Does Physio Help Arthritis in Hands?

8 Jul, 2022

Your hands go through a lot of work every day. Most people don’t even realise how much strain their daily activities put on their hands until something goes wrong, and pain ensues.

This is the case with those battling arthritis, which can struggle to perform even basic tasks like dressing themselves. The good news is that some hand exercises may help reduce the pain and swelling in the hand and wrist.

Please note this article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are dealing with arthritis and are interested in hand therapy, call us today at 1300 122 884.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling of the joints in the hands. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (attacks the cartilage, the connective tissue that covers the ends of the bone) and rheumatoid arthritis (affects the joints), though there are more than 100 recorder types.

In most cases, patients battling a form of arthritis can experience:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Pain
  • Weakness in the surrounding soft tissue
Arthritis in Hands | Gen Physio

What Hand Exercises Help with Arthritis?

Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for arthritis, so for the most part, treating it aims to reduce the progression of the condition and help patients manage their symptoms.

The good news is that physical therapy for arthritis, in combination with other medical treatments, has been shown to slow the progression of the disease, and even help reduce pain and preserve mobility.

Hand therapy involves performing specific exercises meant to improve the range of motion in your hands. A physical therapist will create a personalised treatment plan to exercise your hands and help you manage your arthritis.

Though the exercises do depend on your specific case, they most often target the 3 key areas that arthritis affects:

  • Wrist
  • Fingers and thumbs
  • Grip

Here are a few examples of hand exercises used in hand therapy:


Hand into a fist

With your fingers straight, slowly bend them to form a fist, with your thumb sitting on the outside. Don’t squeeze too tightly. Slowly straighten your fingers again and repeat.

Hand on the table

Gently place your hand on a table, with the palm side down. Then, try to straighten your fingers onto the surface, as much as possible, without forcing the writs too much. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat.

Claw stretch

With your fingers straight and palm facing your direction, slowly bend each finger towards the base of your palm until it resembles a claw. Hold the position for a few seconds then gently release.


Squeeze a grip strengthening ball as tightly as you can, for a few seconds. Release and repeat.

Interested in Physical Therapy for Arthritis? We Can Help

Hand therapy can be a great way to slow down the progression of arthritis and help you relieve pain. However, it’s important to work with an experienced physical therapist who can help you access an individualised treatment plan designed to support your specific circumstances.

Physio helps with Arthritis in Hands | Gen Physio

Gen Physio is here to provide at-home care to all Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Tweed Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney residents.

If you want to learn more, we encourage you to contact our team by calling 1300 122 884.

Or use our form to book a mobile physiotherapy appointment.


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