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How To Relieve Achy Hands

How To Relieve Achy Hands

by Cara Dart, OTR/LLeave a Comment

Do you ever find yourself experiencing achiness or stiffness in your hands? Whether it is from typing on a computer all day, gardening, or even trying to open a jar of pasta sauce, achy hands can really impact your ability to perform daily activities. Luckily, there are several strategies to relieve achy hands so you can complete the tasks that are important to you.

Take Breaks And Stretch Your Hands

One strategy you can try to relieve achy hands is to take regular breaks and stretch your hands. If you spend a lot of time typing on a computer or texting on your phone, make sure to take breaks every 30 minutes to stretch your hands. This can help to reduce tension in the muscles and promote circulation. Below are a few simple stretches you can try:

  • Make a fist and then release your fingers, stretching them as wide as possible.
  • Interlace your fingers and stretch your hands forward, rounding your back and stretching your wrists.
  • Place your palms on a flat surface and press down gently, stretching your fingers and wrists.

Apply Heat Or Cold Therapy

Heat and cold therapy are both effective ways to reduce aching hands. Heat therapy can help to increase blood flow and relax tense muscles making your hands feel less stiff, while cold therapy can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Here are some ways you can apply heat or cold therapy to your hands:

Heat therapy: Soak your hands in warm water for 10-15 minutes, use a heating pad or a hot water bottle, or take a warm shower.

Cold therapy: Apply a cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to your hands for 10-15 minutes at a time. Be sure to wrap the pack in a towel to protect your skin.

Give Hand Exercises A Try

Hand exercises can help to improve hand strength and flexibility, which can help to reduce pain and prevent future injuries. Below are some exercises you can try using materials you might have at home:

  • Gently squeeze a stress ball or rolled up towel.
  • Touch the tip of each finger to your thumb, making a circle with your fingers as they touch.
  • Place your hand on a flat surface and spread your fingers open and closed several times.
  • Use your fingers to pick up small objects like coins or marbles.

Use Joint Protection Strategies

Joint protection strategies are ways you can adjust how you use your hands during daily activities to put less stress on your joints. They can help decrease achiness and pain as well as decrease the risk of joint deformity over time. Below are some ideas to protect the joints in your hands:

  • Use both hands to complete an activity when possible and keep close to midline and close to your body (e.g. when lifting a heavy item)
  • Hold items no tighter than necessary (use a relaxed grip when able)
  • Use adaptive equipment such as jar openers
  • Avoid pinching and pulling to open bags of chips or dry pasta – use scissors instead!

We Can Help!

If you have more questions about how to manage achy, painful, or stiff hands, please contact your local Athletico Physical Therapy clinic and schedule a free assessment. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

Request a Free Assessment

*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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