Quick Tip: Finger Stretch

Ah, the quarter is over! I’ll be starting my thesis research next week however, so back to being busy soon enough. I’m working with my friend, chiropractor, and personal savior on a new series of posts outlining injury prevention workouts. While we (slowly) churn that out, here’s a quick tip I picked up about a year ago.

0613151323Last year I partially ruptured a pulley and went to a hand specialist. While there I asked about some pain in my other fingers (middle finger to be specific), which I assumed to be a different pulley issue. After some inspection he asked me to bend my finger so that the tip of the finger touches the base. Like in the image to the left. At the time, I couldn’t even get close. Now here is where you’ll just have to trust me because he didn’t explain why this helps and I’ve tried to figure it out and can’t, but he told me it is important to stretch my fingers until I could easily hold that position. Now every time my fingers start to get achy I test this and at least 85% of the time I find that I have limited range of motion. Then once I start stretching again, the pain subsides very rapidly.

I was told to hold this stretch for about a minute, which I believe is the length necessary to properly stretch connective tissue, so this is probably stretching some of the ligaments in the fingers. So when you perform this stretch you can either hold your finger with your other hand for a minute, or what I figured out to do was to wrap a rubber band around your finger like this


I used the band that comes with the armaid. Man that thing sure is useful! I find using a band instead of pushing with your other hand not only (obviously) frees up your hands, but the tension is more gradual so you’re not overstretching if your range of motion is very limited. I’ll usually wrap whatever finger feels stiff after a climbing session and keep it on while I drive home from the gym.

So if you have finger pain and limited range of motion, give this a try and hopefully it works as well for you as it does for me!


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