two minute workout for arthritis

4 Two-minute Moves for Pain Relief

A recent study shows just two minutes of exercise a day can help relieve pain.


Think you can’t fit exercise into your busy day? Think again. A study shows that just two minutes of exercise daily is enough to ease pain. In the study of 198 office workers with frequent neck and shoulder pain, those who completed two minutes a day of resistance exercise with elastic tubing experienced relief similar to those who completed 12 minutes of daily exercise.

Although the study did not focus on people with arthritis, Duke University physical therapist, Cynthia Harrell, who specializes in arthritis, says short bouts of exercise can strengthen muscles and relieve pain and stiffness due to arthritis. And even two minutes can be broken up into smaller chunks of different types of exercise that can give your whole body a boost.

Ready for some quick relief? Try these two-minute workouts.

Relax and relieve muscle pain and stiffness:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep, belly breathing, for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Hamstring stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Calf stretch for 30 seconds.

Strengthen muscles to support knees:

  • Ball squeeze between knees, 5 second squeezes, for 60 total seconds.
  • Seated straight leg raise for 30 seconds for each leg.

Strengthen hip and thigh muscles:

  • Marching in place for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Walking forward and backward, 10 steps each way.

Strengthen and improve upper body range of motion:

  • Arm circles backward for 30 seconds.
  • Work arms and back by moving your arms on a table top as if you're doing the breast stroke. Continue for 60 seconds.
  • Wrist circles, wrist bends (up and down), and open and closed fingers for 10 seconds each.