Range Of Motion Exercises For Arthritis

Range of Motion or ROM exercises involves moving of joints through their full pain-free range of motion. These exercises keep the joints flexible and keep stiffness at bay.

ROM exercises are the basic exercises suggested to Arthritis patients. The following ROM exercises should be done everyday depending on the approval from your physician-

  • Head turns – Keep your neck straight up and look ahead straight. Turn your head gently and slowly to look over your right shoulder. Hold your head there for three seconds and return back to the straight position. Then look over your left shoulder. You can repeat this five times.
  • Back rub and pat – Raise your right hand towards your back and pat. Take your left hand from below over your lower arm and slide both hands towards each other. Hold your hands for three seconds. Repeat the process by alternating your hands.
  • Elbow bend – Touch your shoulders with your fingers in such a way that your palms are facing you. Now turn your palms down while straightening your elbows to your sides.
  • Knee lifts – Sit straight up on a chair. Lift your right knee up to three to four inches above the chair. Hold your knee for three seconds and gently put it down. Repeat the process with your other knee.
  • Forward arm reach – Extend out both your arms such that their palms are facing each other. Raise both your arms as high as possible. Gently lower them back.
  • Chest and Torso – Sit straight up on a chair and rest your hands on your waist. Tilt a little to your right remain for three seconds and then return back to the original position. Then tilt towards your left again and return to the center. Make sure your torso doesn’t tilt forward.
  • Legs – Sit on your chair straight up with your hands resting on your waist. Rock your hips sideways moving your legs along.

ROM exercises are fairly easy but you should keep the following tips in mind while exercising –

  • Do not exert your self too much while doing the ROM exercises.
  • Do these exercises at least once in a day.
  • Keep your movements slow, gentle and swift instead of jerky or bouncy.
  • Breathe through your nose as you exercise. Count your breaths.
  • When you begin exercising, begin slowly with a few repetitions. Gradually improve the count.
  • Stop exercising if you feel your joints are being strained more than usual or when you feel pain.
  • Always cool down after exercising.
  • Till exercising becomes a routine and a habit, keep your motivation high for it even if it means literally forcing yourself.