Mar 1, 2006 Table of Contents

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education Web site.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Exercising Your Finger After an Injury: What You Should Know

Am Fam Physician. 2006 Mar 1;73(5):839.

See related article on acute finger injuries.

Why do I need to exercise my finger after an injury?

Exercising an injured finger can help make it stronger and easier to move. You shouldn’t start these exercises until your doctor says it is safe.

What exercises should I do?

If your doctor says it’s okay, try the following exercises:

RANGE OF MOTION

This exercise can help you straighten your finger and make it move easier. To do this exercise, use your uninjured hand to slowly straighten and bend the injured finger. Hold it straight then slowly bend it.

FINGER EXTENSION

This exercise can make it easier to straighten your fingers. To do this exercise, put your injured hand flat, palm down, on a table. Lift each finger one at a time.

GRIP STRENGTHENING

This exercise can make your finger stronger. To do this exercise, make a fist with your injured hand and hold it for a few seconds. You can do this exercise using only your hand, or you can squeeze a ball (for example, a soft “stress” ball, a racquetball, or a tennis ball). If you use a tennis ball, cut the side of the ball to make it easier to squeeze.

OBJECT PICK-UP

This exercise can help you do the things that you did before your injury such as writing or tying your shoes. To do this exercise, pick up small objects such as coins, marbles, or buttons with the injured finger and the thumb.

Where can I get more information about finger exercises?

Your doctor

McKesson Health Soluptions Sports Medicine Advisor

Web site: http://www.medformation.com/ac/crssma.nsf/file/crssma-art.finger.sprain.exercises.


This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at http://familydoctor.org.

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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