Objective: To study differing home hand exercise interventions to determine effects on grip strength, and secondarily any immediate or short term effects on range of motion, pain, deformities, hand disease activity, and dexterity.
Methods: Randomized controlled trial of 12 weeks of home hand exercise performed for 10-20 min twice daily. Study exercise interventions were range of motion exercises, balanced resistive exercises, and range of motion plus balanced resistive exercises.
Results: Aside from transient, mild to moderate discomfort, exercises were well tolerated. Range of motion exercises were associated with improved right hand joint count. Range of motion plus balanced resistive exercises were associated with increased left hand dexterity. Home hand exercise (exercise groups combined) significantly increased left grip strength.
Conclusions: Temporary use of home hand exercise has acceptable side effects and is an effective means of increasing grip strength.