Person wearing a fibreglass cast on their arm.

Exercises for your arm & hand while in a cast

Why is it important to exercise while in a cast?


Fibreglass casts help to prevent movement and allow your injured bones to heal. Due to your injury, swelling, stiffness and weakness may develop. To help reduce stiffness and weakness, it’s important to continue to move your arm gently. Motion also helps to decrease inflammation.

Exercises prescribed by your therapist will allow them to focus on the stiff joints that have been immobilised when the cast is removed.

  • Reduce swelling
  • Reduce stiffness
  • Reduce weakness
  • Aid rehabilitation when the cast is removed



 Helpful tips

  • Swelling: It is normal to have some swelling in your hand and fingers. Elevating the arm will aid the reduction of the swelling and can be achieved by resting your hand on the opposite shoulder or resting your arm on a pillow. Wiggle your fingers.
  • Rest: Your arm may become swollen if you use it too much. Avoid vigorous exercise to minimise sweating under your cast.
  • Never put anything inside the cast: Although the arm can get itchy you should never stick things into the cast to scratch as it could damage your skin. If you have an itch, try tapping it on the outside of the cast. You can also try blowing cool air from a hair dryer around the edges of the cast.
  • Be guided by your hand therapist: Always follow the exercise program prescribed by your hand therapist and seek advice if your pain, swelling or stiffness worsens significantly.


A hand specialist examining the cast on a young boy's wrist.

Did you know…

Waterproof casts can be a great option for children and the elderly. Aside from being lighter and waterproof, they are also healthier for the skin. All Melbourne Hand Rehab clinics have the resources to make customised waterproof casts, however they are not suitable for all injuries.

During your appointment your hand therapy practitioner will check that your injury is suitable for a waterproof cast.


If you are experiencing finger, hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.



For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166


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