Doing the following stretching and strengthening exercises twice a day can help you maintain hand flexibility and stability of the thumb joint.
“Place and Hold”
This exercise trains your muscles to hold the thumb steady and not allow the middle joint to collapse. Touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger so that they form a circle. Support the middle joint of your thumb with your opposite hand so that the thumb joint is slightly bent. Pinch your fingertips together lightly and remove the supporting hand while maintaining the circle position. Gradually increase the force of the pinch until it feels as though the circle will collapse and the thumb will lose its bent position, and then relax your fingers. Do this 10 times.
Radial abduction stretch
Rest your hand on a table, palm down. Spread your thumb away from your hand, opening your palm wide. Hold for 5–10 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat for a total of 10 stretches.
Place your thumb and fingers in the shape of the letter C, as though you are grasping a tennis ball. Hold this position, tensing your muscles lightly, for 5–10 seconds, and then relax. Do this 10 times. You can make this exercise more challenging by applying a rubber band around your thumb and fingers while holding the “C” position.
Want to learn more about exercises for thumb arthritis? Read “Arthritis In the Thumb and Exercises.”