Hand Exercises After Surgery

Your hands are one of the most functional parts of your body. You use them to touch, hold, grasp, stroke, write, play musical instruments, and so much more. Which is why it’s important to strengthen your hands and restore their range of motion after you have undergone hand surgery.

All it takes are simple exercises that are focused on stretching and fortifying your muscles to improve strength and flexibility. Here are several hand exercises designed to do just that. However, always consult your doctor before beginning any post-surgical exercises:

  • Tight Fist Exercise -- Make a fist, clenching tightly. Be sure to bend your fingers as much as you can and place your thumb around the outside of your fingers. Do this for several seconds, then straighten and spread your fingers as far apart as you can. You can also grip a ball or other round, solid object in the palm of your hand to increase resistance.
  • Finger Bend Exercise – Extend your fingers, keeping them straight. Now gently bend them at the knuckles as much as possible. Then strengthen your fingers and repeat 50 times each hour. The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscle strength and range of motion.
  • Finger to Finger Exercise – Touch you thumb to your index finger to form an “O.” Then straighten your fingers and touch your middle finger with your thumb. Repeat this with each finger and perform this exercise several times each day.
  • Thumb Bend Exercise – Start with your fingers and thumb straight and close together. Then slowly bend your thumb toward your pinky finger, crossing the palm of your hand and touching the base of the finger. If you can’t extend your thumb that far, stretch your thumb as far as you can.
  • Finger Tap Exercise – Place your hand on a flat surface, palm facing down. Raise you thumb. Lower your thumb. Raise your index finger. Lower your index finger. Repeat these motions with each finger of your hand.
  • Wrist Stretch Exercise – Supporting your forearm with one hand, bend your wrist forward and backward as far as possible about 10 times.
  • Forearm Rotation Exercise – Bend your arm while holding your elbow close to your side. Be sure your hand and fingers are straight with your fingers close together. Now, with your palms facing down, rotate your hand until your palms are facing upward. Then rotate your hand back toward the floor. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.

You should begin these exercises gradually and increase resistance as your muscles get stronger. However, if you feel pain during an exercise, stop immediately and advise your doctor.

Note that post-surgery swelling can make exercise difficult. To reduce swelling, elevate your hand above your heart using a sling during the day or a pillow at night.

If you’re experience wrist or hand pain, the orthopedic physicians at OrthoUnited in North Canton, Ohio, can help diagnose your injury and provide treatments to reduce or eliminate your pain. OrthoUnited offers experienced providers and the latest in diagnostic techniques to ensure prompt care. Call (844) 469-2663 for an appointment today.