Studies show that regular light exercise may help reduce joint pain and stiffness, as well as increase joint mobility and muscle strength. For some people, it has also been shown to improve psychological well-being.
In this section, you’ll find exercise videos that may help ease the effects of your rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Each exercise is easy to follow with step-by-step instructions.
But it’s important to remember: before starting this or any exercise program, talk to your doctor to make sure the exercises are safe for you. And make sure not to push yourself too far. If you start to feel any pain in your body, scale back or remove the exercise from your routine.
- Focus on an object in front of you
- Tilt your head to the side, toward your right shoulder. Hold 3 seconds
- Return your head to the center, and tilt it toward your left shoulder. Hold 3 seconds
- Sit a few inches up from the back of your chair, as straight as possible, with shoulders back. Place the backs of your hands on your lower back
- Slowly move hands upward until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Hold 3 seconds
- Slide your hands back down. If necessary, use one hand to help the other
- Repeat. Slide hands upward. Hold 3 seconds. Slide your hands back down
- Start with your arms at your sides, relaxed and straight
- Bend your elbows to bring your hands up to touch your shoulders
- Reach as high as you can as you straighten your elbows. Take a deep breath as you extend your arms up
- Breathe out as you relax your arms back to the starting position
- Repeat. Remember to take a deep breath as you extend your arms
- Hold your hand straight up and relax it. Fingers should be straight and close together
- With wrist and knuckles straight, slowly and smoothly bend the end and middle joints of your fingers down in a curling motion
- Return your hands to the starting position
- Repeat. Curl your fingers, and bring back to the starting position
- Repeat with your other hand
- Hold your wrist straight, and lightly touch your thumb to each fingertip, forming a letter “O” with each movement
- After each “O,” straighten and spread your fingers
- Repeat with other hand
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