Arthritis is a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system of the body, specifically the joints. It leads to swelling, pain, and stiffness of the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune, chronic disorder which causes inflammation of the joints, typically the small joints in hands and feet. It affects the lining of our joints, which results in swelling along with severe pain, that may probably result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
Performing exercises for rheumatoid arthritis is known to be an effective way of treating the problem. The exercises help maintain flexibility of muscles, tone the muscles, and improve joint mobility. These are also known to improve sleep quality and reduce stress. Performing these exercises daily is highly beneficial. However, remember not to perform these when there is severe joint pain.
Sit upright on a chair or stand straight and extend your hands in front of you, in a manner that you can see your palms. Your fingers should point upwards and your palms must face you. Now gently squeeze your fingers to make a fist. Then stretch them wide open so that the fingers are spread apart. You may perform this exercise together for both the palms.
Keep your wrist straight. Now work the base joints of fingers (these are the one which connect fingers to your palm), by bending the fingers. Bend the base joints of fingers in such a way that your wrist, and the middle and end joint of fingers is straight. Hold for 10 seconds and unbend.
Sit upright on a chair. Choose a high set chair, so that you can hang your legs. Now stretch them forwards to straighten them and hold for 10 seconds. Now bend your ankles to form a 90 degree angle between the foot and the leg. Repeat this exercise ten times.
Sit upright on a chair, place arms on your lap with palms facing upwards. Now bend your arms at elbow, so that palms will face the shoulder. Keeping your fingers relaxed, bring the fingertips towards your shoulder. Do not clench fist; hold the position and bring your elbow upwards. Now draw imaginary circles in air with your elbow; do not touch fingertips to shoulder. After ten repetitions unfold your arm at the elbow and stretch hands upwards (towards the ceiling), hold for 5 seconds. Now slowly bring hands to initial position and relax.
Performing activities like cycling and swimming is also recommended for the patients. Performing aerobic exercises will also be helpful in maintaining healthy body weight.
Consultation with your orthopedic before you start performing these exercises is essential. Also, do continue these exercises regularly even after you get the desired results. The aforementioned exercises are the best to maintain a wide range of motion, increase your strength and endurance, and improve general health along with a feeling of well-being.