Therapeutic Putty, aka Theraputty: A Powerful Tool for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation at Home

theraputty exercises for hand therapy at hand therapy partners
January 10, 2024

Therapeutic putty, aka theraputty, a versatile and pliable material, is not just a playful item; it’s a valuable tool in rehabilitation for various upper extremity pathologies. From post-injury recovery to chronic conditions, therapeutic putty exercises offer a range of benefits that aid in improving strength, flexibility, and dexterity. This blog post will dive into the advantages of using therapeutic putty for at-home exercises- if your therapist okays it, of course!

Understanding Theraputty

Therapeutic putty, often made from silicone or latex-free materials, comes in different colors denoting varying levels of resistance. Ranging from extra soft to firm, this malleable substance enables individuals to perform a wide array of exercises to strengthen and rehabilitate their hands, fingers, and wrists. You may have already, or you might soon, see it in the office during therapy! You can find Thera-putty on Amazon, if you wish you complete at home exercises!

therapuuty exercises for hand therapy at hand therapy partners

Benefits of Theraputty Exercises for Upper Extremity Pathologies

Improving Grip Strength

Regular exercises using therapeutic putty help enhance grip strength, crucial for individuals recovering from hand injuries or conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. Gradually progressing to firmer putty strengthens hand muscles, fostering better functionality.

Enhancing Flexibility and Dexterity

The pliable nature of therapeutic putty allows for a range of movements, aiding in improving flexibility and dexterity. Engaging in various exercises, such as pinching, twisting, or stretching the putty, helps increase joint mobility and fine motor skills.

Promoting Rehabilitation and Recovery

For individuals recuperating from surgeries, fractures, or other upper extremity pathologies, therapeutic putty exercises serve as a crucial component of rehabilitation. These exercises aid in regaining strength and mobility while reducing stiffness and promoting faster recovery.

Managing Chronic Conditions

Those with chronic conditions like tendinitis or repetitive strain injuries can benefit from therapeutic putty exercises as part of their ongoing management. Consistent use helps alleviate discomfort, prevents muscle atrophy, and maintains hand function.

At-Home Exercises Using Theraputty

  • Finger Pinch: Roll putty into a snake and pinch it between fingers and thumb, holding for few seconds before releasing.
  • Thumb Strengthening: Hold putty in a fist with your thumb towards the ceiling. Press thumb down and into putty in a controlled manner.  
  • Hand Squeeze: Squeeze putty with your entire hand, holding the contraction for a few seconds before releasing.
  • Digit Adduction: Roll the putty in to a snake. Weave this snake in-between your fingers. Slowly adduct (bring your fingers together) your fingers forcing the putty to get pinched. Hold before releasing and repeating. 
  • Digit Extension: Roll the putty into a short snake and then join the two ends forming a small circle. Place your fingers on the inside of the circle and then extend them, forcing the ring to grow. 
  • Lumbrical Squeeze: With the putty in the palm of your hand, squeeze the putty keeping your fingers straight. Hold for a few seconds before releasing and repeating.theraputty exercises for hand therapy at hand therapy partners

Check With Your Therapist!

Before initiating any therapeutic putty exercises at home, it is crucial to communicate and seek guidance from your therapist or healthcare provider. Your injury or condition may require specific considerations or may not be fully ready for certain exercises using therapeutic putty. Our therapists can offer tailored advice, prescribe appropriate exercises, and determine the level of resistance best suited for your current stage of rehabilitation. They may also provide detailed instructions on proper techniques and modifications to prevent any potential aggravation of the injury. Engaging in conversations with your therapist ensures that you receive personalized guidance, fostering a safe and effective rehabilitation process catered to your unique needs and circumstances!


Theraputty is an invaluable tool that empowers individuals to actively participate in their rehabilitation journey for upper extremity pathologies. Regular and targeted exercises using therapeutic putty not only aid in recovery from injuries or chronic conditions but also promote strength, flexibility, and dexterity. Incorporating these exercises into daily routines can significantly improve hand function and overall well-being. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized exercise plans and guidance tailored to individual needs. You can reach out to us here!