Preserve your hand’s full range of motions by engaging in saddle joint exercises. Your saddle joints are the most versatile joints in your body, according to Innerbody.com. The only saddle joints in your body are at the base of your thumbs. All your gripping motions, such as holding a pen, using your mobile phone or grasping the steering wheel of your car, require you to use your saddle joints.
If you frequently use your thumbs when swiping the touch screen on your smartphone or tablet, you can use a thumbbell to exercises your saddle joints. The miniature dumbbell is designed to workout your thumb and its supporting joint. Also, stretching an elastic wristband using your thumb and index finger can strengthen your saddle joint. Make the resistance intense by immobilizing your index finger and allowing only your thumb movements to stretch the band.
Work out your saddle joints by spelling words in the air. Spell your favorite movie titles or the names of your favorite brands. Using different words will force your thumb to move in all possible directions. This enables you to vary the joint motions during the exercise. Support your right wrist using your left hand and use the thumb of your right hand to write letters in the air, then repeat the routine using your left thumb.
Stretching your thumbs improves the flexibility of your saddle joint. Raise your left hand to chest level and fold your elbow to let your forearm to realign parallel with your chest. Using your right hand, hold your left thumb and pull lightly while applying pressure to the joint. Repeat the routine using your right thumb. Stretching out all your fingers away from your palms for 10 seconds also works out the saddle. At full stretch, ensure that your thumb is separated from your index finger by the maximum distance.
Safety and Considerations
The American Society for Surgery of the Hands observes that thumb base arthritis is a common joint problem especially among women. This condition causes extensive damage to the saddle joint, resulting in pain. Strenuous stretches also lead to joint pains. Do not exercise painful joints. In case you feel pain on the joint during the workout, stop the routine immediately and consult your doctor. Rehabilitate and rest injured joints, and allow for their recovery before resuming the exercise.
Based in London, Thomas Mwanga, has been writing professionally since 2001. He has worked as an editor at "Kilburn Times" and "Liverpool Daily Post," both based in London. Mwanga graduated with a master's degree in clinical science (medical physics) from the University of Liverpool in 2001.