17:53 PM

7 Hand Exercises to Prevent Arthritis

AARP discusses hand exercises to help prevent arthritis according to experts including Michelle G. Carlson, MD, hand and upper extremity surgeon at HSS.

According to Dr. Carlson, osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis, is a condition caused by the natural wearing away of the cartilage that covers the bone. In healthy joints, the cartilage coverings at the ends of the bones match up and glide smoothly against one another.

Cartilage cannot not be built back, but motion can be preserved by keeping the soft tissue in the joint as supple as possible.

Dr. Carlson advised incorporating moves to help maintain hand function, such as a shoulder stretch. She noted the impact of tense shoulders, “Stiffness in your shoulders can lead to all sorts of problems in your extremities.”

Other recommended moves include elbow flexion and extension, prayer and reverse prayer, finger spread, finger touch, thumb stretch and a knuckle bend.

However, some exercises, like squeezing a stress ball, can irritate joints by causing rough cartilage to rub together, noted Dr. Carlson.

Read the full article at AARP.org.