For those with arthritis, regular physical activity is recommended as it can be very effective at minimizing daily pain, discomfort, and swelling. Some doctors advise their patients to avoid running frequently as the impact can cause symptoms to increase, but for some, periodic running helps them stay fit and build strong muscles to support their joints.
From the Orthopaedic Specialty Group team, here are a few tips to safely run with arthritis:
Use Proper Form
Using the proper running form is important to put less stress on your joints and lessen the risk of injury. For your upper body, your head should be held high, your back straight, your neck and shoulders relaxed, and your elbows at your side and bent 90 degrees, swinging forward and backward slightly with each stride. For your lower body, your foot should be aligned with your knee as it hits the ground, and be conscious not to raise your knees too high. Run at a light, easy pace to ensure your form is correct.
Wear The Right Shoes
Appropriate footwear is important for any runner, especially if you have arthritis. Make sure to wear shoes that are supportive, well-fitting, and comfortable. Some runners prefer minimalist, “barely-there” shoes, but those with arthritis may not have the support they need from them. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.
Always Warm Up And Cool Down
Get your body ready for exercise with a warm up involving stretches and walking. End your workout the same with a cool down involving light walking and stretches. This helps minimize stress on your joints and lessen your risk of injury.
Consider Running on Softer Surfaces
Running on a softer or more cushioned surface can help reduce stress and impact on your joints. It may be easier for you to run on smooth trails, on a treadmill, or even in water than on hard concrete surfaces.
Wear a Brace
A brace, wrap, or tape around your arthritic body part may help support your joints while running. Consult with your doctor about what supportive device is best for you.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Far
It’s important to respect your limits and not over-exert yourself, or your pain may be elevated later on. Also, don’t feel like you need to progress quickly; gradually increase your pace and distance. If you don’t feel up to a run and your symptoms are flaring up, take some time to relax instead.
For exceptional orthopaedic care, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group!
It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.