The most effective exercises for arthritis in shoulder

Arthritis in shoulder is generally the result of one of these two conditions:


This degenerative form of arthritis is also called ‘wear-and-tear’ arthritis.

  • The name is self explanatory. Due to excess use, the cartilage that acts as a lubricant between the bones in the shoulder wears away. As a result, the bones begin to rub against each other, leading to acute pain, discomfort and loss of motion.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Here, the lining of the joints are attacked by inflammation. Over time, the inflammation begins to infect the bone, cartilage and joints.

Causes of arthritis in shoulder:

Arthritis in shoulder is not a common problem. It generally strikes after the age of 50, and is most common in people who have sustained an injury in the shoulder in the past.

The injury could be a bone fracture, a heavy blow to the shoulder or dislocation. As with arthritis that affects any part of the body, heredity does play a role.

The good news is that arthritis in shoulder progresses very slowly. So, it is possible for patients to arrest the progress of the condition if proper care is taken at the beginning stages of the disease itself.

Exercises for arthritis in shoulder:

If detected in the early stages, arthritis may be managed effectively through the right exercises. According to a number of studies, 1exercise has beneficial effects on the emotional, physical and psychological aspects of the patient’s life.

In fact, exercise is very effective in arresting the development of arthritis. So, here are some of the most effective exercise for arthritis in shoulders.

  • The Pendulum: This exercise improves flexibility and range of motion. You may perform this exercise in the sitting or standing position. Lean the upper body slightly and allow your arms to hang down freely. Relax the arms completely and feel their weight. Now, just move the arms to the front and back like a pendulum. Start with small circles and move to bigger circles as you feel your arms relaxing. Do not push yourself too hard. Simply exercise up to the point of discomfort.
  • Pulley exercise: Fasten a pulley somewhere on top, like a door frame or a beam. Place a rope through the pulley. Have enough rope so that you can sit comfortably. Hold one end of the rope in each hand. As you pull the rope down with one hand, the other arm should rise. In this way, move each arm up and down one by one. If you find it uncomfortable to grip the rope, attach paddles to the ends of the rope.
  • Reach your back: Sit or stand comfortably. Raise the right hand and reach it behind your back by bending at the elbow – almost as if you were patting yourself on the back. With the raised hand in position, move the other arm to the back and reach up to meet the raised arm by bending at the elbow. Do not worry if the fingers do not meet. Exercises such as these help make the shoulders more flexible, reduce pain and increase range of motion. That is why they are recommended for patients with arthritis in shoulders. 

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