Exercises for wrist, hand and finger problems

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you've a muscle or joint problem affecting your hand, finger or wrist.

These video shows the whole movement so don't worry if you can't do it all.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

If your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, phone the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline (only available in some health board regions).

If this service isn't available in your area, speak to your GP to find out if you can refer yourself to a local MSK service.

Clenched wrist bend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DmH-ujV9gA)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing.

With the side of your hand rested on a table, and your hand loosely clenched:

  1. Bend your wrist and fingers towards you
  2. Hold for 2 seconds then bend them back to where you started

Bending your wrist forward and back is one repetition.

Side to side wrist bend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X93SJleC2vQ)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing.

With your palm rested on a table, and your fingers and wrist straight:

  1. Bend your wrist to the left as far as is comfortable
  2. Hold for 2 seconds then bend your wrist back to center
  3. Bend your wrist to the right as far as is comfortable
  4. Hold for 2 seconds then bend your wrist back to center

Bending your wrist from left to right is one repetition.

Hand turn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKmAGiJ_rvA)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing.

With your palm rested on a table, and your fingers and wrist straight:

  1. Turn your palm up as far as is comfortable
  2. Hold for 2 seconds then turn your palm back to center

Turning your palm up and down is one repetition.

Hand clench (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BWvBYGs0aE)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing.

With the side of your hand rested on a table, and your fingers and wrist straight:

  1. Clench your hand into a loose fist
  2. Hold for 2 seconds then unclench and straighten your fingers

Clenching and unclenching your hand is one repetition.

Finger curl (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88ZOjOohTBY)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing, and may find it easier if you support your elbow on a table.

With your palm facing you, and your hand loosely clenched:

  1. Slowly uncurl your fingers until they are fully extended
  2. Hold for 2 seconds then curl them back into a loose fist

Uncurling and curling your fingers is one repetition.

Finger and thumb touch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mEoIVI5Gh4)

You should do this exercise while sitting or standing, and may find it easier if you support your elbow on a table.

With your palm facing you, and your hand relaxed and open:

  1. Touch your thumb to each finger in turn
  2. After touching your pinkie, reverse the order

One set back and forth is one repetition.