Hand exercises? Exams coming up: My university exams... - NRAS

28,797 members34,172 posts

Hand exercises? Exams coming up


My university exams are coming up and I‘m allowed some extra time during a few exams in case my hands get tired due to the RA. Does anyone know hand exercises I could do in that time that could help me move my hands better quickly? Also, I‘ve been noticing lately that my hands often shake when I try to make a fist, pick something up etc. so does anyone know some strenghtening exercises for hands/wrists?

Thanks a lot!

10 Replies

Can't post pics on your post sadly but I have a spongey star shaped stress buster thing. I can get my fingers between the points and squeeze. I also use a thick elastic band round my fingers and open them out as far as I can.

Good luck with the exams!

in reply to DoricQuine55

Thank you! Those are great ideas.

I had extra time during my business degree exams when my RA first started twenty years ago. There was a lot of fast writing required and I do write fast despite RA but it hurt and cramped a lot. In the rest/extra mins allocated to me I went to the toilet washroom and ran a sink of warm-hot water and let my hands do a few fists and finger stretches under the water. If no plug, then let the warm-hot water run over your hands and wrists. It only takes a couple of mins to do this and helped me a lot. Good Luck! x

in reply to NeonkittyUK

Thanks a lot x

I used to work as a scribe and wrote for a girl with rheumatoid arthritic who was taking A levels. Does your university not have Access arrangements for people who can’t systain writing for long enough to complete an exam or are you not able to use a counter or even voice activated software?

There are a lot of finger and hand exercises online if you google for them.

Good luck with the exams.

I’d just say that whatever you do be sure to take it easy and don’t overdo the exercises and upset things - I did that doing foot exercises to strengthen my feet and ankles and ended up with tendinitis which was very annoying.

Hi, thanks that‘s some great advice!

I can write the multiple choice and essay exams on a laptop but I can‘t do that for the physics and maths exam so I was allowed extra time for those two. I‘ll check some exercises out and slowly get into a routine, thank you!

I would definitely check because I used to scribe and the students got extra time too - mostly 25% but occasionally 50% and in the case of a girl who was totally blind 100%. That was quite a session believe me especially if we had technology problems.

Perhaps you could have your extra time increased if you are finding it hard.

You can also get rest breaks which might help in your case. I don’t know what the rules on that are - when I started there used to be a maximum amount of time allowed - something like ten minutes in an hour - last time I scribed (two years ago ) there was no limit to the extra time.

Yes, following my experiences with exercises just go more carefully than I did.

If they’re giving you extra time would they have a physio to advise you? Good luck with the exams

If you Google Hand Exercises for RA there are some good resources!

I use a hand spikey ball (Amazon amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FHZ5T7G?...

Also the squeezy gel ones too that are very helpful. I carry with me and use anywhere! amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PGQKXMI/...

Wishing you well with your studies...



I sat a few 3 hour exams with 30 minutes extension applied. The extension wasn't helpful to me because my right hand refused to carry on after 2 hours, even after stretching, shaking, squeezing etc. The examiner made a note of the time I left and reasons why and this was taken into account on my final grade. I usually managed to complete 3 out of 4 questions fairly well. I did have to write to the Institute to explain so that they understood my circumstances. I think they have a legal responsibility to take our RA symptoms into account - Equality Act 2010. This might be helpful for you.

Best wishes


You may also like...