How to Stay Active With Arthritis
Many American senior citizens suffer from some sort of chronic arthritic joint pain. As the bones and joints weaken, it can be more difficult to remain active, especially if the arthritis is severe. However, some older adults who have mild arthritis find that they can manage their symptoms and still get around, but still wonder if they are causing further damage to their joints in the process. The truth is that people with arthritis can and should continue to stay active, whether by jogging, swimming, or brisk walks outside.
Arthritis in the knees should not be a cause of decreasing activity. Some are under the belief that putting further pressure on the knees will exacerbate the problem. This is a misconception, and medical research has shown that running can actually protect the knees from arthritis. One recent study showed that males who were recreational joggers had a lower risk of knee and hip arthritis. It should be kept in mind that all men were of average right. However, other studies have shown that running may stimulate knee cartilage to grow, instead of wear out.
People who do suffer from arthritis may wonder if they should stay as active as they once were or if they should tone it down. This all depends on the severity of the condition. Those with mild arthritic pain may want to consider jogging on a softer surface, such as a track or smooth dirt trail, since these surfaces are generally well tolerated by the body due to the decreased impact. If pain tends to increase with physical activity, patients may want to vary their exercise regimens by including low-impact activities such as swimming or biking.
Anyone suffering from arthritis or believe they may be at risk should always discuss their activity levels with their primary care doctors. The physician may recommend different therapeutic options, including hot/cold therapy or chiropractic visits. Remember to stay safe and not push too hard, or it may come back to haunt you later.