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Tai chi is an ancient tradition of gentle and graceful movements believed to have been developed in medieval China to restore the health of monks. In modern China and now gaining popularity in the United States, tai chi is a safe way, especially for the elderly, to get relief from arthritis pain. Tai chi promotes the flow of energy through the body, balance, strength and flexibility.
Hand Exercise #1
The Mayo Clinic suggests a hand exercise that can be done several times a day and improve muscle strength and joint range of motion. Begin by relaxing your hand. Keep your fingers straight and close together. Bend the end and middle joints of your fingers.
Keep your wrists and knuckles straight. Moving slowly and smoothly, return your fingers to the starting position and repeat the hand exercise with the other hand. This exercise should not cause pain.
Hand Exercise #2
A second hand exercise that helps suffers of rheumatoid arthritis begins by holding your hand in an upright position and pointing the fingers, thumb and wrist upward. Keep the wrist straight and bend only the base joints, which are the joints that connect the fingers to the palm. Keep the middle and end joints and the wrist straight. Repeat this exercise twice a day on each hand.
Hand Exercise #3
Another hand exercise offered by the staff of the Mayo Clinic is making a loose gentle fist. Begin by keeping your fingers straight, pointing upward and spread apart. Make a loose gentle fist with your thumb wrapped around the outside of the fingers. Avoid squeezing your fingers together tightly. With smooth and slow movement, return to the starting position and repeat.
Flexibility Exercise #1
The Arthritis Foundation says research has shown that exercise is an essential tool in managing arthritis and recommends beginning with flexibility or stretching exercises. One exercise that will improve posture begins with standing with your arms by your side. Keep your back straight with your hands clasped together behind your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Roll your shoulders down and back. Relax and repeat several times.
Flexibility Exercise #2