Hand Rehabilitation

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Following are exercises that can help in the rehabilitation of your hand after injury or surgery. Talk with your doctor about which of these exercises may be appropriate for you. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Active Hand Exercises

All exercises should be done slowly and smoothly. You may experience a pulling sensation underneath the scar on your hand, but that is normal.

  • Curl your fingers trying to touch the fingernails to the palm of your hand. Do not use your thumb when making a fist. Hold, straighten, relax.
  • Keep the large knuckles of your affected hand straight and bend the middle and end joints, trying to touch the pads of your finger tips to the base of your fingers. Hold, straighten, relax.
  • Keeping your wrist still, bend your large knuckles on the affected hand to 90 degrees. Keep the middle and end joints straight. Hold, straighten, relax.
  • Touch the tips of your thumb and index finger on the affected hand together making an “OK” sign. Hold, open your hand wide, relax. Repeat touching each finger to the thumb as directed.

Active wrist exercises:

All exercises should be done slowly and smoothly keeping your fingers as relaxed as possible.

  • Rest your affected arm on a table so that your hand extends over the edge of the table with your palm facing the floor, as you did in the previous exercise. This time move the wrist as far as you can to one side. Hold and relax. Then move the wrist to the other side. Hold and relax.
    • Your forearm should remain flat against the table and should not move. Only your wrist should move.
  • Set the affected hand on a table extending your entire hand over the edge of the table with your palm facing down. Relax your fingers and bend your wrist up toward the ceiling, hold, relax. Then bend your wrist down toward the floor. Hold and relax.
    • Your forearm should remain flat against the table and should not move. Only your wrist should move.
  • Rest your affected arm on a table so that your hand extends over the edge of the table with your palm facing the floor, as you did in the previous exercise. This time move the wrist as far as you can to one side. Hold and relax. Then move the wrist to the other side. Hold and relax.
    • Your forearm should remain flat against the table and should not move. Only your wrist should move.

Active Isolated Exercises

Exercises should be done in small amounts frequently throughout the day. Be certain you do not wiggle the finger during these exercises.

  • Hold your finger just below the end or top joint and bend the tip of your finger down as far as possible. Hold. Then straighten as much as possible.
  • Hold your finger just below the middle joint. Keeping the other fingers straight, bend the finger down as far as possible at the middle joint. Hold and then straighten as much as possible.
  • Make a good fist, curling the fingers into the palm of the hand as much as possible. Hold, then straighten the fingers as much as possible.

For more information about hand rehabilitation after an injury, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).