A selection of therapy putty in different colours

What is Therapy Putty? 

If you find yourself being treated by a hand therapist, you may find that they recommend exercises with therapy putty. What is therapy putty and how does it help?



What is Therapy Putty?

Therapy putty is a silicone product that comes in a small plastic container and will be recommended for you to assist with rehabilitation of your thumb, fingers and/or wrist. Therapy putty once moulded with your hand can provide you with effective resistance training. The putty is residue-free, and it remains intact without breaking, separating, staining, or adhering to the skin. It can be stretched, pinched, kneaded, squeezed, and easily separated.

Therapy putty provides dynamic and customisable resistance for hand exercises, catering to individuals recovering from injuries, surgeries, or conditions affecting hand strength and dexterity.

Therapy putty should be used on a clean, smooth surface, preferably a table. While the putty is extremely robust, over time excessive stretching may cause it to break down into fine strands, and these strands may adhere to carpets and clothing.


Why so many names and colours?

Physio putty, exercise putty, sensory putty, Theraputty, therapeutic putty are all names for different types of therapy putty. Therapy putty has a range of different colours and textures that are associated with increasing resistance levels. Therapy putty can be upgraded as your hand regains its strength and can be used in a range of ways to exercise.

The putty comes in a range of textures, from super soft, extra soft, soft, medium soft, right through to extra firm. And just for added complexity, not all manufacturers use the same colour coding system, so it’s important to be guided by your hand therapist as to which product to use.

Hand Therapy, Therapy Putty, Theraputty

Isn’t it just playdough?

Therapy putty, playdough and silly putty are similar in some ways, but they are designed for different purposes. Therapy putty, is specifically created for hand and finger exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. Playdough is a modelling compound primarily designed for creative play and artistic activities.

Playdough is not specifically formulated for therapeutic exercises. It is softer and more pliable than therapy putty, and it typically doesn’t provide the same level of resistance or therapeutic benefits for hand strengthening.


Tailored rehabilitation

One of the key benefits of therapy putty lies in its ability to engage and challenge different muscle groups in the hand and fingers. The pliability of the putty allows users to perform a wide range of exercises, from simple squeezing and stretching to more intricate movements that mimic daily activities. This not only aids in rebuilding strength but also enhances fine motor skills and coordination.

The amount of time and frequency that you use your therapy putty will be dependent on the program that you and your Hand Therapist will decide on. 

Therapy putty can be used for:  

  • Developing hand muscle strength
  • Improving joint flexibility
  • Improving finger, thumb and wrist movement
  • Increasing hand grip
  • Improving the use of your hand in tasks that you find meaningful


Melbourne Hand Rehab therapist and patient during a telehealth online hand therapy consultation

Melbourne Hand Rehab patient during a telehealth online hand therapy consultation


Conditions where it might be used

The primary purpose of therapy putty is to provide a dynamic and customisable resistance for hand exercises, catering to individuals recovering from injuries, surgeries, or conditions affecting hand strength and dexterity. Conditions where exercises with therapy putty might be prescribed include:


The graduated levels of resistance enable therapists to tailor rehabilitation programs to the unique needs and progress of each patient. As individuals advance in their recovery, they can transition to putty with higher resistance to continue their strengthening journey.


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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