If you have arthritis, regular stretching is an important part of the treatment regimen. Stretching does not take much time and can be done daily in the comfort of your home. Dr. Humeira Badsha, Consultant Rheumatologist and Board Member at Middle East Arthritis Foundation, explains some easy stretches you can do, that will ease stiff joints.
Get down on your hands and knees with your hands placed shoulder-width apart, knees placed hip-width apart, your abdominal muscles engaged, and with your spine straight (neutral). Tighten your abdominal muscles as if pulling your navel toward your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. Hold for five breaths.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight. Keeping your hips level and your lower back down on the floor, bend your left knee, placing left foot flat on the floor (not pictured). Cross your right ankle at your left knee. Grab the back of your left thigh and hug your legs toward your chest. Place your right elbow on the inner portion of your right knee and push it slightly to the side. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
Bring your left arm across your chest, holding it below the elbow with your opposite. Keep the shoulders relaxed away. Hold for five breaths.
Stand tall, holding on to a chair or wall for balance if necessary (not pictured). Place your feet hip-width apart, your back straight and your feet parallel. Reach back and grab your left foot in your left hand, keeping your thighs lined up next to each other and left leg in line with the hip (not pulled back behind you). Hold for five breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
Stand tall with back straight, abs engaged, shoulders down, and feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg forward, heel down, toes pointing upwards and leg straight. Keeping your back straight and abdominal muscles engaged, bend the right knee as if sitting back, while supporting yourself with both hands on your thighs. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on other side.
Chest and Biceps Stretch
Stand tall or sit upright (not pictured). Interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten your arms. With arms straight, lift arms up behind you while keeping your back straight and your shoulders down. Keep the shoulders relaxed. Hold for five breaths.