Why do I need to exercise my finger after an injury?
Exercising your finger after an injury can make it stronger and easier to move. However, you shouldn't start these exercises until your doctor says it is safe.
Exercise: Range of Motion
This exercise can help you straighten your finger, which will make it easier to move.
To do this exercise, use your uninjured hand to slowly straighten and bend the injured finger. Hold it straight then slowly bend it.
Exercise: Finger Extension
This exercise also makes it easier to straighten your finger.
To do this exercise, put your injured hand flat on the table, palm facing down. Lift each finger one at a time.
Exercise: Grip Strengthening
This exercise can make your finger stronger.
To do this exercise, make a fist with your injured hand and hold it for several seconds. You can do this exercise using only your hand, or you can squeeze a ball (for example, a soft "stress" ball or a tennis ball). If you use a tennis ball, make a cut in the side of the ball to make it easier to squeeze.
Exercise: Object Pick-up
This exercise can improve fine motor skills, 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.
Acute Finger Injuries: Part II. Fractures, Dislocations, and Thumb Injuries by JC Leggit, LTC, MC, USA, and CJ Meko, CAPT, MC, USA (American Family Physician March 01, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060301/827.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff