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The Best Exercises for Arthritis in the Shoulders

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  • Arthritis in the shoulders

    Arthritis in the shoulders

    Having arthritis can often feel like you need a shoulder to lean on. Even if it’s your shoulder that hurts.

    Each shoulder contains a joint supported by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, as well as a breakdown in the cartilage that cushions your bones. This causes the characteristic pain and stiffness of arthritis.

    You may be afraid to perform exercises you love for fear of worsening shoulder pain. But certain workouts can actually help relieve arthritis symptoms.

  • Cycle through the pain

    Cycle through the pain

    Cycling is one of the most effective ways to exercise with arthritis shoulder pain. If you ride your bike outdoors or use a stationary bike inside, make sure the handlebars are at an appropriate level. If they’re too low, you’ll end up putting more strain on already-stiff shoulder joints.

    Try a recumbent bike without handlebars for indoor cycling. This places more focus on your legs and core. Hybrid bicycles tend to be the best options for outdoors. That’s because of the higher handlebar placement and upright sitting position.

  • Take advantage of gym memberships

    Take advantage of gym memberships

    Very few people have the space or money to invest in elaborate gym equipment. A gym membership is the perfect alternative. At the gym take advantage of the cardio machines. They can help you to:

    • condition your body
    • promote healthy posture
    • take pressure off your shoulder joints

    Consider using the following machines:

    • elliptical
    • treadmill
    • stair-stepper
    • stationary bike
  • “Push-Up” against shoulder pain

    “Push-Up” against shoulder pain

    Push-ups are considered one of the best all-around exercises. They work muscles in your upper-body and core while increasing your metabolic rate. You can still do push-ups with shoulder arthritis, but you’ll need to make some modifications.

    Instead of pushing away the floor, consider wall push-ups. This method can ensure better alignment and less shoulder strain. Perform a few reps a day. Only increase the duration if you don’t experience any pain. You shouldn’t have pain at any time while doing push-ups.

  • Find your “om”

    Find your “om”

    Pilates and yoga are known for building strength and flexibility. The activities also incorporate breathing exercises for refined movement. Such workouts are effective for shoulder arthritis. They strengthen both the upper and lower body without the high impact.

    Talk with your instructor about modifying some yoga positions for your condition. Avoid poses that will add extra strain to the shoulders, or cause any additional shoulder pain. But also don’t limit exercise possibilities. If you can do downward dog without pain, then it’s a good exercise to try.

  • Don’t rule out walking

    Don’t rule out walking

    You may walk to burn off fat or some steam. But regular walking may even help you burn off shoulder pain. This low-impact workout is most effective when you stand up tall with your shoulders back.

    A daily walk can improve your mood and can keep your weight in check. It may also help decrease swelling and stiffness in your joints.

  • Tips for lifting weights

    Tips for lifting weights

    Strength training plays a key role in increasing muscle mass and bone density. If you have arthritis in the shoulder, you may believe that you can’t lift weights anymore. But that isn’t entirely true.

    The key is to focus on exercises that don’t require raising weights above the shoulders or cause any additional pain. Pay attention to any pain. It’s the limiting factor or signal that your joints are becoming more inflamed or irritated.

    Traditional bicep curls, bench presses, rowing, and pectoral chest flies are all appropriate. The American College of Rheumatology recommends eight to 12 reps of each strength-training exercise, up to three times per week.

  • Don’t shoulder the burden alone

    Don’t shoulder the burden alone