7 Hand Stretches to Ease Stiffness

hand stretches

Pain and stiffness in your hands can be annoying. Even if it’s nothing significant, it can be enough to interfere with your daily tasks. With stiff hands, it’s difficult to turn a key, type on the computer or open a jar. You never really realize how many different and necessary things you do with your hands each day until something happens to them. And when a joint hurts, you use it less, which can cause it to stiffen even more. If you don’t use certain motions in the hand, you’ll lose them.

If hand pain and stiffness are bothering you, these simple hand stretches could help to keep your hands moving more freely.

7 Hand Stretches to Stop Stiffness

Fist Flex

Hold your hands upright, fingers apart. Gently draw your fingers into a fist, placing your thumbs on the outside. Don’t squeeze or clench your fist. Hold for a few seconds, and then open your hands back to the starting position with fingers spread apart. Hold your hands open for a few seconds, and then repeat the fist movement. Do 5 to 10 of these close-and-open sets.

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Thumb Flexion/Extension

Begin with your thumb positioned outward. Move the thumb across the palm and back to the starting position.

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Table Bending

Start in the handshake position again, but this time rest the side of your hand on a flat surface so that your thumb is pointing upwards. Keep the thumb pointing as straight up as you can while slowly folding your fingers inward. The result will be a “thumbs-up” pose. Hold it for a few seconds and then straighten. Repeat ten times and then switch hands. This exercise works better when the hand can be kept level, which is what the table surface is meant to provide.

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Meet and Greet

Form your hands into a prayer pose. Spread fingers while keeping your hands together. Separate your hands so that only fingertips are touching. Now, bring palms into almost touch. Repeat.

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Figure eights

Interlace your fingers in front of your body. Keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, move your interlaced hands in a figure eight motion. Allow your wrists to rotate fully so that each hand is alternately on top of the other. Perform this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds. Rest, and then repeat. While seated, lift your arms over your head and interlace your fingers with your palms together. With your fingers interlaced, turn your palms up until they are facing the ceiling. You can keep your arms slightly bent or straighten them. Hold the stretch. Bring your arms down, and then repeat.

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Thumb Circles

Put your hands in the “thumbs-up” position, and gently rotate your thumbs in a circular motion. Switch directions after a few seconds or until you feel full range of motion in the thumb.

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Tip Touch

Hold your hands upright, with your fingers spread comfortably apart. Touch your thumbs to the tips of your littlest fingers on the same hand, and then open your hands back up to the starting position. Repeat with the next closest fingers, and continue until your thumbs have touched all four fingertips on the same hand.

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Stiffness, pain or swollen joints can transform even a simple task into a painful ordeal. Fortunately, these hand stretches along with Desert Hand Therapy may help.


Desert Hand Therapy is known for their excellent care and incredibly creative hand and wrist splints, which are made in-house. Make an appointment today and see how they can help you return to the activities you love.

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