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Little Stretches, Big Differences

Small things add up to big changes.

You deserve a stretching guide designed with you in mind. The limiting impacts of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are different for everyone, so there is no one set of exercises that is perfect for all. But with the help of our friends at the NPF Patient Navigation Center, we have identified a handful of stretches that should work for many of you, even if PsA challenges your mobility.

It may be hard to walk or do other physical activity when you have PsA, but not moving can make your joint pain worse. Gentle movements can help ease the pain of psoriatic arthritis by keeping your joints and tendons loose and limber as well as reducing inflammation. Strong muscles can also help to lessen the pressure on your joints. [1]

Of course, before starting any physical activity, talk with your health care provider to make sure the activity is safe for you.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Seated Hamstring Stretch

While sitting on a chair, stretch one leg out in front of you. Loop a belt, towel, or strap around the middle of the foot that is stretched out. Sit up straight, leading with the chest; use the strap to pull the leg up rather than toward you.

Repeat three times on each side, holding for 30 seconds each time.

Note: You can flip a trash can upside down to support the foot that is stretched out. You can also try sitting on the edge of a bed or sofa.

Seated Gastrocnemius (Calf) Stretch

Seated Gastrocnemius (Calf) Stretch

While sitting on a chair, stretch one leg out in front of you. Loop a towel, belt, or strap around the ball of your foot. Gently pull back on the strap until a stretch is felt along the back of your lower leg. Keep your knee straight the entire time.

Repeat three times on each side, holding for 30 seconds each time.

Scapular Retractions

Scapular Retractions

Move your shoulder blades back and down. You should feel your shoulder blades moving toward your spine. Relax between each repetition.

Repeat 20 times, holding for 5 seconds each time.

Pectoralis Doorway Stretch – Single Arm

Pectoralis Doorway Stretch – Single Arm

While standing in a doorway, place your arm up on the door frame with the palm facing toward the door frame. Your upper arm should be horizontal to the ground, and your forearm should lie up along the door frame. Using the leg on the same side of your body, take a step forward through the doorway. Next, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch along the front of your chest and/or shoulder.

Repeat three times on each side, holding for 30 seconds each time.

Note: Your legs should control how much you stretch by bending or straightening your knee through the doorway.

Important Tips

To protect your joints while stretching:

  • Move slowly and gently – avoid sudden movements or twisting.
  • Do not grasp objects (like resistance bands or straps) too tightly
  • Stretch only to the point where you feel tension, not until it hurts.

PsA Action Month E-Kit

Request your free resources for PsA Action Month including mobility tips, exercise options, and guides for simple stretches.

Request your e-kit


1. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Role of exercise in arthritis management.

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