Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. 

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Am Fam Physician. 2006;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:


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.


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.


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.


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

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