Poses for PsA: Exercises for Hand Stiffness and Painby Julie Cerrone Croner Patient Advocate
Our hands help us do so much. From opening jars, to picking up pills, to brushing our teeth. When you have psoriatic arthritis, you may experience hand pain, stiffness, tingling, and swelling. Adding these hand exercises to your daily (or even weekly) routine can tremendously help keep your extremities in working order.
Start with your index finger and gently press it into your thumb. With each finger, hold the pressure for a full breath before moving to the next finger. Once you reach your pinky, move back down your hand. Repeat three times before moving to your other hand.
Fist and extend
Make a fist and tightly squeeze your hand. Take three slow deep breaths.
Then, opening up your hand, extend through each finger. Your fingers may even hyper-extend a little and that’s ok. Allow your hand to completely stretch. Again, hold for three slow deep breaths.
Repeat five times and then do the other side.
Hold your hand up, squeezing your fingers together, but keeping them flat. Gently move your index finger out, make a V shape. Take a deep breath. On your next breath, slide your middle finger to press into your index finger, making a V on the other side of your hand. Take a deep breath. Next inhale, move your ring finger toward your middle finger moving the V shape between your little finger and ring finger. Move back through the sequence until you reach the beginning. Then switch to your other hand.
I had a yoga teacher refer to this as the “there’s no paper towels in the bathroom” stretch! (I personally thought that was hilarious),
Allow your hands and wrists to be completely loose, shake them back and forth, up and down, side to side — allowing the tension to release from your fingers, hands, wrists, and arms. You can do it one hand at a time or shake out both at the same time!
Grab some putty and let’s pretend like we’re kids again!
Place the putty between two fingers. Pressing both fingers into the putty, pull the putty upward. Binding the putty back together, move it between your next two fingers. Press into the putty and pull up. Move through each finger gap three times, then move onto your other hand.
This is my favorite hand stretch!
Make a fist with your hand. Take your opposite hand and wrap it around your wrist. Gently pull down on your wrist and bend your fist in toward your body. This stretch helps release tension in your fingers and your wrist.
There are many other ways to help manage hand pain and stiffness caused by autoimmune arthritis. Check out these 10 tips that will positively impact your digits!