular basis.