Your hands are an integral part of daily activities, and can radiate pain as the result of injury, overuse or hand conditions -- including arthritis, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. While you should always consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain, exercises can help alleviate hand, thumb joint and trapezium pain.
Thumb Flexion Exercise
A thumb flexion -- the act of decreasing the angle of your thumb joint -- exercise is designed to increase the flexibility and range of motion in your thumb following pain or injury. Sit at a table and place your hand on the table so that the pinky finger side of your affected hand is touching the table. Your fingers should be touching each other and your thumb should be fully extended -- as far as you can comfortably extend it. Slowly bend your thumb across the palm of your hand in the direction of your pinky finger. Bend both of the joints in your thumb as you do this. Once you have flexed your thumb as far as you can, return to the starting position. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Making simple circles with your wrist can help increase your range of motion and decrease the pain caused by your trapezium bone -- the bone at the base of your first metacarpal that is connected near your wrist joint. Start by making half circles using your affected wrist. Move your wrist to the left and to the right. Once you have been able to successfully increase the range of motion in your wrist, begin to make whole circles. Make circles clockwise as well as counterclockwise. Complete this exercise for a few minutes at a time, three times per day.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
A tennis ball squeeze can help to strengthen your wrist as well as your hand and fingers. If a tennis ball is not available, use a small rubber ball that is approximately the same size as a tennis ball. Place the tennis ball in the palm of your affected hand. Grasp your fingers -- including your thumb -- around the ball. Squeeze the tennis ball as tightly as you can. Never squeeze to the point where you are experiencing pain. Hold this squeeze for a count of five seconds. Relax and repeat this exercise 10 times.
Finger raises can help increase strength and mobility in your hand and fingers due to a condition or injury. Place your hand flat on a table with the palm side of your hand facing downward. Slowly raise your fingers one at a time off the table. Try to keep your finger joints straight and raise your finger as high as possible without experiencing pain. Complete one set of 10 repetitions of this exercise. One repetition includes raising each and every finger. If you need to, use your unaffected hand to help raise your fingers into the appropriate position.
- NASM: Essentials of Personal Fitness Training; 2008
- PhysioAdvisor.com: Wrist Exercises
- Boston Hand Surgical Associates: Thumb Exercises
- Ohio State University Medical Center: Hand Exercises