How to Relieve Hand Cramps

Expert Reviewed

Hand cramps happen to us all. They may come up more frequently as you age, or if you have a job that requires repetitive hand and wrist movement. Most hand cramps can be easily treated at home, but medical treatment may be necessary, depending on the cause. Fortunately, it’s also possible to prevent hand cramps!

  1. 1 Rest your hand. Hand cramps are often caused by overuse. Give your hand time to heal by avoiding activities that require a lot of hand movements or that require you to grip something. For sudden cramps, this may only be a few minutes. If you have more severe cramps, you should go a day or 2 with minimal use of your hand.[1]
    • You may also need to rest your forearm.
    • If your symptoms don’t improve, you should see a healthcare provider.
  2. 2 Discontinue any activity that is causing hand cramps. If overuse is causing your hand cramps, you’re likely doing a repetitive activity. Stopping this activity, even for a short period of time, can help relieve the cramps. Activities that may cause hand cramps include the following:[2]
    • Writing
    • Typing
    • Playing an instrument
    • Gardening
    • Tennis
    • Gripping an object, such as a tool or smartphone
    • Bending your wrist too far
    • Stretching out your fingers
    • Elevating your elbow for a long period of time
  3. 3 Stretch your hand. Hold your hand flat with your fingers touching. Use your other hand to gently press your hand back by pressing against the palms of your finger.[3]
  4. 4
  5. 5 Apply a hot or cold compress to your hand. Both heat and cold can help relieve your pain. Heat is better for soothing the cramp and loosening up any tightness in the muscles, while cold will relieve swelling.[7]
    • Place a piece of fabric between your skin and the compress for protection.
  6. 6 Drink more water if you may be dehydrated. This is more likely to be the cause if you’ve been exercising, work in the heat, or are taking a medication that acts as a diuretic. Make sure that you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day, and more if you’re active or work in the heat.
  7. 7 Take supplements if you’re low in nutrients. Hand cramps occur when you lack certain nutrients, such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium. This is particularly true for people who do intensive workouts, have kidney disease, are pregnant, have an eating disorder, or are undergoing treatment for a condition like cancer.[9]
    • Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any vitamins or supplements, especially if you are already taking medications. Your doctor can advise you on which supplements are best for you.
  1. 1 Talk to your doctor if your hand cramps persist longer than a few hours. Your doctor can determine if an injury or underlying condition is causing your hand cramps. Additionally, they can recommend treatments…
Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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