Stretching exercises for arthritis

Stretching exercises for arthritis is an exercise guide to help you ease pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. It contains about 10 stretching exercises you would be glad to try out. First, I would explain what arthritis is, then the importance of these stretches, and then we get right into the stretching exercises and their benefits. You would be glad to read through this article.

Best core exercises for arthritis
Best core exercises for arthritis

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation that affects the joints, causing stiffness and pain that worsens with age. Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, making it difficult to move and perform everyday tasks. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. One such way is through stretching exercises.

For people with arthritis, it can be difficult to stay active and mobile. However, research shows that stretching exercises can help improve the range of motion, relieve pain, and reduce stiffness. Being arthritic shouldn’t stop you from keeping fit and flexible. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of stretching exercises for people with arthritis and provide a list of simple, safe exercises that can be done at home.

Why stretching is important for people with arthritis

Stretching for arthritis is important for diverse reasons and these reasons include.

  • They help to increase flexibility, range of motion, and blood flow, and they can also improve sleep and reduce stress.
  • By improving flexibility and reducing pain and stiffness, stretching exercises can help people with arthritis maintain their independence and stay active. 
  • They can also help to reduce the need for medications.
  • Through regular stretching exercises, people with arthritis can experience relief from symptoms and improve their quality of life.
  • People with arthritis often experience stiffness, swelling, and pain in the joints. This can make everyday activities, like getting dressed or climbing stairs, difficult and painful by gently stretching the muscles and joints, people with arthritis can improve their range of motion and reduce stiffness and pain. 
  • Stretching also increases blood flow, which can help to reduce swelling.
Simple Stretching exercise for arthritis
Simple Stretching exercise for arthritis

List of stretching exercises for arthritis

Stretching exercises for arthritis are low-impact and can be done at home with minimal equipment.

However, Before doing any kind of stretching or exercise, people with arthritis should warm up their muscles with gentle movements, like arm circles or shoulder rolls. This can help to prepare the body for stretching and prevent injuries. 

Below is a list of these stretching exercises for arthritis and their benefits.

READ Simple exercise for people who work from homeĀ 

Leg swing

Leg swing is a simple stretching exercise aimed to improve circulation, increase range of motion, and relieve back pain. Here’s how to go about it.

  • Stand tall and hold onto something sturdy.
  • Gently swing one leg forward and back in a comfortable range of motion.
  • If this is too difficult for you, simply tap your foot in front of you and behind you without raising it in the air.

Knee hugs

Knee hugs are great for stretching the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Here’s how to do it.

  • With bent or straight legs, bend your legs and bring your knee toward you.
  • Gently grasp your leg with your hands for a little assistance then slowly release.
  • You can alternate legs or do it all with one leg, then switch.

Hip stretch

Hip stretch can help to increase flexibility in the hips and reduce pain in the lower back and hips. To perform this stretch, do the following.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips.
  • Bend your right knee and raise your right foot off the ground. 
  • Place your right ankle on your left thigh, just above the knee. 
  • Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch legs. 

Calf stretch

Calf stretch can help to lengthen the calf muscles and increase flexibility, which can reduce stiffness and pain in the joints. Here’s how to do this stretch.

  • Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall for support. 
  • Step back with your right leg and press your heel into the floor. 
  • Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch legs. 
  • Repeat this stretch three to five times on each leg. 

Torso twists

Torso twists are beneficial for the spine, shoulders, and hips. To try out this stretch, do the following.

  • Bend your legs so your feet are flat on the bed.
  • Slowly lower both knees to one side.
  • Then raise them back to the center and slowly lower them to the opposite side.
  • If you can’t go all the way down to the bed on one or both sides, place pillows on either side to make them easier and more comfortable.

Chair stretches

Chair stretches are perfect for people with arthritis or other joint pain because they don’t put too much strain on the joints. It is a way to stretch the spine, shoulders, and hip, helps improve circulation and digestion, and relieves stress and tension. To do this stretch,  do the following.

  • Sit up straight in your chair and place your left hand on the right side of the chair. 
  • Take a deep breath and twist your torso to the right, exhaling as you do so. 
  • Hold the twist for 10 to 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. 

Head turns

Head turns can help to increase neck mobility and decrease tension in the neck and shoulders. Here’s how to go about it.

  • Turn your head to look to the right side.
  • Return to center then turn and look to your left.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

Cat-cow stretch

Cat-cow stretch is a great way to loosen up the spine and back muscles. To do this stretch, do the following.

  • start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. 
  • On an inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone. 
  • On an exhale, round your back and tuck your tailbone under. 
  • Repeat 5-10 times, moving slowly and smoothly. 

Wrist circles

Wrist circles are great for increasing mobility and circulation in the wrists and hands. Here’s how to carry out this wrist stretching.

  • While sitting or standing, rotate your wrists, drawing circles with your fingers.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

The reclining twist

The reclining twist can help to release tension in the lower back and stretch the spine. It’s also a good way to relax the body and calm the mind. Here’s how to do this stretch.

  • Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. 
  • Then, slowly lower your knees to the left, keeping your shoulders flat on the floor. 
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.


Arthritis doesn’t have to mean a life of limited mobility and pain. By incorporating these stretching exercises for arthritis into your daily routine, you can take control of your health and improve your quality of life. These simple exercises can reduce stiffness and pain, increase flexibility, and improve your well-being. So, make stretching a part of your day and enjoy the benefits for years to come.

Remember, stretching exercises are an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life, even if you have arthritis. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. So, get started today and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, happier you. 

Do let me know the ones you tried out and the ones that work for you in the comment section.

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