Finger: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of exercises for your fingers. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or your physiotherapist or occupational therapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Tendon glides

Picture of the tendon glide exercise
slide 1 of 4
slide 1 of 4, Tendon glides,

In this exercise, the steps follow one another to make a continuous movement.

  1. With one hand, point your fingers and thumb straight up. Your wrist should be relaxed, following the line of your fingers and thumb.
  2. Curl your fingers so that the top two joints in them are bent, and your fingers wrap down. Your fingertips should touch or be near the base of your fingers. Your fingers will look like a hook.
  3. Make a fist by bending your knuckles. Your thumb can gently rest against your index (pointing) finger.
  4. Unwind your fingers slightly so that your fingertips can touch the base of your palm. Your thumb can rest against your index finger. Hold that position for about 6 seconds.
  5. Move back to your starting position, with your fingers and thumb pointing up.
  6. Repeat the series of motions 8 to 12 times.
  7. Switch hands, and repeat steps 1 through 6.

Thumb flexion/extension

Picture of thumb flexion/extension exercise
slide 2 of 4
slide 2 of 4, Thumb flexion/extension,
  1. Place your forearm and hand on a table with your thumb pointing up.
  2. Bend your thumb downward and across your palm so that your thumb touches the base of your little finger. Hold that position for about 6 seconds. Then straighten your thumb.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  4. Switch hands, and repeat steps 1 through 3.

Thumb abduction/adduction

Picture of thumb abduction/adduction exercise
slide 3 of 4
slide 3 of 4, Thumb abduction/adduction,
  1. With one hand, point your fingers and thumb straight up. Your wrist should be relaxed, following the line of your fingers and thumb.
  2. Pull your thumb away from your palm as far as you can. Hold that position for about 6 seconds. Then slowly move your thumb back to the starting position, with your thumb resting against your index (pointing) finger.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  4. Switch hands, and repeat steps 1 through 3.

Finger opposition

Picture of the finger opposition exercise
slide 4 of 4
slide 4 of 4, Finger opposition,
  1. With one hand, point your fingers and thumb straight up. Your wrist should be relaxed, following the line of your fingers and thumb.
  2. Touch your thumb to each finger, one finger at a time. This will look like an "okay" sign, but try to keep your other fingers straight and pointing upward as much as you can.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  4. Switch hands, and repeat steps 1 through 3.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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