Physical therapist helping elderly woman with hand pain

12 Simple Exercises to Heal Your Injured Hand

Categories: Exercises

Hand injuries come with a unique challenge. In addition to the pain, hand injuries can be extremely inconvenient. At Central Orthopedics, our hand surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform restorative surgeries that will help you to resume your normal lifestyle. However, there are simple exercises you can do to expedite your recovery. Based on your individual injury, performing one or more of these hand exercises improves the recovery process. As always, check with your doctor to see which of these is safe for your specific injury.

This post was edited in 2019, from its original version posted on September 15th, 2017. We aim to keep you up to date with the lates in helping you heal after injuries.


About Hand Exercises for Injuries

For patients with specific hand conditions, speaking to one of our specialists to determine the ideal physical therapy routine is essential. Whether you are a student athlete, an office worker with carpal tunnel syndrome, or have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, one of these exercises may be instrumental in your recovery.

Doctor with patient examining hand


12 Recommended Hand Exercises for Injury Recovery

The exercises listed below are some of the most frequently recommended exercise. These are also great exercises for those generally looking to improve the mobility of their hands.

  1. Making a Fist- It’s as simple as it sounds. Start with your hand in a stretched position, then make a fist.
  2. Finger Stretch- Starting with your hand in a normal position on a flat surface, slowly straighten your fingers. Hold this straightened position for about a minute, then switch hands.
  3. Finger Lift- To improve your flexibility, place your hand flat on the table, then gently lift each individual finger. Repeat this exercise about 8-12 times for each hand.
  4. Thumb Touch- With your hand in an upright position, stretch each of your fingers to touch your thumb.
  5. Claw Stretch- With your palm facing out, move your fingers into a claw-like position for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Grip Strengthening- Squeeze a grip-strengthening ball as tightly as possible 10-15 times with each hand.
  7. Pinch Strengthening- Pinch a soft foam ball between the tip of one of your fingers and your thumb. Do this for about one minute, repeating it for about 10-15 times.
  8. Wrist Extension- Elevate your wrist by placing it on a folded towel or similarly sized object with your hand hanging over the edge. Move your hand fully up and down, first with your palm facing down, then with your palm facing up.
  9. Wrist Movement- Like the above exercise, place your wrist/forearm on a folded up towel, this time with your hand sideways and your thumb pointing up. Then, wave your hand up and down through the full range of motion.
  10. Wrist Rotating- While standing or sitting with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, rotate your arms by placing your palms up, then down, and so forth.
  11. Thumb Extension- Move your thumb from its normal position to the center of the palm and back.
  12. Tendon Gliding- This exercise focuses on putting your hand into different positions, then returning it to a flat position. First, make a hook fist, then a full fist, then a straight fist.

Speak to a Specialized Hand Surgeon Today

With the guidance of one of our Westbury hand surgeons, you can navigate the healing process of your hand injury with relative ease. Our dedicated staff can help you to overcome these challenges, and move toward a sustained recovery. Contact us for more information about how we can advance your recovery.

Headshot of Dr Mitchell Keschner of Central Orthopedic Group

Mitchell Keschner, MD
Specializing in the Hand & Wrist

Dr. Mitchell Keschner was born and raised on Long Island. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine.

While attending the NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases, Dr Keschner completed an orthopedic surgery residency. After residency, he completed a Hand and Upper Extremity fellowship. There, he spent a year devoted to the treatment of hand disorders.

Dr. Keschner began working at the Central Orthopedic Group in 2004. Dr. Keschner is board certified from the American Board Orthopaedic Surgery.

More About Dr Keschner