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Hand Arthritis:

Grip strength indicates hand strength and dexterity as well as important information about aging. Research has shown that decreased grip strength is linked to lower cognitive ability, increased physical dependence, and risk for falls. Hand strength along with general strength declines with age unless acted upon early. Maintaining good grip strength throughout the lifetime is important not only for decreased mortality but also for independence with activities of daily living.
The position of the wrist and hand can also affect the strength of grip. Keeping the wrist in a neutral position protects the hand and wrist from carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand/wrist related issues. Be thoughtful not to “over grip” tools and keep the wrist in a neutral position as often as possible.

Hand Strengthening Ideas:

Towel Wring:

  • Take a hand towel (can wet it if you’d like).
  • Hold towel on both ends and twist to wring out the water. Then twist towel the opposite direction.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.
a person wringing a towel to strengthen their hand
a person squeezing a racquetball for hand strengthening

Ball Squeeze:

  • Using a tennis or racquetball, rest your forearm on a table and squeeze, hold for 3 seconds and slowly release.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

Hand Opener:

  • Using a rubber band or hair tie, rest your forearm on a table. Place the rubber band around the tips of your fingers. Slowly extend your fingers against the force of the rubber band. Hold the extended position for 3 seconds and then slowly release back to the starting position
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
a person using a rubber band around the outside of their fingers to strengthen their hand
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