Exercise for Arthritis: What’s the Benefit?

Updated on February 20th, 2020
Exercise for Arthritis

With the advancement in the food industry and the rapidly increasing variety of junk foods, immunity, and defense mechanisms of a human body have degraded.  Lack of proper diets, genetic issues, improper medications, and growing ignorance towards the body has resulted in health concerns and diseases like joint ache and arthritis.

In any phase or stage of pain caused by arthritis, you can start with exercise for arthritis for gaining remarkable results.

A rheumatologist from UCLA Medical Centre, Dr. Roy Altman says, “When you don’t do anything with osteoarthritis of the knee, arthritis gets worse.” and exercise is the best way to move, stretch your body parts.

The jobs these days have demanding hours and most of them are spent on a seat in front of the computer and such a sedentary lifestyle have resulted in increased cases of arthritis, and since the symptoms mainly are a pain, redness, and swelling in joints, exercise is the best way to cure the illness.

Did You Know?

  • Exercises that help in strengthening the muscles around arthritis affected joint is the most fundamental and effective treatment.
  • Exercises have always been prescribed for strengthening the bones and improving the balance and functioning of joints.

Exercises for Arthritis

Women Exercise

Cartilage, a firm but flexible connective tissue is responsible for absorbing the pressure & shock on joints. Typical deformity in this tissue, an injury or injection, genetic diseases can cause in the reduction of this tissue. This causes the most form of arthritis(1). Along with surgeries, medication, and treatment, physical exercises are one of the most reliable treatments.

A little more effort spent on stretching, meditating, or doing a physical exercise can cause a significant reduction in arthritis. Regular exercise will keep your joints flexible and ready to bear occasional pressure and shocks. Arthritis can be in any joint of the body. So, would exercise help in each case? Would workout help in back pains?

[Also Read: How to Treat Arthritis Naturally?]

Arthritis and Exercise

Most times, people wonder, does exercise help arthritis? Or is exercise good for arthritis? The answer might vary as per your case. But a continuous and controlled exercise pattern will always be helpful for you. So how to exercise and control it at the same time?

When you are attempting any particular exercise for any arthritis. Be it:

  • Rotation of head, head tilt and chin up-down for neck pain or
  • Sit-ups, hamstring stretches, and leg raises for knee pain or
  • Finger and thumb bends for hand pain

In every case, these exercises have been proven to be a well-practiced treatment.

Arthritis in Joints and Exercises

Image: Shutterstock

Most of us have suffered either neck or shoulder or back or knee pain(2) due to some reasons or due to the sedentary lifestyle we live. It is highly confusing whether exercises help for arthritis? The primary query that comes is that the joints are already paining.

Won’t exercising and stretching increase the pain? The answer is quite simple. To keep a joint fully functional, it is essential that joints are made accustomed to some stretches and twists. The more you stretch, the less will be your stress.

If you are uncertain as which exercise to try for which type of pain, you can try some of the below-mentioned procedures for the arthritis pain you are suffering from.

[Read: Acupuncture for Relieve Arthritis Pain]

Hamstring and Leg Exercises for Arthritis in Knee

Arthritis in the knee can cause a great deal of pain and problem while jogging or running. So, shall you give up to it? Absolutely no! You can start with some exercises, like walking, brisk walking, sit-ups, etc.

Start with a moderate amount of time. If it starts hurting, stop, take some rest, and then get back to it. You can begin walking for say 1 km for the first week and then keep increasing the distance and your pace in the following weeks.

  • Cross leg side bends
  • backward lunges
  • quad stretch with the wall

These are some of the highly impactful and easy to perform exercises. These can even be practiced at home.

However, always keep your pain in check. If it increases or you feel it is serious, always consult a physiotherapist first. These exercises, done with proper guidance, will reduce your arthritis knee pain to a large extent.

Exercises for Arthritis in Neck and Shoulder

For arthritis pain in neck and shoulder joints, the best way is to try some stretching exercises while you are at home. Try some early morning, or before going to bed stretches that you can do while sitting on a chair.

  • Side neck stretches
  • Side-to-side tilts
  • Levator Scapulae Stretches
  • Triceps stretches

These are some of the easily doable and profoundly relaxing exercises. You can start by doing a set of 10 each the first week and increase it exponentially. Ensure to keep taking brief breaks of a minute or so between each exercise.

Arthritis may sound like a severe disease, which it is. But with proper exercises and healthy mindset, the pain it causes can be reduced to significant amounts. The activities mentioned above for different kind of pains can be practiced with a proper recommendation or under the guidance of a professional.

Exercise for arthritis is being used as a primary treatment by most of the world class treatment centers. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that physicians advise their arthritis patients to participate in a physical activity targeted for their individual health status.

It is undeniable by now that exercises have significant benefits and can be highly beneficial. So, give it a try and experience the change.

[Also Read: Yoga Poses for Arthritis]


1. Is Exercise Good for Arthritis?

Exercises are vital for arthritis. It helps increases strength, reduces pain in the joints. It also helps combat fatigue.

2. Does Exercise Make Arthritis Worse?

Exercise indeed is helpful in relieving arthritis pain, however, high-impact activities, like running could worsen joint pain. Hence, do not force yourself into doing more than you can.

3. What is the Best Treatment for Arthritis?

Nonsteroid Anti-inflammatory drugs like  (NSAIDs) by and large, help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation too.

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