Best Arthritis Exercises to Ease Joint Pain

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Studies have shown that even people with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, can benefit from exercise. It can improve pain. It can improve function. It improves sleep and is a mood booster for most people.

I would say first to find an activity that you enjoy-- golfing, tennis, yoga, walking in a botanical garden. Finding something you enjoy will make you stick with it.

So a few beginner exercises, especially if people have a lot of pain with arthritis-- swimming or aquatic therapy is a great way to start. There's less stress on the joints in the water. I would also recommend things like yoga and tai chi, Pilates, and starting with walking. Starting slow and building up makes for success.

For someone that has been an avid exerciser their whole life, the diagnosis of arthritis can be devastating or really tough, depending on the type of athlete that they previously were or currently are.

I think for anyone with arthritis, if they have pain when doing certain activities or have pain that lasts days afterwards, then those activities probably should be avoided.

It's important to listen to your body, and to consult a professional, whether that be your physician or an occupational or physical therapist, to best develop an exercise plan.