Tag Archives: Arthritis Exercise

Exercising with Arthritis: Important Things to Keep in Mind

Exercise is important for people with arthritis. It improves flexibility and strength, minimizes joint pain, and helps deal with fatigue. Of course, when stiffness and pain in the joint are already troubling you, the thought of doing workouts or jogging can seem stressful.

But you don’t need to do intense gym workouts or running to ease arthritis symptoms. Even a light workout can help reduce pain as well as help you maintain your weight.

When arthritis impacts your mobility, exercises help you keep moving. It strengthens the muscles around the joints; helps you control weight; improves the quality of sleep and improves your balance as well.

Though you might be avoiding exercise just because you think that it can hurt your affected joints, it is just a misconception. Not doing any workout actually can aggravate the pain and stiffness in the joint. This is because the strength of muscles and surrounding tissues is important for the support of the bones. A lack of physical activity can weaken those supporting muscles, increasing stress on the joints.

Ask Your Doctor First:

First of all, consult your doctor about the right workout for the condition of your joint. What types of workouts can go well depends on your arthritis type as well as which joints are involved. Your doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to create the right exercise plan.

Choose the Low Impact Workout:

Your physician or therapist can suggest exercises for you, which might include strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, aerobic exercise, and other activities.

Range of motion workouts helps relieve stiffness and improve your ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. For example, you can raise the arms over the head or rolling the shoulders forward and backward.

Strengthening workouts help you build strong muscles to support and protect your joints. It is important to take a rest a day between your workouts. And avoid doing the same muscle groups two days in a row.

Aerobic workouts can support your overall fitness as they can control your weight, improve your cardiovascular health and increase your stamina and energy. Walking and bicycling are two of the easiest aerobic workouts.

Always Warm Up:

Make sure to warm up before doing any workout. A warm-up slowly revs up your cardiovascular system by increasing your body temperature and improving blood flow to your muscles. Warming up can also help ease muscle soreness and reduce the risk of injury. Start slowly and get up to speed once you feel“warmth” in your muscles and joints.

Apply Heat Before Doing Workout:

You can also warm up the muscles by applying heat to relax your muscles and joints before you start any workout. Heat treatments—hot packs, a shower, or warm towels—should be comfortably warm and applied for nearly 20 minutes.

Apply Cold Compress After Doing Workout:

If you experience joint swelling after doing workouts, you can ease it using a cold compress. Cold can minimize swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by arthritis and activity. You can use heat compress before a workout and cold therapy after exercise. It is easy to make a cold compress. Just wrap some ice cubes in a towel or place a damp towel in a plastic bag in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then use the towel and place it on the affected parts. Avoid applying direct ice to the affected area.

Do It Slowly:

Don’t get carried away by the intensity you feel during the workout. Always use slow and gentle movements. If you experience pain or swelling, make sure to take a break.

So these are some workout tips you should practice if you have arthritis. It is all about consulting your doctor and doing the workouts more safely. What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!


Arthritis Pain Relief: Hand and Finger Exercises

Rheumatoid Arthritis causes a lot of stiffness and pain in the fingers and relieves hands which keeps you from doing everyday tasks that might be simple. This is because the disease affects the cartilage of a joint and this cartilage plays the role of cushioning between the bones.This pain in the joints can worsen when you use your hands for repetitive tasks like typing or picking utensils while losing strength in your hands.

Apart from getting medical treatment for arthritis, you can indulge in self-care at home by following some easy exercises. These hand exercises will help you strengthen muscles to support the joints and perform movement of hands with ease. These hand movements can also help you keep the tendons and ligaments flexible and improve the function of the joints.

Let’s discuss a few exercises that can help you:

Making a Fist

When you feel your hand is feeling a little stiff, do this exercise. It is very easy and comfortable to do anywhere and in your time. To make a fist, hold your one hand out keeping all your fingers straight. Then fold your hand forming a fist. Keep your thumb on the outside and fingers in. Open and close your hand straightening again and again. Repeat it at least 5 times in the beginning, increasing it with time. Repeat this exercise with the other hand.

Bending Fingers

Another exercise that you can do from the comfort of your home is the finger bending exercise. You can practice it anywhere. Hold your hand out keeping all the fingers straight, start by bending your thumb towards your palm. Holding it for a couple of seconds straightens it back. Now, bend the index finger of the same hand and repeat the process. Then with the middle, ring, and little finger. Repeat the entire process with the other hand.

Making an ‘O’

For this exercise, start by putting one hand outside and straightened fingers and thumb. Now, turn your fingers inwards to touch your thumb forming an ‘O’. hold on to the O for some seconds and then open your hand again straightening the fingers. Repeat this at least 5 times to begin and then keep increasing with time. Now repeat the entire process with the other hand. You can do this whenever you have time and anywhere in the day.

Table Bends

For this exercise, put your hand on the table and place it horizontally keeping the little finger side on the lower end and your thumb pointed upwards. Now, keeping your thumb in the same position turn all the fingers of this hand inwards touching the palm for your hand. This position will make an ‘L’ shape. Hold it for a few seconds and then straighten your hand moving back to the open hand position. Repeat this at least 10 times in the beginning and increase with time. Repeat the exercise with the other hand.

Lifting Fingers

This is another exercise where you will require a table. Place one hand on the table keeping your palms inside. Now start by trying to lift each finger one by one keeping all the others still down. First your thumb, then all the fingers. Hold each finger for 2 seconds and then bring it back down. Repeat this with the other hand and keep repeating alternatively for 4-5 times in the beginning and keep increasing with time.

