Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Which One is for You?


There are many who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, which is a type of autoimmune disorder that cause pain, swelling, inflammation, stiffness and damage to the affected joint or joints. The disorder is more prominent in women and may also affect children. Exercise for rheumatoid arthritis is important, but research shows that many people who suffer with it do not get adequate amounts of daily physical activity. Doing exercises for rheumatoid arthritis can help sufferers manage the condition and reduce some of the pain and stiffness as well as other symptoms associated with the disease.

The Arthritis Foundation states that exercises for rheumatoid arthritis have several benefits. Getting physical activity and especially concentrating on exercises for rheumatoid arthritis helps build muscle to support the affected joints and helps alleviate pain and stiffness of the joint. Exercises for rheumatoid arthritis also include range of motion exercises that boost flexibility and endurance for joints that are fatigued and have impaired range of motion. These exercises consist of taking the affected joint slowly through its regular range of motion. The range or motion exercises for rheumatoid arthritis keep the joints limber and reduce the risk of injury in the area.

Other exercises for rheumatoid arthritis include yoga, stretching and tai chi to help reduce stiffness and sore muscles. People suffering with this condition also need to do aerobic exercises for rheumatoid arthritis. Aerobic exercise is safe for people whose arthritis is stable and non-progressing. This type of exercise help the sufferer by improving joint function and relieving joint pain as well as improving cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Aerobic exercises for rheumatoid arthritis include walking, water aerobics, dance and other low impact exercises. People with arthritic knees should not attempt high-impact aerobics, such as running or activities that involving jumping.

Strength training is one of the exercises for rheumatoid arthritis as well. Arthritis usually lead to inactivity and this weakens the muscles that keep joints stable and strong. Strength training helps reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and fractures as well as increases bone density and muscle strength. A person should do strength training exercises for rheumatoid arthritis as least twice a week. These exercises include weight bearing and resistance training and lifting free weight, such as dumbbells. People who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis should not start an exercise program for arthritis without first discussing it with a doctor. Safety is important and doing too much too soon can exacerbate the condition.