Stretches to Decrease Morning Stiffness

Mornings can be tough no matter what, but factor in arthritis pain, they can be unbearable. Stretching particularly benefits those with arthritis by lubricating joints, enhancing and maintaining joint range of motion. The stretches should always be gentle and performed in a controlled manner.

Read below for some simple stretches that will help to loosen your back, hips, and shoulders as you start your day!

Single Knee to Chest Stretch:
Lie on your back and bend both knees. Take hold of your right knee with both hands and gently pull the knee toward your chest. You should feel a stretch in the back of your leg, glutes and lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds and then slowly release. Repeat this same stretch with the left knee and then repeat 2 to 3 times on both sides.

Pec Doorway Stretch:
This stretch can be done either in a corner or in an open doorway. Stand about 2 feet away from the corner or doorway. Place your hands at shoulder height on either side of the wall or doorway. Bending your elbows, lean your body forward into the corner or open doorway. You should feel this stretch across the front of your shoulders and chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3x.

Cat Camel Stretch
Begin in a hands-and-knees position, with your wrists aligned below your shoulders and your knees aligned below your hips. Keep your spine extended and your toes tucked under. Inhale, relax your belly so it moves toward the floor, and gently arch your back, tilting your tailbone and chin toward the ceiling. Exhale, gently round your spine, draw your chin toward your chest, and untuck your toes, placing the tops of your feet on the floor. Repeat 10 repetitions 2x through.

Remember that with any of these stretches, you should feel a slight pulling sensation or discomfort while stretching, the stretch should never hurt. If you feel any pain while stretching, talk with your Doctor or Physical Therapist.

This is only a short overview of stretches that may benefit you. Be sure to follow along with any RET clinic on social medial all month for a closer look at managing your Arthritis pain.

RET Physical Therapy Group has been “Your neighborhood physical therapy clinic,” since it was founded in 1973. The company is made up of 24 locations in the Puget Sound area that are all locally owned and operated by a team of physical therapists focused on a single purpose: to provide consistent, quality patient care within neighborhoods and communities. For more information, visit

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