Exercise can give huge benefits to people having arthritis. It will provide relief to the pain and will reduce stiffness in joints.
People who exercise regularly notice that they have lesser pain than people who never exercise. By exercising, you can get the following benefits while having arthritis:
- Improvement in Joint function
- Reduction in painful symptoms
- Increased flexibility
- Increased range of motion
- Boosts mood
Exercising will hit even better if you make your exercise plan with your doctor or some physical therapist’s assistance.
We will be discussing exercising for arthritis pain, focusing on various joints one by one. So, let’s begin.
Knee Exercises for Arthritis
When you feel weak in your knees, it is not always in a romantic sense. And, actually feeling weak in the knees is quite painful. So, show your knees some love by exercising. The following exercises will focus on the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. These parts contribute to a proper knee function. So, the exercises are:
#1. Mini Squats
Stand straight by holding a chair’s back portion. Keep your feet wide to the width of your shoulders. Slowly and gently bend your knees just a few inches. Keeping the feet flat, do not let your knees cross the symmetry of your toes. Hold this position for 6 seconds. By tightening the buttocks, straighten the knees.
#2. Quad Stretch
Stand straight by holding a chair’s back portion. Take a step back with 1 foot. Keep your feet flat and knees bent. Keep your buttocks tight under your hips. You should feel a stretch in your hip and thigh of the back leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds; after that, release your legs. Then, repeat the same with the other leg also.
#3. Standing Back Leg Slide
Stand straight by holding a chair’s back portion. Slide one of your feet back. Keep just toes on the floor until your buttocks tighten. Try sliding your foot to the position where it was before. Repeat the exercise with another leg also.
#4. Knee Strengthener
Loop a resistance band around both of your legs, above the ankles. Sit on a chair. Keep one foot flat on the floor. Straighten your other leg forward. Hold this position for 6 seconds. Repeat the same with the other leg also.
You can also perform this exercise by taking your second leg backward instead of forward. Perform with both moves.
#5. Hamstring Stretch
Sit at the chair’s edge. Let your one leg be straight, keeping your heel on the floor and your toes pointed upwards. Keep other foot on the floor, flat. Keep the back straight, lean forward from hips till you have a nice stretch in your outstretched leg. Hold it for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat the same with both legs.
Neck Exercises for Arthritis
To get relief from neck arthritis, we give some really easy exercises that you can try at your home. Make sure you move your neck very gently and smoothly while performing these. The exercises for arthritis pain in the neck are:
#1. Neck Drop and Raise
Stand or sit comfortably. Start dropping your head forward so that your chin gets to touch your chest. Hold it for 8 seconds. Repeat this exercise with your neck bending backward.
#2. Head Tilt
Stand or sit comfortably. Tilt your head towards the right shoulder, keeping the left shoulder down. Hold the position for 8 seconds and then release. Repeat on both sides the same way.
#3. Neck Rotation
Sit or stand comfortably in a nice posture. Turn your head slowly to the right side, keeping the chin straight. Hold the position for 8 seconds and then release. Repeat with the left side too.
#4. Neck Retraction
Sit on a chair by keeping your head straight and shoulders back. Pull the chin forward as if you make a double chin. Hold for 5-10 seconds, release, repeat the stretch.
#5. Shoulder Rolls
Exercising with shoulders will strengthen your neck also. Sit gently and roll the shoulders down, back, and up smoothly. Repeat this movement. Also, you can try it in reverse.
Hip Exercises for Arthritis
We recommend the following exercises for hips to get relief from arthritis pain:
#1. Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch
Stand next to some wall for support. Cross one of your legs, which is closer to the wall behind the second leg. Make your hip lean towards the wall to feel a stretch in your hip. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the same with another leg too.
#2. Knee to Chest
Lie on the floor on your back and extend your legs straight. Bend one of your knees and use your hands to grasp your shinbone. Pull your knee gently towards your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat with both legs.