Wrist Twist

For this exercise, keep your hand straight and then form a fist keeping all your fingers inward and thumb on the out. Now, twist this fist into 360 degrees from the wrist. Do a minimum of 10 twists and then move up with time. Repeat this with the other hand. Keep doing this alternatively for 3 to 4 rounds.

Wrist Stretch

Let’s give our wrists some exercise and relieve it from the soreness due to arthritis. For this exercise, hold your arm out with the palm facing downwards. Now, with the other hand gently push the hand down towards your wrists. Do not put a lot of effort, just till you feel a stretch in your arms. Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat it with the other arm. Repeat this exercise about 10 times and increase with time and practice.

Walking Fingers

For this exercise, you will need a table. Keep one of your hands on the table and fold the ring and little finger inwards covered with the thumb which is also folded inwards. Now, walk the index and middle finger front and back to a distance of about five steps. Repeat the process with the other hand. Do this alternatively for about 10 times minimum and then keep increasing with practice.

Krishna Pose

This is one of the most interesting exercises where you get to practice being Lord Krishna yourself.

Bring your hands in Infront of you and fold the first three fingers and the thumb of your left hand and all the four fingers of your right hand. Now, open only the little finger of your left hand and thumb of the right hand. Keep alternating your little finger and thumb between both your hands. Repeat this exercise for at least 10times and then increase.

These exercises are not the solution to arthritis but will help you relieve the pain and stiffness which makes everyday tasks impossible. Apart from consulting your doctor regularly, keep practicing them for better recovery and take your herbal supplements on regular basis.


Arthritis & Work from Home— Maintaining a Balanced Routine

Although May marks the beginning of arthritis awareness month in the US every year, this seems like a perfect opportunity to shed light on arthritis among adults globally especially during times like these when everyone has to work from home. In the end, it is important to provide the right arthritis-related information to everyone and practice what is preached, in this case— informed.Arthritis is a painful joint disorder that intervenes with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks like walking, standing, or merely sitting because of severe joint inflammation. Disability increases with time and it could result in a debilitating health condition. By spreading awareness about arthritis, you are enlightening yourself about the warning symptoms, causes, preventive measures, and treatment options.

A major cause of this painful joint disorder is a sedentary lifestyle which the pandemic has forced us to lead. The silver lining here is that to defeat this joint disorder, all you need to do is quit the sedentary lifestyle and break the monotony. We should believe things will get back to normal, but more importantly, we must make sure we are at our best selves to enjoy the new normal. This is only possible through awareness. On this note, take a look at the tell-tale signs (of) and possible preventive measures for arthritis.

Early Signs of Arthritis 

  • Morning stiffness

If you are suffering from the stiffness that lasts for several minutes in the morning, it is an indicator of arthritis.  Without proper treatment and prevention, it could worsen with time.

  • Fatigue

Working from home and doing your routine domestic chores could tire you for some time. A busy schedule results in exhaustion. However, extreme fatigue that stays for days or weeks could be an early sign of arthritis.

  • Joint pain

It is the most common sign of arthritis and one should be careful in observing one. If it is followed by joint tenderness or stiffness, it is a clear sign of arthritis; the most common sites being wrists and fingers.

  • Fever

Monitor yourself if you have mild fever along with other symptoms. Body temperature that records more than 100°F (38°C) could also be a sign of infection in this day and age. Nevertheless, it would be best to monitor your health.

  • Numbness

Inflammation and common flare-ups can put pressure on your nerves. This results in tingling, numbness, and a burning feeling in your hand. Also, if you hear slight crackling or squeaking noise in your joints, you should get it checked.

  • Unnoticeable Signs

There are some other signs and symptoms of arthritis that seem harmless but are indications of arthritis-

  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Eye discharge
  • General weakness
  • Loss of appetite

How to Balance Your Work from Home Life?

The routines might seem different now and it could also disrupt your daily regime. As abnormal as it seems, it can work in your favor if you balance it accordingly. Especially, if you are prone to arthritis, you need to keep your routine structured. Take a look-

  • Make sure there is an end to your work. Just because you are in your comfort zone, doesn’t imply that you have to needlessly take up more work. It would only strain your wrists, fingers, and joints. Make sure to physically end your day or ask a family member to switch off your system after a given time.
  • Stay connected with your friends and colleagues through zoom calls. Catch up with them and initiate positive conversations that keep you uplifted throughout the day.
  • Look for communities that help people deal with arthritis. Talking and conversing about at-home care and treatment with like-minded people will help you through this phase.
  • Invest in a comfortable chair and desk, as someone vulnerable to arthritis, you must make your joint health a priority. Place your system at an adequate height so that you don’t strain your neck, shoulder, wrist, or fingers.
  • Make sure you are not working from your bed or slouching on the recliner. It seems the comfortable option at first, but it only leads to joint pain and stiffness.
  • Don’t forget to take regular breaks, make sure to walk for five minutes every hour. Do not sit or slouch for long hours. If your work keeps you occupied, do gentle stretching from time to time.
  • Another great idea to remain active while working is to walk while you get a phone call.
  • Take out time for your family, and most importantly, yourself. Do light exercises or Yoga; either of which seems easier and manageable for you.
  • Often a common habit while working from home, which seems harmless at first, is to prefer take-outs over home-cooked food. Don’t break the routine. Cook for yourself; plan and prepare nutritious meals, rich in protein and vitamins. Most importantly, eat on time.
  • While you follow all the above tips, make sure to keep your doctor informed about your routine, diet, and activities.

During these unprecedented times, another challenge like arthritis is not the easiest way to spend your days working from home. Nevertheless, your safety is in your hands, being home might safeguard you from COVID-19 but being home and following the tips mentioned above would help you take care of arthritis while you work from home.