Movement prevents osteoarthritis. It strengthens bones and joints. Even small changes in everyday life can help – but of course the right sport. Physician Carsten Lekutat names five sports that strengthen your joints.
It’s not always easy for me to overcome my inner bastard and move. But the reward you get for it is overwhelming. Physical activity makes us more resilient. It strengthens bones and joints. It can slow down osteoarthritis. It makes a stiff joint more flexible, lowers the need for painkillers and increases the quality of life in everyday life. And because you consume more calories, you can eat more. Juhu!
The call “Move!” It is therefore not a cheap tip from the TV newspaper. It is statistically proven that movement in bone and joint complaints is the alpha and omega. And in the guidelines of the international osteoarthritis society OARSI, Bewegung even leads the list of the best non-medical treatment measures.
Strong muscles support weak bones
Backache or joint pain used to mean: “Take care!” But today people know that conservation is counterproductive. Because it loses muscle mass, which gives our bones and joints so important hold. Strong muscles and good coordination protect against falls and thus against bone fractures.
But not only that! Muscles pull and squeeze over the tendons to our bones. And that’s what stimulates them to form bone-building cells. You can renew yourself faster and withstand falls better.
The articular cartilage, in turn, needs the movement to maintain nutrients. The stretching and bending acts like a pump. In the process, nutrients are pressed into the cartilage with the synovial fluid and waste products are transported away directly. Anyone who moves feeds and lubricates his joints – an extremely important process that would otherwise not take place. It even goes so far that scientists have found out that the jaw bone degrades when you treat the masticatory muscles with Botox. This is actually a very effective therapy for annoying teeth grinding. However, we also seem to need a muscle pull on the jawbone to keep it stable and strong.
Little helps a lot
The good news: you do not have to become a professional athlete. An extensive, regular walk is a good start. And this is also recommended by the international arthritis society. Who would have thought that! So take every chance to bring movement into your everyday life!
Just stop on the bus or get off at one stop, for example. In the office, you can put the trash in the other corner of the room so you have to get up from the desk. Walk around a bit on the phone. When watching TV you can easily insert a small foot gymnastics. Or replace the TV armchair with a seated ball. Your lumbar spine, in particular, will thank you.
Prevent Osteoarthritis with Sports: My Top Five Sports for the Joints
1. Water aerobics
Aquafit or Aquafun exist at least in cities everywhere. Adapted to the respective physical level, this is actually the best training there is. Because it protects the joints through buoyancy and at the same time requires more muscle than on land.
Many patients can even perform movements in the water that were not possible on land for a long time. The risk of injury is low, you can not fall.
A sport especially for experienced water rats. It makes all muscles fit without putting heavy strain on the joints. But it depends on how you swim! Breast swimming is not good for patients with knee problems. The load is quite big at the leg stroke. If you also want to keep your hair dry and stretch your head out of the water like a swan, it will slightly spine over your spine and neck. It would be better to partially or completely immerse the head during the advance. For those who do well, swimming is a good, joint-gentle workout.
Also when cycling, the muscles and joints are moved, almost without the own body weight must be worn. Above all, the knee joints benefit from this because the majority of the weight is stored on the saddle. The regular circular leg movement ensures that the articular cartilage is better supplied with blood and increased synovial fluid is produced.
In older age, a wheel with a low entry facilitates the ascent and descent. Who is afraid of falling, for the home trainer is a good alternative.
Dancing is a great sport, for me the perfect anti-aging sport. Allegedly, my dance style reminds of that of Herbert Gronemeyer – says my wife. I do not know what she means by that. If the joints join the dance without any problems, it’s a great workout for flexibility, coordination and the head. You have to memorize step sequences, get involved with others, stay in rhythm. Our body is challenged in such a variety of ways in hardly any other sport.
5. Nordic Walking
Scientists of the Institute for Biomechanics Bad Sassendorf have completely wired Nordic Walker and measured with sensors, which load forces on the joints. The result surprised. There was hardly any difference in walking without sticks. On the contrary: the pressure on the heel was even greater during Nordic walking, which is probably due to the higher intensity.
If you have problems with the heel anyway, you should not go for it. Nevertheless, I believe that Nordic Walking is a good sport, especially for patients who have problems with aisle safety and balance. For them, the sticks are often the only anchor to continue to run actively.