For those with OsteoArthritis, it is difficult to find the desire to want to exercise or put any extra pressure on the joints that are already causing them so much pain. Nevertheless, doctors continue to encourage their patients to exercise, pointing to the fact that exercise can help to build muscles around the joint, relieving pain and swelling. Often, doctors and physical therapists will suggest low-impact exercises, such as those that can be done in a swimming pool.
There are two main reasons why people with OsteoArthritis living in the Valley of the Sun love exercising in the pool. For one, it is a great way to beat the heat when summer rolls around. Exercising outdoors anytime from late May to the end of September can be difficult with the heat.
Secondly, exercising in the pool helps to ensure that there is less stress on the joints that are causing pain. The buoyancy of water helps to support the body’s weight, up to 50% in waist high water. This allows a person to still get a good workout, while keeping pressure off their joints.
Here are 5 Pool Exercises for OsteoArthritis:
When taking a walk in the pool, you’ll notice that the resistance that the water creates makes it a little more difficult than just your normal stroll around the block. You are exercising muscles throughout your body and strengthening your endurance without putting too much pressure on the joints in your knees, ankle and hips.
2. Jog in Place
Here’s an exercise that you may not even consider on land, but actually enjoy in the pool. Jogging in place in a pool requires coordination and stamina, but doesn’t put nearly the same amount of pressure on joints as it would if you were running on a track or sidewalk. You may find that you need to practice running in place close to side of the pool until you get it down.
Lunges work the bigger muscles in your legs as well as in the stomach. To successfully do lunges in the pool, make sure you are in the right depth of water. If the water is too deep or too high, you will not be able to do a deep enough lunge. For variation, try holding your arms out to your sides or even doing arm circles as you do your lunges.
This is an exercise that involves more of the movements found in swimming, but still keeps pressure off of joints. Grab a kickboard and make your way into the pool. Hold the kickboard out in front of your with your arms straight and then kick your legs as you do laps up and down the pool. You’ll feel it working your legs and buttocks.
5. Water Aerobics
You can either come up with your own routine or find a class to participate in. Start by going just waist deep into the water. Once you begin to feel more comfortable with the routine, you can start going in deeper and deeper each time. Routines might include high knees, short jumps, or even jumping jacks. Again, the water’s resistance will provide you with a good workout, but you’ll avoid the pain of stress in your joints.
We use many different techniques and treatments at Arrowhead Health Centers when we work with those suffering from osteoarthritis. Our team of doctors and physical therapists may recommend some exercises, including pool exercises to help build muscles in and around affected joints.
To learn more about the services we provide, give us a call at 623 334 4000 ext.9.