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Therapy putty finger exercises

Therapy putty

Putty can be used to improve movement and strength of the hand, wrist and forearm. It can be formed into various shapes to complete exercises which will be tailored to you by your therapist. Use the putty as shown below. We will give you instructions about the number of times you need to complete each of the exercises. The putty is available in a range of colour-coded strengths, which your therapist will explain to you. You will start with softer putty and work up to a stronger one, guided by your therapist.

Advice and precautions

  • Wash your hands before and after using the putty to keep it clean and maintain its strength.
  • Place the putty on a clean smooth surface when using.
  • When the putty is stretched too much, it can break down into small pieces. Care should be taken with these, as they can stick to carpets and clothing. To remove fine bits of putty from the surface you are using, dab the area with a large blob of putty.
  • If the putty becomes too warm or sticky, place the putty in its tub and put it in the fridge.
  • Keep the putty in its tub when not in use.
  • Do not eat the putty, or leave it near young children or pets, and keep it away from hair, clothes and other fabrics.

1 Mini doughnut stretch

Mini doughnut stretch

1a Roll the putty forwards and backwards to form a sausage shape. Start with your fingers together when rolling, then begin to spread them as you continue to roll.

1b Hold your index finger and thumb together and wrap the putty around them to form a doughnut.

1c Stretch your finger away from your thumb. You could make this harder by using thicker putty.

Information:

Complete the exercise on finger(s).

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

2 Mini doughnut pull

mini doughnut pull pictures

2a Roll the putty to form a sausage shape.

2b Place your hand on the table with your palm facing upwards.

2c Wrap the putty over the tip of one of your fingers, making a doughnut shape.

2d Bend your finger towards the palm of your hand. Grab the end of the putty with the other hand.

2e Straighten your finger fully with as much force as possible. You could make this harder by using thicker putty.

Information:

Complete the exercise on finger(s).

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

3 Doughnut stretch

Doughnut stretch

3a Roll the putty forwards and backwards to form a sausage shape.

3b Join the edges to form a doughnut.

3c Place your thumb and fingers in the hole and stretch your fingers outwards against the putty.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

4 Duck bill

pictures to show how to make a duck bill

4a Roll the putty into a ball.

4b With your fingers bent at your knuckles and the rest of your fingers straight, place the ball between your fingers and thumb.

4c Press all your fingers down towards your thumb. Keep all your fingers straight and together.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

5 Finger hook

Finger Hook

5a Roll the putty into a barrel shape.

5b Place your arm on the table with your palm facing upwards. Put the roll of putty at the base of the your fingers.

5c Without bending your knuckles, curl your finger tips into the putty, forming a hook.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

6 Finger dig

6a Roll the putty into a barrel shape.

6b Place your arm on the table with your palm facing upwards. Put the roll of putty at the base of your fingers.

6c Bend your fingers until they press through to the palm of the hand to form a fully clenched fist.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

7 Finger curl

7a Flatten the putty into a pancake shape on the table.

7b Place your finger flat, with your palm upwards, 2.5 centimetres from the top of the putty.

7c Wrap the putty around your finger.

7d Using your other hand to hold the top of the putty. bend your finger through the putty, trying to touch your palm.

Information:

Repeat the exercise on finger(s).

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

8 Mini finger stretch

8a Using a small amount of putty, roll the putty forwards and backwards to form a sausage shape.

8b Wrap the putty over the tip of two of your fingers, making a doughnut shape.

8c Spread your fingers apart. You could make this harder by using thicker putty.

Information:

Repeat the exercise on finger(s).

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

9 Finger stretch

Finger stretch exercises

9a Roll the putty forwards and backwards to form a sausage shape.

9b Wrap the putty around your fingers, make a large doughnut shape and spread your fingers apart, sideways against the putty.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

10 Fingers and thumb stretch

Finger and thumb stretch

10a Roll the putty forwards and backwards to form a sausage shape.

10b With your fingers and your thumb held together, wrap the putty around them, making a large doughnut shape. Keeping your fingers and thumb straight, spread your fingers and your thumb apart, sideways against the putty.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times 

11 Finger squeeze

Finger Squeeze

11a Roll a small amount of putty into a ball.

11b With your hand flat on the table, place the ball between two fingers.

11c Squeeze your fingers together until they meet.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

12 Finger spread

Finger spread

12a Flatten the putty into a thick pancake shape on the table.

12b Bunch and bend your fingertips together.

12c Place the putty on top of your bunched fingers.

12d Slowly spread all your fingers and your thumb out at once. Open your fingers out and straighten them as much as you can.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily

13 Volcano

Volcano

13a Flatten the putty into a thick pancake shape on the table.

13b Place fingers and your thumb lightly at the edge of the pancake.

13c Draw your fingers together towards the centre, then shape the putty into a volcano whilst bringing your thumb and your fingers together.

Information:

Repeat the exercise times, times daily.

Notes:

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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Therapy Contact Number: 0114 2717148

NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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