5 Stretches for Aching Hands
Tight, aching hands make it difficult to do everyday chores and activities. Severe hand pain can make the simplest of tasks, like buttoning up a shirt, impossible to do. Arthritis carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendinitis are the most common reasons for chronic hand pain. Since most of the muscles of the hands start near the elbows, it is important to work the wrists and forearms in order to treat sore hands.
Some simple, easy-to-follow, effective stretching exercises that can help ease hand pain include the following:
Wrist extension and flexion — Rest the forearm on a flat surface with the hand hanging over the edge and the palm facing the floor. Place a cushion, such as a rolled-up towel, under the wrist. Rotate the hand up until the fingers point toward the ceiling and a gentle stretch is felt. Return the hand to the starting position. Repeat with the palm facing the ceiling.
Wrist ulnar/radial deviation — Rest the forearm on a flat surface with the hand on its side hanging over the edge, thumb pointing toward the ceiling. Place a cushion, such as a rolled-up small towel, under the wrist. Move the wrist up and down through its full range of motion.
Thumb flexion — Start with the thumb positioned at a right angle from the fingers (forming an “L” with the thumb and forefinger). Keep the fingers extended. Move the thumb toward the pinky finger across the palm and back to the starting position.
Wrist extensor stretch — Bend the elbow. Grasp the thumb side of the hand with the other hand and gently push the wrist down so the fingers and thumb point toward the ground. Rotate the wrist slightly toward the pinky finger. Repeat with the arm extended.
Wrist flexor stretch — Bend the elbow. Grab the fingers of that hand with the other hand and gently pull back toward the body. Repeat with the arm extended.