8 Crucial Daily Exercises to Alleviate RA Pain: Expert-Backed Recommendations

Young women doing yoga

Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be challenging, as the chronic pain and stiffness it causes can significantly impact one’s quality of life. However, there are effective ways to manage RA symptoms and improve overall well-being. Regular exercise plays a vital role in relieving RA pain, reducing inflammation, increasing joint flexibility, and maintaining muscle strength. In this article, we will explore eight essential exercises recommended by experts to help individuals with RA find relief and regain control over their lives.

Gentle Range-of-Motion Exercises:

These exercises involve moving your joints through their full range of motion, focusing on each joint affected by RA. Experts recommend performing gentle movements like wrist circles, ankle pumps, and shoulder rolls to maintain joint flexibility and prevent stiffness.

Strengthening Exercises:

Strong muscles provide better support to the joints affected by RA, thereby reducing pain and stiffness. Exercises such as leg raises, wall push-ups, and bicep curls using light weights can help improve muscle strength without placing excessive strain on the joints.

Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises:

Engaging in low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and cycling can enhance cardiovascular health and overall fitness. These exercises are gentle on the joints and can improve endurance without exacerbating RA symptoms.

Water Therapy:

Aquatic exercises, performed in warm water, offer a unique environment that reduces joint stress and provides resistance for muscle strengthening. Water therapy activities like water walking, leg swings, and arm circles can be highly beneficial for individuals with RA.

Tai Chi:

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, combines slow and fluid movements with deep breathing and meditation. Regular practice of Tai Chi has shown positive effects in reducing pain, improving balance, and enhancing physical functioning for individuals with RA.


Yoga incorporates gentle stretches, controlled breathing, and meditation, promoting relaxation and flexibility. Certain yoga poses, such as the cat-cow pose, child’s pose, and gentle spinal twists, can help relieve joint pain, enhance joint mobility, and reduce stress.


Pilates focuses on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness. With its low-impact exercises that target specific muscle groups, Pilates can help individuals with RA improve posture, increase overall strength, and reduce pain.

Hand Exercises:

RA often affects the joints in the hands and fingers, making fine motor skills challenging. Performing hand exercises like finger bends, thumb touches, and grip exercises using therapy putty or stress balls can help maintain dexterity and reduce hand pain.


Incorporating these eight essential exercises into your daily routine can bring significant relief and improve the quality of life for individuals living with RA. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist before starting any new exercise regimen. They can provide personalized guidance, taking into account your specific needs and limitations. By staying active and engaging in these exercises regularly, individuals with RA can regain control over their pain and improve their overall well-being.


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