When your hands are hurting because of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it’s tempting to be still to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, that will make your joints stiffen up. Staying mobile is the best way to maintain function. By strengthening the muscles surrounding your joints, it may help to reduce pain. Doing regular hand exercises can help keep your ability to do everyday tasks and be as independent as possible. Here are some suggestions on how you can keep your hands flexible and strong with RA.