Orthopedics Physical Therapy Exercises Print Exercise Program After a Boxer's Fracture By Brett Sears, PT Updated July 12, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Orthopedics Physical Therapy Exercises Sprains & Strains Fractures & Broken Bones Orthopedic Surgery Osteoporosis Pediatric Orthopedics Sports Injuries Shoulder & Elbow Hip & Knee Hand & Wrist Leg, Foot & Ankle Assistive Devices & Orthotics Medication & Injections View All If you have suffered a boxer's fracture, then you may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist (PT) to help you fully recover. Your PT can assess your hand and arm range of motion (ROM), strength, and function and make recommendations to help you get back to your normal activity. One part of your rehab for a boxer's fracture is an exercise program. Exercises for a boxer's fracture are designed to help your hand and fingers move better and function normally. Your PT will likely prescribe exercises for you to do as part of a home exercise program. But which exercises can you expect to be prescribed after your boxer's fracture? Many patients benefit from a step-by-step exercise program that may be prescribed by your physical therapist or doctor after a boxer's fracture. Check in with your doctor to be sure exercise is safe for you to do, and then visit your PT to learn which exercises are best for your specific condition. Ready? Let's get started. 1 Wrist, Hand and Finger Range of Motion Improving wrist and hand strength can help improve function after a boxer's fracture. © Brett Sears, PT, 2011 If you wore a cast or splint while your boxer's fracture was healing, you may find that your finger, hand, and wrist range of motion is limited once your doctor removes the cast. Your initial exercises prescribed by your PT may be to restore normal ROM. Exercises may be passive ROM, where your PT does the stretching for you, or your PT may have you start gentle wrist and finger stretches. Move each finger through its full motion—bending and straightening—with a little bit of extra pressure. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds, and do each stretch five times. The motions of the wrist that you should stretch include: FlexionExtensionRadial deviation (bending your wrist towards your thumb)Ulnar deviation (bending your wrist towards your pinky)Pronation (turning your wrist and hand over as if you were pouring a drink)Supination (turning your palm up as if you were holding a bowl of soup) You may also need to perform gentle elbow range of motion exercises if you have been protecting your hand by keeping your entire arm immobilized in a sling. Your PT can show you the best way to improve the way your elbow bends and straightens. 2 Grip Strengthenig Exercises The towel handgrip exercise is simple to do. Brett Sears, PT, 2015 After a period of immobilization for a boxer's fracture, your hand muscles may be feeling a little weak. Working on your grip strength may help improve the way your hand functions. Grip strengthening exercises may include: The towel handgrip exercisePutty gripping exercisesUsing a device like a DigiFlex to improve grip strength Your physical therapist can show you the best exercises to do to improve your grip strength after a boxer's fracture. 3 Finger Strengthening Exercises Use your putty to perform finger abduction. Brett Sears, PT, 2015 Just as strengthening grip may be a part of your boxer's fracture rehab, working to strengthen your finger muscles may be helpful as well. Keeping your fingers strong can help improve your fine motor coordination. Different ways you can strengthen your finger muscles may include: Working with therapy puttyUsing elastic rubber bands around your fingers to strengthen themUsing a DigiFlex exercise device Your physical therapist can show you the best way to strengthen your finger muscles after a boxer's fracture. 4 Arm and Shoulder Exercises After Boxer's Fracture Passive Shoulder ROM can be performed by your physical therapist. DNY59 After a period of immobilization, while your boxer's fracture is healing, your shoulder and arm muscles may become a bit weak or tight. Working to improve mobility and strength in your arm and shoulder can help you recover fully. Exercises that may be beneficial may include: Rotator cuff strengtheningScapular stability exercisesWrist strengthening exercisesElbow mobility and elbow strength exercises Your physical therapist can show you exactly where to target your upper extremity strengthening exercises to get maximal benefit from your exercise program. 5 Return to Function After Boxer's Fracture Your physical therapist can help you return to normal mobility after a boxer's fracture. Hero Images/ Getty Images So you've worked on ROM and strength of your shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Now what? The final piece of the puzzle for your rehab program after a boxer's fracture is to get back to full function. Speak with your PT about some of the things that you are struggling with, and he or she can devise a specific exercise program and suggest strategies to help you maximize your function. Your therapist can assess your overall strength and mobility and make recommendations about what you can do to return to your baseline level of activity. A Word From Verywell Dealing with a boxer's fracture can be a difficult thing to do. By working closely with your doctor and your physical therapist, and by following a rehab program similar to this step-by-step, you can be sure to quickly and safely get back to your normal level of activity. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Halim A, Weiss A-PC. Return to Play After Hand and Wrist Fractures.Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2016;35(4):597-608. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2016.05.005.