Expert reveals 7 at-home exercises to help tackle finger arthritis

People with arthritis suffer from pain, swelling and stiffness on one or more joints, and the symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Around 10 million Brits are currently living with the condition, which can affect people of all ages – including children and teenagers.

There are several different types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.

Although there is no cure at the moment, an expert has revealed how movement is key when it comes to tackling the condition.

Founder of Physio Fast Online, Katie Knapton, told “To keep joints healthy they need movement as movement provides lubrication of the joint.

“When someone has a painful joint the temptation is to avoid any pain and adapt to a lifestyle to avoid using the joint as much as possible.

“This is a natural assumption but unfortunately can lead to more problems.

“But evidence suggests that some discomfort and pain is acceptable when undertaking exercises or activity and after a few weeks symptoms are likely to actually improve.

“Working into some pain is not actually causing more joint damage but obviously exercise dosage and starting levels need to be relevant to that person.”

The health guru explained that arthritis of the fingers was a “common” form of the condition, and one that can benefit from at-home exercises.

“It normally affects the joints near your nails or in the middle of your fingers rather than your knuckles,” Ms Knapton added.

“Often there is associated swelling, reduced movement and pain. This can cause problems with everyday activities for example opening jars, doing up buttons and brushing your teeth.

“To reduce the potential loss of function the joints need to be moved regularly.

“Exercise can significantly help maintain normal movement and restore function.”

However, she warned: “When having a flare up of pain best to avoid very strenuous carrying tasks and use gloves in cold weather.”

She recommends performing seven exercises that you can try at home if you suffer from finger arthritis.

Making a fist thumb under
Tuck your thumb in, towards your palm. Wrap your fingers over your thumb. Squeeze towards your palm. Repeat as required.

This exercise is designed to improve your grip and dexterity.

Hold for two and repeat 10 times, one to two times daily.

Partial fist/flat fist
Bend your fingers so the pads of your fingers touch your palm. Squeeze your palm gently, and straighten your fingers as you relax. Repeat as required.

This exercise will help mobilise stiff finger joints. Hold for two and repeat 10 times, one to two times daily.

Hook fist
Bend the ends of your fingers as if you were making a hook. Squeeze your fingers together and release.

This can help improve mobility for stiff fingers. Hold for five and repeat 10 times, one to two times daily.

Ball squeeze
Squeeze a small ball in your hand. Use this to strengthen your thumb and fingers. You can also use putty, a small towel, or other small squeezy items.

Hold for 15 and repeat five times, one to two times daily.

Finger/thumb abduction band
Wrap an elastic band around your fingers and thumb. Pull your fingers and thumb apart from each other, against the resistance of the band.

This exercise will help strengthen your joints.

Table flexion
Place your palm flat on a table. Keeping your fingertips on the table, lift your palm up and slide your fingers backwards along the table.

This exercise helps improve finger mobility and dexterity. Hold for five and repeat five to 10 times, one to two times daily.

Finger abduction active
Start with your fingers together. Spread all your fingers wide apart from each other.

Use this exercise to stretch your fingers out.