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Arthritis and Rheumatism

What Types of Exercises are Recommended to Reduce Stiffness?

03/03/2008

Question:

Because my RA I am very stiff in the mornings. So I take a hot shower and go for a walk every day to work out some of the stiffness. Because it is really stiff I could only walk a certian amount of time. There are only few places aroung my home that I can go walking, so it is getting rather boring. I need to do something in the morning to work out some of the stiffness so that I can be half normal to go to work. What other types of exercise can I do? I am very caution because the stiffness is so bad I don`t want to hurt myself.

Answer:

I typically recommend low-resistance joint range of motion exercises, low-impact aerobic activities, and isometric exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi. Of course, speak with your physician prior to engaging in an exercise program to better understand your abilities and restrictions in exercise participation.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University