Exercises to Help Ease the Pain of Arthritis

Woman walking on a boardwalk

Arthritis can be a debilitating disease. It causes pain, discomfort, and makes even the simplest of tasks difficult. But, it doesn’t have to be that way all the time.

There are some exercises you can do to help relieve the pain and increase the mobility of your affected joints. Be sure to consult with your medical care provider before starting any type of exercise program.

Exercises to Ease Arthritis

Doing even a few easy moves to the affected areas can help to move better, maintain mobility, and help cut back on pain medications. It can also help you sleep better, which will improve your overall outlook on life.


If you have ever watched your pet dog or cat awaken, the first thing they do is engage in a big stretch. They often do the back and then the front. This should be a sign for us. A full body stretch can wake up all your muscles. This gets them ready for doing more work. The stretching opens them up and brings blood and oxygen to them. Stretching every day can help increase flexibility, reduce stiffness, and increase your range of motion. Don’t just dive right into a deep stretch, always warm up first.

Stretch everywhere at first. Arms, legs, back, feet, and hands. Do some gentle stretches to get started. Then you can focus on where you need the stretches the most. It is easy to tailor a stretching routine to work for you. Yours will not be the same as your neighbor who also has arthritis. Focus your stretches on the areas of your body affected by arthritis. Make the movements slow and steady. The more you do, the further you can take it. Hold each stretch for up to 20 seconds, increasing that as you advance. Repeat each movement several times.

As you progress, you can add resistance bands to help make the most of your stretch. Incorporate other stretches to keep it balanced. Try yoga stretches but feel free to adjust them to suit your needs.


Walking is a great way to get out and enjoy some fresh air. Walking provides exercise and keeps the muscles strong. It is also good for joint pain and gets your heart rate up.

Wear proper shoes and keep at a steady pace. If mobility is an issue or arthritis is affecting your ankles, feet, hips, or knees, walk slowly and take a walking aid, like a cane or walker.

You can still enjoy the benefits of walking even if you can’t go very fast or very far. Take someone with you if you are worried about falling and avoid uneven surfaces.


Swimming, water aerobics, or any type of movement you can do in the water is perfect for helping to ease the pain of arthritis. It is low-impact and the water allows you to do more without risk of pain or injury.

Even sitting at the side of the pool and kicking your arms or legs can help considerably. You can make larger, more exaggerated movements in the water and it will help to increase mobility, and range of movement, and ease joint pain.

Swimming or any type of water activity is great for all kinds of pain and gives you a good workout. The resistance of the water works for you, helping to build muscles, increase your heart rate, and you can do it every day.

Spot Exercises

If your arthritis is in your hands, feet, ankles, knees, arms, or an area you can exercise in isolation, you can do these types of exercises any time you like. Rotating your feet and ankles, your wrists, elbows, or knees can help ease the pain.

Small hand tools used to increase strength can help, there are small rubber balls you can squeeze, and bending your feet or hands up and down to loosen and strengthen them.

These are exercises you can do anytime, so keep them in mind while waiting for something, watching television, or in the morning before you get up and out of bed.


Riding your bike, even a stationary bike can help to gain muscle mass and loosen up your joints. It helps keep your heart rate up, which is always important.

A stationary bike allows you to ride at any time, in any weather, and in a controlled environment. You can go at your own pace, and it is low impact, so you can go for longer periods of time.

For added security, consider a medical alert system. This will make sure you have access to any type of medical help as soon as possible, should you need it. Give yourself the peace of mind you want when living with arthritis.

Don’t disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking it, because of what you read here. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation, diagnosis or treatment; it is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have specific questions about any medical matter, and seek professional attention immediately if you think you or someone in your care may be experiencing a healthcare condition or medical emergency.