8 Simple Exercises to Relieve Joint Pain and Build Mobility in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mobility improving exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Different Exercises for improving mobility in RA. Designed on Canva Pro

Introduction-

Having a limited range of motion can make it difficult to do even simple tasks like reaching your hand up high or bending your knees. However, keeping your joints as mobile as possible is important for preventing stiffness and pain. Arthritis—specifically rheumatoid arthritis—can often limit the range of motion in different joints.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, staying active and using the right type of exercise will help you maintain a healthy range of motion. Below are eight exercises that can help increase range of motion in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have limited mobility in their joints.

Discussion so far….

In line with my previous articles where I had discussed ways to relieve pain and discomfort of RA, this article discusses the fourth pillar, that is, Exercise. In my previous 3 articles I had discussed-

Stretching exercise

These exercises can help increase flexibility in your muscles (also known as joint range of motion, or JROM). Stretching exercises are commonly used to improve range of motion, which can help prevent long-term stiffness, pain, and injury. Muscles and joints can become stiff from inactivity, aging, or injuries.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may also experience some limited range of motion in your joints. This exercise can help prevent this. Some examples of stretching exercises include yoga, tai chi, and qigong. These exercises can be done either standing or sitting and are great for people of all abilities.

Wrist exercise

Wrist exercises can help strengthen your wrists and improve your range of motion. Strengthening these muscles is important because they can become weakened from repetitive motions like typing or using a mouse. Stronger wrists can help prevent injuries, especially if you have limited movement in your wrists. Exercise to strengthen your wrists can be done sitting or standing. People with arthritis in the wrist might try using a brace to help support their wrists.

Wrist exercises can also be done using a resistance bandExercise in RA 100 × 100. Some examples include wrist rotations, wrist curls, and wrist extensions. They can help improve strength and range of motion in your wrists. Wrist exercises are especially important in people with rheumatoid arthritis due to the high risk of joint destruction in the hands and wrists.

Shoulder exercise

Shoulder exercise can help improve strength and range of motion in your shoulders. They can be done sitting or standing. Some examples of shoulder exercise include shoulder shrugs, shoulder circles, and pushups. Stronger shoulders can help prevent injuries, especially if you have limited movement in your shoulders. These muscles are often at risk for injury in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as the disease can cause joint destruction in the shoulders. Shoulder exercise can help prevent joint destruction and improve the strength of your shoulders.

Strengthening exercises

These exercises can help strengthen your muscles and improve your range of motion. Stronger muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities and reduce the risk of injury. They can be done either standing or sitting. Some examples of strengthening exercise include squats, lunges, and calf raises. Stronger muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities and reduce the risk of injury.

Exercises that strengthen your whole body are typically recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis. This is because strengthening one muscle group at a time can be difficult for people with rheumatoid arthritis as the disease can make it challenging to lift your arms above your head.

Hip exercise

Hip exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your hips and improve your range of motion. Stronger hip muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities, reduce the risk of falls, and prevent injuries. They can be done either standing or sitting.

Some examples of hip strengthening exercises include side leg lifts, squats, and bridge. Stronger hip muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities and reduce the risk of falls.

People with rheumatoid arthritis are at risk of losing strength in their hips due to joint destruction, making hip strengthening exercises extremely important.

Knee and ankle exercise

Knee and ankle exercises can help improve the strength in your knees and ankles. Stronger knees and ankles can help reduce the risk of falling, prevent knee and ankle injuries, and improve the ability to complete daily activities.

These can be done either standing or sitting. Some examples of knee and ankle strengthening exercise include knee squeezes, ankle squeezes, and squats. Stronger knees and ankles can help reduce the risk of falling.

Knee and ankle exercises are especially important in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as the disease can cause joint destruction in the knees and ankles. Stronger knees and ankles can help prevent joint destruction and improve the ability to walk.

Core training

Core exercises can help improve the strength and range of motion in your core muscles. Strengthening your core muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities, reduce the risk of falling, and prevent injuries.

These workouts can be done either standing or sitting. Some examples of core exercise include the plank, leg lifts, and crunches.

Core strengthening exercises
Core Strengthening exercises- Designed on Canva Pro.

Stronger core muscles can help improve your ability to complete daily activities. Core exercise is particularly important in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as the disease can cause joint destruction in the core muscles. They can help prevent joint destruction, improve overall strength and endurance, and reduce the risk of falling.

Coordination and balance

These exercises can help improve coordination, balance and strength in the body. They are especially important for people with rheumatoid arthritis as they may also experience neuropathy. Neuropathy is when there is damage to the nerves, resulting in loss of sensation, tingling, and weakness in the legs.

Balance exercises can help improve the coordination and strength of your muscles, allowing you to stabilize your body and prevent falls.

Some examples of coordination and balance exercise include yoga, tai chi, and qigong. These movements can be done either standing or sitting and are great for people of all abilities. In addition to improving coordination and balance, coordination exercises can also help with joint stiffness.

They can help improve the range of motion in your joints and increase muscle strength in your arms and legs. Coordination exercises can also help prevent muscle spasms, which may be common in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Bonus Tip-Tapping/acupressure exercise

Tapping (also known as acupressure) can be a useful exercise for people with arthritis. This can help improve your range of motion and reduce pain in your joints. You can do this exercise either sitting or standing. Tapping can be difficult to do if you have limited mobility in your hands, making it easier to do this exercise sitting down.

To perform this exercise, place your fingers on either side of your joint and apply firm pressure while moving your fingers in small circles. Hold the pressure for 10 seconds, and then release the pressure and move your fingers to a different part of your joint. Repeat this process until you have covered your entire joint.

One final thought- I have been told by some of my patients that Yoga plays a significant role in easing pain and discomfort. You can read all about it here in this article.

Conclusion

Having a limited range of motion can make it difficult to do even simple tasks like reaching your hand up high or bending your knees. However, keeping your joints as mobile as possible is important for preventing stiffness and pain. Arthritis—specifically rheumatoid arthritis—can often limit the range of motion in different joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, staying active and using the right exercises will help you maintain a healthy range of motion. Coordination and balance exercise, stretching exercise, wrist exercise, shoulder exercise, strengthening exercise, and core exercise can all help increase range of motion in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Useful links- Top 5 exercises for people above 50