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Skier's Thumb Exercises

If you have had surgery or if you have been in a cast or splint, you may do these exercises when your healthcare provider says you are ready.

  • Thumb active range of motion: With your palm flat on a table or other surface, move your thumb away from your palm as far you can. Hold this position for 5 seconds and bring it back to the starting position. Then rest your hand on the table in a handshake position. Move your thumb out to the side away from your palm as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Next, bring your thumb across your palm toward your little finger. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat this entire sequence 15 times. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Wrist range of motion
    1. Flexion: Gently bend your wrist forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
    2. Extension: Gently bend your wrist backward. Hold this position 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
    3. Side to side: Gently move your wrist from side to side (a handshake motion). Hold for 5 seconds in each direction. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Thumb strengthening: Pick up small objects, such as paper clips, pencils, and coins, using your thumb and each of your other fingers, one at a time. Practice this exercise for about 5 minutes.
  • Finger spring: Place a large rubber band around the outside of your thumb and fingers. Open your fingers to stretch the rubber band. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Grip strengthening: Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Wrist flexion: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
  • Wrist extension: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the object you are holding.
Written by Tammy White, MS, PT, and Phyllis Clapis, PT, DHSc, OCS, for RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-04-29
Last reviewed: 2010-05-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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