Do you experience pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands? There are exercises that you can easily do anywhere that can help relieve pain and improve the health of your hands all at the same time.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that millions of Americans struggle with daily.
Symptoms are most commonly seen in the hands and feet, with numbness, weakness, tingling, and sharp, shooting pains being all-too common.
These symptoms are caused by the deterioration of nerve and blood vessel health in your extremities.
By doing simple exercises, you can improve the circulation to your hands, improve their flexibility, and find some relief for peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
7 Hand Exercises To Relieve Neuropathy Symptoms
1. Fist Bends
Fist bends are a great exercise to boost blood flow to your hands and fingers. Start this exercise by holding your hand out in front of your body with your fingers spread apart and facing upwards. Close your hand into a loose fist with the thumb on the outside, hold for three seconds, and then release back to starting. Repeat 5-8 times, then switch to the other hand.
2. Touch Fingers to Thumb
Another exercise that can help to improve circulation while also working on dexterity is the fingers to thumb exercise.
In this exercise, you will start in a sitting position with your hand in front of you, palm facing towards your face.
You can rest your elbow on your lap or even on the surface of a table or desk in front of you.
Touch the pad of your thumb with that of your index finger. Move the index finger smoothly down towards the base of the thumb, then track it back up to the pad of the thumb.
Repeat once more with that finger, then move in turn to the middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger. Do this with both hands.
3. Finger Curls
Getting your hands moving is the best way to improve circulation, mobility, and strength while reducing pain and discomfort. One of the most straightforward exercises are finger curls. Here you will concentrate on bending at each of the joints in your fingers.
While sitting, raise one arm up so that your thumb is facing towards your face. Start with your fingers all touching one another and facing straight up. Next, bend your fingers at the bottom joint. You will keep your fingers straight and bend them as far as they can go comfortable, which will be about a 90 degree angle. Repeat 10 times.
Move to the next joint, the middle joint, and curl your fingers from that joint. In this second step, you will notice that your fingers will curl in, and that is alright. You just want to concentrate on curling our fingers from that middle joint. Repeat 10 times.
Finally, move to the top finger joint and curl down from here. You may want to use your other hand to hold the fingers you are curling in place while you bend from the top finger joint. Repeat 10 times.
You can do two sets of 10 for each hand twice daily.
4. Finger Taps
Finger taps can help to reawaken your nerves, improving your sensation. Hold your hand in front of your body in whatever position you find most comfortable. Open your hand and spread your fingers apart as far as they will go, and then tap your thumb and pointer finger together, reopening your hand fully before doing the same with your thumb and middle finger. Do this with each finger in turn a handful of times, and then move to the other hand.
5. Ball Grip
The ball grip exercise is great for strengthening the muscles of your fingers, hands, and arms. For this exercise, you will need a squeezable hand exercise ball. Sit with your arm in a comfortable position facing up. This could be resting in your lap or on a surface in front of you. Take your resistance exercise ball, squeeze it and hold for a few seconds, then slowly release. Repeat 3-5 times, then switch to the other hand.
6. Fist Wrist Stretch
Flexibility is important for optimal health and mobility, and the flexibility of your hands starts in your wrists. To work on your wrist flexibility, do the fist wrist stretch.
With your elbow resting on your lap or a table, make a firm fist with your thumb on the outside. Your arm can be bent or straight, with a straight arm making the stretch more intense. Bend your wrist forwards as far as it will comfortably go, stretching the back of your wrist. Hold for 5 seconds. Now bend your wrist as far as it will go in the opposite direction, stretching the bottom of your wrist. Hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat one after the other until you have done each direction 3-5 times.
7. Forearm Stretch
After the fist wrist stretch, it is time to stretch the full forearm. Because the health and function of our hands is connected to that of our arms, it is important to pay attention to your forearms as well as your hands and fingers
While sitting or standing with room in front of you, fully stretch your arm out in front of you, perpendicular with your shoulder joint. With fingers straight and touching, bend your wrist down as far as it will go. If you can, bend your fingers in towards your wrist to intensify the stretch. You can use your other hand to keep your fingers in place. Hold for 30 seconds.
Next, go right into stretching the other side of your forearm by tilting your wrist upwards. Here it will be more intense if you keep your fingers straight, and less if you curl them in. If you can, bend your wrist upwards while keeping your fingers facing upwards, slightly apart. Your hand position will be similar to a stop motion. You can use your other hand to lightly pull back on your fingers. Hold for 30 seconds.
There is no need to repeat this stretch.
By exercising your fingers, hands, and arms each day, you can find immediate symptomatic relief while simultaneously improving the health of your nerves. By combining these daily hand exercises with other proven therapies for neuropathy such as a health diet, full-body exercise, and natural neuropathy supplements, you can improve how you feel every day.