Hand exercises for healthy joints

March 2021

If you have arthritis, you may wonder whether or not you should exercise the impacted joints. 

Don’t be afraid to use your hands. Regular exercise is important in reducing stiffness and keeping your joints and muscles working.

Try to make sure you move any affected joints in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists as far as is comfortable several times a day.

It is always important to exercise safely. Here are some general suggestions to help you:

  • See your doctor before starting any new exercise program. If you have had a joint replaced, find out from your surgeon, or health professional such as a physiotherapist, which movements you should limit or avoid.
  • Start gently and increase the intensity of your exercise program gradually over weeks or months.
  • Pay attention to good technique and try to move smoothly. Don’t force a joint beyond a comfortable range of movement.
  • If an activity causes you pain or increases your pain beyond what is normal, stop straight away and consult your healthcare professional.
  • A physiotherapist, occupational therapist, or hand therapist can provide you with a range of exercises that are specific and individualised to your arthritis and the joints affected. Find a Specialist here

Exercises for the fingers, hands and wrists

Below is a link to a booklet for some simple exercises from our friends at Arthritis NSW. They are designed to help keep the fingers, hands and wrists flexible. 

Exercises for the fingers, hands and wrists can be found here

How can we help?  


Always talk to your doctor and/or health professional before starting an exercise program. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can suggest safe exercises and make sure you are doing your exercises correctly.

You can make a difference by supporting the work of Arthritis Queensland. Arthritis Queensland is 95% community funded. We rely on our generous donors and volunteers to ensure that we can continue to provide solutions and support to adults and children living with the pain of arthritis.