Video Q & A:

Exercise

Question:

What exercises can improve my joints' range of motion?

Expert:   Betty Keller, MD, FACR, Board Certified Internal Medicine & Rheumatology »

Certain exercises for RA will improve joint range of motion, decrease stiffness and pain. Watch this to learn what stretches are best for rheumatoid arthritis.

Transcript: If you have rheumatoid arthritis, cutting down on–or eliminating--physical activity can significantly worsen your pain and stiffness. Exercise is CRUCIAL to preserving mobility—the American College of Rheumatology recommends daily flexibility exercises. Here are a few you can start doing TODAY. The key to the following 3 exercises –is to be repetitive, but gentle. Remember to take breaks in between each move. Let's start with the Butterfly for hips and knees. The butterfly is a simple range of motion movement that promotes flexibility in the hips, and eases strain on the knees and the lower back. Sitting on the floor, or on an exercise table with your back straight and legs out in front. Remember, you want your motions to be slow and steady. Don’t strain or jerk. And breathe evenly in and out. If you have problems with a stiff neck or tight shoulders try Combo Neck Rotation with Shoulder Flexions. They can have a BIG and positive effect on your range of motion. This combination of a neck rotation and shoulder flexions relaxes your upper back, helps relieve a stiff neck, and loosens up your shoulders. The next range of motion exercise is Standing Leg Curls. This resistance exercise helps with balance, knee flexibility, and will engage your thigh muscles. I suggest seeing a physical therapist experienced with rheumatoid arthritis for additional moves appropriate for your condition. More »

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