Arthritis is caused by a deficiency of hyaluronic acid within synovial fluid. Hyaluronic acid helps in keeping the joints lubricated. The following hand exercises have the potential to increase the amount of this molecule, thus mitigating arthritic symptoms.
Putty Squeeze (boosts grip strength)
Roll a piece of putty into a tube. Next, place the molded putty into the palm, creating a fist around it. Hold for 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10x.
Putty Pinch (helps thumb muscles and pinch-grip)
Place a ball of putty between the thumb and fingers. Apply pressure to the putty, as if the digits are pinching something. Hold 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10x.
Finger Adduction With Putty (assists finger mobility and palmar interossei strength)
Fold putty into a slender tube. Weave this putty tube between all four fingers, so each digit space contains putty. Once this is done, squeeze fingers together to bring them as near to each other as able. Hold 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10x.
Finger Abduction With Rubber Band (helps finger mobility and dorsal interossei strength)
Bring the thumb and fingers all together to one point. Wrap a rubber band around them. Try to expand the fingers outward as much as possible. Hold 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10x.
Sequential Finger Extension (assists finger coordination)
Rest your hand on a flat surface. Lift your index finger up while keeping the other digits down. Do this with all other digits–only raising each while keeping the others down. Hold 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 10x for each digit.
Thumb Abduction (improves abductor pollicis brevis and longus thumb muscles)
Hold your palms in front of you facing one another. Stick out your thumbs so the ends touch. Hold position 3-5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10x.
Thumb Flexion and Extension (strengthens flexor pollicis brevis and extensor muscles of thumb)
Hold your palms in front of your body faced up. Stick out your thumbs away from each hand, and hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat 10x.
Thumb Opposition (develops opponens pollicis thumb muscle)
Hold hands out with palms up. Have each finger on each hand touch your thumbs for 3-5 seconds each. Repeat 10x for each finger.