#3. Hamstring Stretch
Lie straight on the floor and keeping your knees bent. Lift one of your legs off the floor and pull your knee to the chest. Place your hands behind your thigh. Pull as much as you can towards the head. You will feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg also.
#4. Hip Extension
Lie on the floor on your stomach by keeping a pillow under the hips. Bend one of your knees to 90 degrees. Lift your leg straight. Then, slowly and gently let your leg go down on the floor, counting till 5. Repeat on the other side also. Do 8 repeats on each side.
Shoulder Exercises for Arthritis
For getting relief from shoulder pain due to arthritis, some exercises may help you with the same. These exercises are:
Standing next to some table, place one of your hands on the table to get support and then lean forward. Other arms should be there hanging freely at your side. Swing the other arm backward and forward about 10 times. Repeat with the second arm also.
#2. Crossover Arm Stretch
Stand straight and make your shoulders relaxed. Pull one of your arms across the chest as long as you can go comfortably. Hold this arm from other hands at the upper arm portion. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat with both arms.
#3. Wall Crawl
Stand near a wall maintaining a distance of one arm so that your fingers can touch the wall. Take one arm and slowly start crawling over the wall with your fingers. Go crawling as high as you can. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then take your arms back down by crawling. Repeat with both arms.
#4. Wall Push-Ups
Stand near some wall with straight arms and keep hands flat over the wall. Widen your feet to shoulder width and tighten the muscles of the stomach. Now, bend your elbows and go towards the wall with your chest open. Keep your upper body lowered down towards the wall. Hold it for a few seconds and then release.
Hand Exercises for Arthritis
Weakness felt in our hands makes every smaller-to-smaller everyday task difficult to be done. So, here we are providing some simple yet effective exercises to treat your hands and thumb pain due to arthritis:
#1. Make a Fist
Straighten your fingers and then slowly bend all the fingers to make a fist with thumb over other fingers. Hold and then open your hand back. Repeat this at least 10 times with each hand.
#2. Finger Bends
Straighten your hand with fingers open. Bend down the thumb towards your palm and hold for a few seconds. Straighten the thumb and then repeat in the same way with all the fingers.
#3. Make an “O”
Curve all the fingers of one hand inwards so that they get to touch. That should make an “O.” Hold for a few moments and then release. Repeat with the other hand also.
#4. Table Bend
Place your hand on a table with the pinky side down, and thumb pointed up in the air. Keeping thumb in this position, bend the four other fingers inwards to make an “L” shape. Hold for few seconds and then straighten the fingers. Repeat 10 times with each hand.
#5. Wrist Stretch
Take care of your wrist, too, along with your hands. Because wrists also become stiff and sore due to arthritis. Hold the right arm straight with your palm facing down to the floor. Using another hand, press down your hand gently until you get a nice stretch in the arm and wrist. Hold it and then repeat with another hand.
Feet and Ankle Exercises for Arthritis
To increase the mobility and flexibility in your ankles and feet, you can perform the following practices:
#1. Toe Press
Press down your feet with the toes and lift your heels. Hold it for 5 seconds. Repeat the same 10 times.
#2. Big Toe Stretch
Make your footrest on the knee of the opposite leg. Grasp your instep using one hand and use fingers of other hands for grasping your big toe. Stretch it down and up gently to each side. Hold in each direction for 5 seconds.
#3. Achilles Stretch
Make your footrest on your knee on the opposite side. Grasp the ball of the foot and the instep from one hand and grasp toes with the other hand. Press it back till a pull is felt in your heel up the back of the calf. Hold for a few seconds.
#4. Ankle Rotation
Make your footrest on the knee of the opposite leg. Using one hand, grasp your foot just above your ankle. Also, with another hand, grasp the ball of the foot. Gently rotate the ankle joint by holding like this for about 5 seconds.
The given exercises for arthritis are very effective in reversing your condition. These also increase the flexibility of your body. So, adopt these in your routine life to get your arthritis on track. Make sure you do not stress your body in the beginning by going beyond your comfort while stretching.