Produced by Bupa's Health Information Team, January 2009.
This video is for adults with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It is not for people who have had joint replacement surgery.
The following exercises are commonly used by people with arthritis to keep their joints mobile and to relieve symptoms. However, these exercises may not be suitable for everybody. It's important to talk to your GP or physiotherapist before you start any new exercise regime. If you've had surgery to the affected area it also may not be suitable for you to do these exercises. When doing the exercises it's important to follow each one carefully to prevent any injuries, and if any of the exercises cause you dizziness, visual disturbance or sharp pain stop immediately.
With some types of arthritis you can get flare ups where your symptoms become much worse or are more painful. It's important during these times to remain active, the more strenuous parts of your exercise regime can be left until your symptoms subside.
Try to do these exercises every day twice a day. Start by repeating them three times and gradually build up to 10 repetitions as your joint get stronger.
Slowly shrug your shoulders up and down.
Roll your shoulders in both directions, firstly forwards and then backwards.
Stretch your arms above your head. That's it, just keep your shoulders down as your reach long through your arms.
Putting both hands behind your head, bring your elbows together, and then open.
Putting your hands on your shoulders, left on left and right on right, so that your elbows are out to the side, circle the elbows up and back.
Putting your arms out behind your back with the palms facing inwards, pull your shoulder blades together. That's it, so keep your palms behind you facing each other and then just draw the shoulder blades together and release. That's it, and together and release. Good.
Hold a stick, for example an umbrella or a rolling pin behind your back, one hand on each end. Keeping your elbows straight, lift the stick upwards away from your body. That's it, so instead of leaning forwards, be sure to draw your low tummy back towards your spine and keep upright as you take the pin behind you.
These exercises can be done sitting down or standing up. You can do them at your desk at work, watching television or when you are out and about. If any of the exercises cause dizziness stop immediately.
This video is intended for general information only. It shows an example of one person’s experience. Your circumstances may be different so not everything may apply to you. It does not replace the need for personal advice from a medical practitioner.
This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the About our Health Information page.
Publication date: January 2009