Sport can mitigate the course of arthrosis. Moderate movement ensures that the joints remain flexible. It is important that the sport is fun.Depending on what type of arthritis it is (z.B. knee osteoarthritis), the individual sports program is also created. The most efficient are sports with flowing, regular movements. It is better to avoid excessive use of force. Experienced athletes, who already have many years of experience with a particular sport, can continue to do it despite the disease. Sport beginners should first plan a gentle start, such as z.B. With the help of physiotherapy.
– In case of arthrosis, one should not permanently abstain from sports despite or even because of the pain. Regular exercise can mitigate the progression. Maintaining the mobility of the joints. – Suitable sports include swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing, Nordic walking and water gymnastics. You should refrain from skiing, running and martial arts. – Regular exercise is useful at any age. In the case of existing pre-existing conditions such as osteoarthritis, however, the general fitness level should be medically checked before starting an exercise program.
Exercise helps with osteoarthritis
Many arthrosis sufferers do not exercise because they are in pain. You adopt a protective posture. Move thereby too little. However, this circumstance causes a negative chain reaction: the muscle mass decreases, the tendons shorten – lack of exercise also has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Sport therefore has a number of positive influences on the course of arthrosis. Exercise promotes metabolism in the joint. Leads to better blood circulation. Rhythmic loading and unloading is cartilage protection in itself, flourishes the metabolism well, synovial membrane and synovial fluid are sufficiently supplied with nutrients and lubricants , and thus also the cartilage tie not supplied with blood better supported. This can slow down the progression of the disease.
Muscles: Sports strengthen the adjacent muscles so that the joint is stabilized.
Body weight: Exercise and sport have the advantage of preventing obesity. Too many kilos damage the joints. Strains the diseased cartilage.
Exercise correctly with arthrosis
Not only the appropriate sport, but also a well thought-out training concept is the best starting position. Initially, the method and intensity depend on which joints are affected by osteoarthritis and on the general performance level. The degree of the disease is also important. The current pain level. If the affected joint is gently and regularly exercised, it will remain more mobile. Swimming and cycling, for example, are 2 sports that use a variety of muscle groups but do not require the body weight to be supported by the joints. The exercise bike is also an ideal sport variant, in which these are not loaded. As an introductory rule of thumb: the gentler, the better.
The following sports are recommended for patients suffering from osteoarthritis:
All types of water gymnastics
Horseback riding, in the case of ankle arthrosis or arthrosis in the lumbar spine
Rowing, for ankle arthrosis
Cross-country skiing for arthrosis of the lumbar spine
Rather unsuitable are high-speed sports or with movement patterns in which abrupt stops, braking maneuvers or jerks alternate (basketball, squash, etc.).). It is unfavorable to exercise on hard floors and with extreme weight loads.
Less suitable are sports such as
Ball games (foot-, hand-, volleyball etc.)
All disciplines that require jumping and quick strength (squash, tennis etc.)
Running (as the joint load is almost 3 times the body weight, it is not recommended for the joints)
Optimal start of the arthrosis exercise program
At the beginning there should be a check of the general fitness. In any case, training pays off at any age. Before starting, a medical examination is advisable. Together with the medical professional, you can create a training program tailored to your condition without going beyond your limits.
Those who rarely do regular sports or have had a long break should start slowly at first. No matter how trained one was before the disease, an athletic comeback succeeds best if one starts moderately, z.B. with extended walks, light gymnastics or swimming – preferably all year round. This involves training specific functional muscle groups or. Supplemented with appropriate guidance on stretching exercises. Sometimes the physiotherapeutic program can also be accompanied by gait training, such as walking.B. on the treadmill, be accompanied.
Know your own limits
There is little point in setting the performance bar too high, too much ambition leads all too quickly to frustration. It is ideal to choose a type of exercise that can be easily sustained. If pain occurs, pain should be treated by a doctor, because this is the only way to ensure that exercise really makes sense and does not create additional suffering.
Warm up the muscles
Before going to the starting line, muscles need to be warmed up, no matter what the sport, so gymnastics are recommended before and after exercise. This pre- and post-exercise is designed to prevent a muscle group that was overused during the athletic challenge from also stressing the adjacent joint and exacerbating osteoarthritis.
2 times training, then again month-long breaks to hold, has little sense. If you decide to do sports and exercise, you should choose a type of exercise that is fun and does not overload the body and mind. Maintaining a regular workout routine, several times a week, is important to reap health benefits. Many people find it easier to exercise together with an athletic group. Fixed "Sports Times (z. B. in a "running community") guarantee that the chosen sport becomes a fixed part of everyday life.
Equipment for osteoarthritis training
As for everyone, the same applies to athletes with osteoarthritis: the better the equipment, the lower the risk of injury, resp. the risk of worsening the disease. The be-all and end-all of almost any sporting challenge is a good shoe. For walkers who intend to "walk" their program with tennis shoes or sneakers, this is not a good condition. Good footwear must have a firm treaded sole and ensure contact with the ground so that there is no risk of slipping even on damp surfaces. Ideally, the shoe also includes the ankle, so it supports the ankle joint. Space in the front part of the foot guarantees freedom of movement for the toes even when walking downhill. An inch of clearance on the heels prevents nasty blisters. In other sports, such as.B. Nordic Walking, is recommended beside good footwear also the appropriate joint protection.
Dangers during training: Reduce strain in case of pain
Pain or redness of the joint may occur during sporting activities, usually when overexertion is present. In this case the joint should be immobilized, evt. apply cold compresses. However, it is important not to discontinue the sports program, but to reduce the load after consultation with the doctor.