Osteoarthritis(OA) affects over 27 million Americans. It is commonly referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis because it is a degenerative disease, that worsens over time. It occurs when cartilage, which is the rubbery material that covers the end of each bone, breaks down causing pain and problems with joint mobility. Many people believe that an OA diagnosis means having to give up the sports they love. Fortunately, this is not always the case.
High-impact sports are best left to our non-OA suffering counterparts. Sports like football, rugby, and intense long-distance running can put a long of strain on the joints. Low-impact sports are more suited those with osteoarthritis. While tennis can be quite a rigorous game, a doubles match is a great option. Taking some of the heat off of one player allows less strain on the joints, and can be a good option.
Swimming is a great option for OA suffers as well. When you are in the water, the water is supporting the weight of your body. In turn, you aren’t putting a lot of strain on your joints. Swimming helps with boosting your flexibility and improving circulation, all the while helping to strengthen your muscles.
Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to get moving when you have OA. Both forms of exercise keep joints mobile and flexible, and many Pilates movements lengthen your body which may help to relieve pain and soreness.
It’s also important to remember that with any sport you choose, warming up and cooling down are key to prevent further injury. A five to ten minute warm up should suffice, and you should allow approximately the same amount of time for a cool down.
If you or someone you love is struggling to manage symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, local studies for potential new treatment options are enrolling now. Those that qualify have access to potential new osteoarthritis treatments and are cared for by board-certified physicians. Qualified participants may also be compensated for time and travel expenses. Learn more about this new research opportunity by clicking HERE.