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Physical Therapy Questions
Finger Exercises, Swollen Ankles

Q. I read your article on osteoarthritis and it mentioned exercise for fingers. Can you give me more information about exercise for the fingers?

A. Keeping the fingers moving can help to "lubricate" the joints. The easiest exercise is to do dishes! Really!

Squeezing water out of a sponge is a simple basic grip strength exercise. In addition to gripping activities, it is important to preserve "pinch" strength by manipulating small objects between your fingers.

One easy activity is to pull a piece of leather or paper between your fingers and thumb and try not to let it move!

Q. Here comes the humidity and that means swollen ankles for me. I have hip problems that prevent me from elevating my legs.

Can you tell me any exercises I can do for my ankles? Thank you.

A. The blood pumps back to the heart using a combination of gravity and tiny musculature inside the vessels themselves. However, most important is the pressure that the regular muscles place on the vessels via movement surrounding the blood vessels.

In other words - to help pump fluids back to the heart, you must "keep moving"! Muscle pumping activities such as ankle pumps (preferably elevated slightly) or ankle alphabets (making the alphabet in the air) are great ways to encourage fluid to return quickly to the heart.

Wearing TED Hose or compression stockings may help. Get on a healthy walking program - yes, even in the Summer, stay hydrated and talk with your doctor!

To learn more about NovaCare Rehabilitation, with 24 NE Ohio outpatient clinics,please visit us online at www.novacare.com/neohio.htm

Or call 216-292-6363 ext. 236


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