Are Shoulder Exercises Good For Arthritis?

Arthritis is basically inflammation of the joints. Usually, inflammation is more like a symptom rather than a disease in itself. To refer to any disorder that has an impact on the joints, the term “arthritis” is used. This disorder makes the joints pretty stiff and hampers easy maneuvering. Regular exercising can help ease stiffness and movement. In this blog, we have shared 5 types of exercises that will help with shoulder movement in arthritis patients.

Shoulder Flexion While Lying Down

  • Make the wand using a PVC pipe or broomstick about 30 cm wider than your shoulders.
  • Lie straight on your back, with the wand in both hands.
  • Make sure that your palms are face down as you hold them.
  • Slowly raise the arms over your head while keeping your elbows straight upwards. Raise until you feel a slight stretch in the shoulders along with upper back, and chest area.
  • Hold onto this position for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Then repeat 2 to 4 times each set.

Shoulder Rotation Exercise While Lying Down

This one, amongst other exercises for shoulder arthritis, does require a wand too. Just like the practice above:

  • Lie straight on your back, your face upwards towards the roof. Hold your wand using both hands with your elbows bent and palms up.
  • In this exercise, keep the elbows close to your body, and move the wand across it toward the sore arm.
  • Hold this position for 8 to 12 seconds.
  • Repeat this set 2 to 4 times.

Shoulder Internal Rotation

  • Put a towel above and behind your head with an arm that is functioning okay.
  • With the sore arm, try reaching behind your back and grab the towel.
  • Put an arm over your head, pull the towel upward. Do this until you feel a stretch on the front and outside of your sore shoulder.
  • Hold this stance/position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the set 2 to 4 times.

Squeezing the Shoulder Blades

It is one of the simplest exercises for reducing arthritis pain in the shoulders due to arthritis. Here’s what you can do:

  • Stand erect with your arms at the sides.
  • Start squeezing your shoulder blades together in an inward motion.
  • Make sure not to raise the shoulders up as you squeeze in.
  • Hold the position for 6 seconds.
  • Repeat 8 to 12 times.

External Rotator Strengthening Exercise

  • Firstly, tie a piece of exercise material (elastic) to a doorknob. You may use surgical tubing or even a Thera-Band.
  • Set your position. Either stand or sit with a relaxed shoulder and your elbow bent around 90 degrees.
  • Make sure that the upper arm rests comfortably on your side.
  • Now, squeeze the rolled towel between the elbows and your body for some comfort and help keep your arm at the side.
  • Grab one end of the elastic band with your painful arm’s hand.
  • Move your forearm across the belly.
  • Repeat this set 8 to 12 times.


Do not stress yourself out while doing these exercises. The point is not to stress one out but to ease movement. Please get in touch with Rheumatology Care of North Houston in case of your inflammatory bone or joint issues.

Disclaimer - Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.
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