DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old woman developing arthritis in my fingers, especially the middle joints. I do various finger bending and straightening exercises, and I rub my hands together vigorously to warm them.

I recently visited a hand orthopedist to get a steroid injection into the worst joint. To my surprise, he advised me to avoid exercising my fingers because it puts extra strain on the joints and may accelerate the symptoms. Are you aware of evidence for or against hand exercise to keep arthritis in check? - J.G.

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