woman playing sports with osteoarthritis

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), does it mean you can no longer play the sports you’ve always loved? Hearing your doctor say you have osteoarthritis can be devastating. But it doesn’t limit your involvement in sports to being just a spectator.

There are various sports and exercises for osteoarthritis which have a lower impact on the joints. That means you can switch to them and continue enjoying the fun, excitement and great health benefits of playing your favorite sports.

Here are some of the sports and exercises you can do even if you have osteoarthritis.

1. Doubles Tennis

If you used to play tennis before you were diagnosed with OA, you may not need to give up the sport altogether. If you’re determined to play, you could play doubles. This means you only have to take care of half of the court, and you won’t do much running.

Playing tennis puts a lot of force on your joints because you need to turn quickly and make sudden changes to your speed and direction. These movements can make arthritic joints very painful. However, if you must play individual tennis, just play a few games and do so less often.

2. Triathlon

Running to prepare for a marathon can be tough on your joints. It puts tremendous pressure on your lower limbs. So, if you want to keep up with your habit of running, then try mini triathlons instead. This enables you to improve your fitness and will be easier on your joints because you’re mixing your running with cycling and swimming.

3. Yoga and Pilates

Pilates and yoga improve mobility and flexibility. They help you stretch and strengthen your joints and muscles. In turn, you increase your range of motion and reduce the pain you feel. Unlike high-impact sports that increase arthritic pain, yoga and Pilates may be modified to place less pressure on the affected joints. While practicing yoga, you’ll discover how you can move your body in a way that makes more space available for your joints and reduces wear and tear.

4. Swimming

Swimming and other water-based sports are among the best for bad knees because they offer a lot of fitness benefits. While swimming, most of your body weight is supported by water. This relieves your joints and diminishes the pain. Swimming also helps improve muscle tone without much discomfort.

5. Aqua Jogging and Aerobics

Running in water lessens the impact of your body weight by half, relative to the impact felt while walking on dry land. It feels great in the water. Just ensure you do it in moderation, so you don’t increase your joint pain or become fatigued.

More Exercises for Knees and Joints

You need to do a regular workout to keep yourself flexible and strong. Here are three exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee and other joints in the body:

  • Range of motion: Do exercises like gentle stretching that enable you to move your joints and go through the full span that your joints are expected to move. This helps you improve flexibility and overcome the pain and stiffness caused by OA.
  • Aerobics: Strengthen your heart and boost the efficiency of your lungs with aerobic exercises. You’ll have more stamina and your body will burn more calories to keep you fit.
  • Strength training: Maintain your muscle tone and strength. Your strong muscles will provide support and protection for the affected joints.

Let Us Help You Enjoy a Great Life Despite Arthritis

Would you like to enjoy compassionate care with physical therapy that greatly reduces your osteoarthritic pain? If so, call OrthoBethesda now to book an appointment.