11 Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

11 Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the joints. Patients suffering from RA often complain of joint pain and swelling. This type of arthritis can lead to bone erosion, joint deformity, and relatively loose ligaments.  Experts say conditions like osteoporosis can become an issue with RA due to steroid treatments and bone degeneration. When coping with RA, it’s important to develop muscle strength and flexibility to provide efficient shock absorption to the bones and to help the ligaments keep joints stabilized. Add these exercises to your wellness routine.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Bernard A. Rawlins, MD, MS, Federico P. Girardi, MD, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD. Rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. [February 1998;24 (1): 55–65]
  2. Joseph Walsmith, Ronenn Roubenoff.Cachexia in rheumatoid arthritis. International Journal of Cardiology. [September 2002;85 (1):89-99]
  3. Kirsteins, Andrew E. MD; Dietz, Frederick MD; Hwang, Shie-Ming PhD. Evaluating the safety and potential use of a weight-bearing exercise, tai-chi chuan, for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Am J Phys Med & Rehab. [June 1991;70(3):136-141]
  4. Vosse D, de Vlam K. Osteoporosis in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. [2009 Jul-Aug;27(4 Suppl 55):S62-7.]
  5. Westby MD, Wade JP, Rangno KK, Berkowitz J. A randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an exercise program in women with rheumatoid arthritis taking low dose prednisone. J Rheum [July 2000; 27(7):1674-1680]
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