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  • Improve Flexibility and Reduce Stress and Strain of Your Upper Extremities

  • Simple Stretches for Healthy Hands and Arms

    Improve Flexibility and Reduce Stress and Strain of Your Upper Extremities

    Note: These exercises should never be painful when completing them; you should only feel a gentle stretch. Should you experience pain, please consult a hand therapist or physician.

    1. Begin by bringing your arms to your sides for a brief shake, just to relieve some tension.

    2. Then perform a "prayer stretch" by placing your palms together with your fingertips pointing towards the ceiling and stretching downward until a stretch is felt on the underside of your forearms. You may also accomplish this by placing your hand at the edge of the countertop and, keeping your hand flat on the counter, bend your wrist up and then down as far as comfortably tolerated.

    3. Next straighten out your elbows in front of you and make a gentle fist as you bend your wrists down. Continue until a stretch is felt on the back side of your forearms.

    4. Finally, make a tight fist and then straighten your fingers, spreading them apart as much as you can.

    5. Hold each position for a count of three, and then repeat three to four times.

    6. Finish with about five slow shoulder rolls, emphasizing rolling away from your ears.

    Professional hand therapists are highly specialized physical or occupational therapists with expertise in the delicate and essential functions of the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders.

    Call 444-5178 for more information about hand therapy at Rhode Island Hospital.

    Source: American Society of Hand Therapists