Osteoarthritis (OA) is among the health conditions that affect the mobility of many people, swimmers included. For many, the big question is, should they quit swimming after an OA diagnosis?
Well, many assume that it’s risky to go swimming with osteoarthritis, but the truth of the matter is that an OA diagnosis is not the end of swimming.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disorder that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. The OA pain and swelling is as a result of the wear and tear of the soft cartilage tissues around the joints whose role is to prevent friction.
Pool Exercises for Osteoarthritis
Swimming is the first exercise that will help manage the degenerative joint condition. When swimming, most of the weight is supported by the water, so no pressure is exerted on the hips or feet. Remember, it’s the pressure that causes pain when doing exercises on the ground, especially for those battling hip osteoarthritis, knee osteoarthritis, and foot and ankle OA.
Besides swimming, aqua jogging can also be a great swimming pool exercise for OA patients. The reason for this is that it reduces the pressure on joints by up to 50% compared to walking, leave alone jogging.
Aqua aerobics is another excellent exercise that works out the upper, mid, and lower body. These exercises also help to reduce the pressure on joints courtesy of the water’s buoyancy that counters the downward pull of gravity.
But before engaging in any physical activity, including swimming, make sure to discuss it with the rheumatologist. Also, start slow, feel the body, and stop immediately pain is felt in any of the joints.