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8 Stretches for Joint Stiffness

8 Stretches for Joint Stiffness

Stiff joints can impact a person mobility, making it difficult to put weight on their joints when it comes to standing and walking. As you age, joint stiffness becomes more common.  

Most often it can wear off after getting up to move around. However, other people experience joint stiffness as a result of underlying conditions. Joint stiffness can be caused by a variety of things; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Gout, Fibromyalgia, etc.

Low-impact exercises can significantly help reduce your pain and stiffness. Here are some we have found!

 

  1. Stretching:

 

When you stretch it can help with increasing your range of motion, reduce stiffness, and improve your flexibility.  Picking a routine will be different from each person and depend on which joints you want targeted. However, most stretches will often involve slow and gentle movements of your knees, hands, and elbows. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.

 

  1. Gardening:

 

Lightgardening can be a beneficial exercise. Work slowly and avoid overstraining your muscles and joints. That means no bending or twisting in ways that will aggravate your lower back. Practice hinging at the hips properly when working in the garden!

 

  1. Pilates:

 

This activity is low-impact. It can help with increasing your flexibility for enhanced joint health. Some Pilates activate the core muscles and emphasize movements that help with stability. If you are new to Pilates, begin slowly and seek guidance.

 

  1. Water Exercises:

 

When exercising in the water, it helps to support your body weight by minimizing gravity. That means that water exercises do not impact heavily on any of your joints. By doing this you can increase your flexibility, range of motion, strength, and aerobic conditioning. It can also help with reducing joint stress and stiffness.

 

  1. Flowing movements (Yoga):

 

There are many online videos now a day with beginner’s yoga that you can try out in the comfort of your own home. There are videos that are specific for Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and joint stiffness. If you struggle with movement, make sure you speak with your doctor before going to a class or doing strenuous videos at home.

 

  1. Cycling:

 

Cycling can help improve cardiovascular function. Riding a stationary bike can be a safe way to get the joints moving. You can also ride a regular bike outside and get fresh air while doing so! Cycling can reduce stiffness, increase leg strength, build endurance, and range of motion.

 

  1. Hand Exercises:

 

If you have RA, you may have limited use of your hands. You may find it hard to grip things which have resulted in dropping them. If you bend your wrist up and down, curling your fingers slowly, spread your fingers wide on a table, and squeezing a stress ball can all help increase your grip strength and hand flexibility.

 

  1. Walking:

 

This low-impact workout can help with heart and joint health, and also your mood. Make sure you are wearing the proper shoes and that you stay hydrated while walking. Start with a slow walk and then increase your pace when possible. If you start a routine of walking, you should start with flat surfaces before progressing to uphill/uneven surfaces.

 

Tips:

  • Always warm up by pumping your arms while sitting or standing for 3-5 minutes and walking in place.
  • Exercise consistently.
  • Adjust your exercises according to your symptoms. If they are severe that day, reduce the intensity.
  • Listen to your body to avoid discomfort or injury.