Many people seem to believe that arthritis, especially in the knee, is caused by excessive movements such as walking or running. This means that they also think once they get arthritis, they should stop doing all of that.
In reality, this is not true. Even if you were to get arthritis in the knees, you should still walk, run, and get in as much exercise as possible. Why is this so? Well, before we answer that, let us talk about what arthritis is.
What exactly is arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints in the body. More specifically, it is the reduction of the cartilage between these joints. Cartilage functions as a cushion between the bones, and without it in place, the bones can rub against each other, causing swelling, clicking, stiffness, and significant pain.
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not limited to the elderly. Anyone can have it, but it does not mean everyone will.
How do you diagnose arthritis?
The primary way to diagnose arthritis was, traditionally, with an x-ray. Unfortunately, this came with some problems. For instance, the image produced might not correlate to precisely what is going on in a patient’s body. Sometimes, a person’s joints might appear to be affected, but they feel file and are not experiencing symptoms.
With that said, arthritis is now clinically diagnosed without the need for any imaging done.
Can I still walk and run with arthritis?
Yes, you still can. In fact, moderate walking and running are usually prescribed together with other treatments to address symptoms of arthritis. That is because when you exercise, you strengthen the muscles that support the joints and bones. You will also gain other benefits, such as improved stamina and balance.
While it might not make sense to load your already deteriorating cartilage at first, putting them through the motions ensures that they heal properly. Athletes who have arthritis have seen that their continued exercises and participation in sports have not worsened the symptoms of the disease. Instead, these helped them recover.
With that said, if your symptoms are severe enough, running or walking might be impeded with pain or limited motion. However, just because you have arthritis does not mean you should stop those activities altogether.
While we do recommend that you exercise even if you have arthritis, it is essential to be supervised to ensure you work out long enough and apply just enough stimulation to your joints. That is because over-exercising or putting too much burden on the joints is not helpful and may worsen the disease.
For helpful advice on how walking, running, and other exercises can address arthritis, you can reach out to physiotherapists. They know how to quickly identify the risk factors you are facing and can help develop an exercise plan that you can adhere to.
With continued support from such professionals, you do not have to worry about never being able to enjoy your sport again. You can have continued hope that your joints will heal and that you will fully recover.
Are you looking for a physio in Brisbane to help you recover from arthritis? Anytime Physio can offer you personalised treatments to ensure you get the best treatment possible! Reach out to us today.