Give your Hands a Good Stretch

Your hands perform countless tasks every day and never get a day off. It’s not until they are injured or begin to ache that we realize just how much we take them for granted.

Simple tasks like pouring coffee, brushing teeth, texting or lifting a child become challenging with a sore hand.

Hands and wrists can ache from injury, arthritis or even neurological reasons. Arthritis, which affects 1 in 5 American adults, is the most common cause of hand pain and disability.

One way to keep your hands reliable and pain free is with stretching. If you have a serious hand, wrist or arm injury, consult your doctor first. And start slowly and stop if you feel pain, although slight discomfort is expected.

Wrist rotation

Stretch your arm out in front of you. Slowly, point the fingers down until you feel a stretch. Use the other hand to gently pull the raised hand toward the body without moving your arm. Hold for 3 seconds.

Next, with your palm face down, point your fingers up until you feel a stretch. Use the other hand to gently pull the raised hand toward the body without moving your arm. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat three times on each side.

Finger stretch

Bring the pinky and ring fingers together. Then separate the middle and index fingers in the other direction. (Think Mr. Spock’s “Live Long and Prosper” hand greeting from Star Trek.) Repeat 10 times with each hand.

Open/close

Stretch your arms out in front of you with your palms facing up. Next, make a fist and hold it. Stretch your fingers back into a flat palm. Repeat 10 times.

Windshield wiper

Start with your hands face down on a table in front of you. Now gently slide your hands to one side without moving your wrist. Hold for three seconds, then slide your hands in the other direction as far as you can without moving your wrists or arms. Hold again. Repeat three times.