Stress ball or strengthener?


Hi All

I'm new to the site and just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hands. Which is best for exercise - ball, strengthener or both combined?



  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    hand exercises for arthritis:

    1. Make a fist

    Start with your fingers straight and then slowly bend your hand into a fist. Make sure your thumb is on the outside of your hand. Don’t squeeze too tightly, then straighten again.

    2. Bend your digits

    Stretch your hand in front of you, palm up. Then take each finger and move it very slowly to the centre of your palm. Hold it, then straighten.

    3. Thumb bends

    Sometimes people have more issues with their thumb (I do!) when doing the digit exercise for your thumb, bend it toward your palm—if you can reach your pinky that’s cool, and if you can’t, go as far as you can, hold and then start again.

    4. Make a C or an O

    Move your fingers like you’re going to grab a little ball, and try to form a shape of a C or an O. Go as far as you can (an O would be making a complete circle with your fingers and thumb). Straighten your fingers and repeat.

    5. Thumbs up

    Have your hand in a loose fist with the pinky side of your hand on a table. Then point your thumb to make the thumbs up sign, put it down, and repeat.

    6. Finger lifts

    With your palm flat on a table, fingers spread slightly, lift each one slowly off the table, then back down before raising the next.

    7. Wrist bends

    Hold your left or right arm out with the palm facing down. Then take the other hand and gently press your whole hand down toward the floor. People overdo this exercise so be very careful.

    8. Easy squeezes

    Some people have a tennis ball or a stress ball and they like to squeeze that gently.

    Hand Exercises to Avoid with Arthritis

    A lot of repetition: typing on the computer all the time, constantly using one of your digits like texting with a thumb, is to be avoided.

    Also anything that might be heavily weighted you want to be very careful about, so avoid lifting something that’s very heavy. You don’t want to injure yourself by overdoing it.

    In addition, you can keep of log of your activities and when you have pain, in order to identify individual triggers.

  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Greetings, @Suzanne135 and welcome to the site. You have recently been given a diagnosis of OA. You don't say how severe it is, not too bad I hope.

    You will find much useful information on the site and in the forums where there are many who have gone through the journey you are just starting. Here are some links which I hope you will find interesting and helpful.

    Osteoarthritis (OA) | Causes, symptoms, treatments (

    Hints and tips | Diet, drugs and surgery hints (

    The main thing to remember is that there are many who have gone where you are going and live happy lives.

    Take care and good luck


  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Just to show that exercise helps, I found my balance was failing me, I ‘ve had widespread arther since I was young and for a challenge I brought myself a balance board and can now stand on it for a long time. (I usually watch tv doing it!). Perhaps I need a new challenge?

    it’s a grin, honest!