Top hand and finger rehabilitation exercises after injury

Hand injuries are some of the most frustrating, and potentially debilitating, injuries because of how frequently we use our hands for everyday activities. Even if you don’t use your hands for work or as an athlete, losing strength from a hand injury can make seemingly simple daily activities like opening doors, cooking, or even getting dressed a challenge!

That’s why we put together the top exercises you can do at home to recover from hand injuries quickly, without expensive equipment. Doing these exercises consistently can help improve your strength, dexterity, and fine motor skills in your wrist, hands, and fingers. Regularly performing hand strengthening exercises like these can help prevent or decrease the severity of conditions like arthritis, carpal tunnel, and more.

Wrist exercises:

Wrist Extension and Flexion

This is a dexterity exercise for your wrist and forearm. Start by laying your forearm on a table with your hand hanging off the side, palm down. Next, move your hand up and down, keeping your arm flat and bending only your wrist.

Next, flip your arm over and repeat this process with your palm facing up

Wrist Curls to build strength

hand exercises after injury wrist curlIf you’d like to build strength instead of just dexterity and range of motion, try the same exercise with a little bit of weight to perform a ‘wrist curl’.

Use something that fits in your hand, like a water bottle, and then position your hand palm up on a flat surface, with your wrist over the edge. Bend your wrist up towards your body with the weight in your hand, while keeping your arm and elbow on the surface. This should feel like a bicep curl but focused just on your wrist and forearm.

Take the same water bottle and hold it in your affected hand. Then, practice bending your wrist up and down, keeping your elbow stabilized on the table. This is an excellent strength-building exercise.

Palm Down Wrist Flexion Exercise (Strengthening)

Perform the wrist curl exercise with your palm down while keeping the rest of your arm resting on the table. Lift the back of your hand back up towards you – performing the opposite motion of the wrist curl.

You can perform these strengthening exercises with a small amount of weight at first, like a water bottle or small dumbbell, and build your strength from there.


Finger Mobility Exercises

Thumb Extension and Flexion

This is a gentle exercise that will help build dexterity and range of motion in your thumb. Start with your hand spread out in front of you, palm open, like you’re holding up the number 5. Then move your thumb over towards your pinky finger, making a 4. Repeat this movement

Finger Extension & Flexion

This exercise involves performing a “finger lift” to strengthen each finger individually. Put your hand on a table or other flat surface with your palm facing downward. Now, gently bend each finger while keeping your palm on the table. Next, repeat the same movement with your palm up. Doing this exercise with these two variations will help redevelop the flexibility of your thumb and fingers so that you can start to work through grip strengthening exercises.

Many of these exercises can be done with and improved by using the Varigrip Therapy hand strengthener. Check out all the exercises you can do here!