Hand Mobility Exercises for Morning Stiffness


Ever wake up and feel like you can’t bend your fingers, make a fist, or just feel slow and sluggish when using your hands? Morning stiffness in joints is common for those with rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the morning. This is caused by inflammation in the joints, especially smaller ones such as the fingers, wrists, and toes. Some gentle mobility exercises in the morning can help loosen the joints and increase range of motion so that movements do not feel as sluggish.

Here are some exercises that can help with the morning stiffness:


Tendon Glides 1) Start with a straight hand with fingers fully extended 2) Make a hook fist with fingers curled up but palm is flat 3) Make a full fist with fingers clenched together 4) Make a straight fist with fingertips touching the carpal bones 5) Repeat steps 1-4 for 10 reps, and repeat for both hands

Optionally, you may return to a straight hand after every movement to add more mobility into this exercise.


Thumb touch (Finger oppositions) 1) Create a circle using the fingertips of the thumb and the index finger, making it as round as possible, then release into a straight hand. 2) Repeat using the fingertips of the thumb and the middle finger, making it as round as possible, then release into a straight hand. 3) Repeat using the fingertips of the thumb and the ring finger, making it as round as possible, then release into a straight hand. 4) Repeat using the fingertips of the thumb and the pinkie finger, making it as round as possible, then release into a straight hand. 5) Repeat steps 1-4 for 10 reps, and repeat for both hands


Forearm Flexor Stretch 1) Hold arm straight in front and extend the fingertips towards the ceiling 2) Use the opposite arm to gently pull the fingers towards the body and hold it for 30 seconds 3) Repeat 3 times on each arm.



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