The effect of active hand exercise and warm wax treatment was evaluated in 52 rheumatoid arthritis patients randomized into four groups: (1) both exercise and wax bath, (2) exercise only, (3) wax bath only, and (4) controls. Treatment was given three times a week for 4 weeks. Deficits in flexion and extension in digits II-V bilaterally, grip function, grip strength, pain, and stiffness were measured before and after the treatment period. The control group was measured at corresponding times. Wax bath treatment followed by active hand exercise resulted in significant improvements of range of motion (ROM) and grip function. Active hand exercise alone reduced stiffness and pain with nonresisted motion and increased ROM. Wax bath alone had no significant effect.