Tips When Running With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a very painful condition in which your cartilage that is found in the joints start to wear away. The cartilage helps in absorbing the friction between the ends of your bones in your joints. As your cartilage is damaged, the bone rubs with each other, which results in the pain and stiffness you are experiencing. If you have osteoarthritis in your knees or hips, you may find many of the everyday activities and sports like running very difficult. But there are some steps you can take to help ease the pain and still run like the way you used to.
As much as possible, consult your doctor to set up an MRI or X-ray in order to fully assess your situation. If it is already severe, then you may need to stop running even just for a while. However, in some cases, you may need to go through some period of physical therapy or have surgery to relieve some symptoms. Make sure that you get your symptoms properly diagnosed to make sure that it will not get worse when you are running.
Things You Can Do
There are some general guidelines that will help you manage your osteoarthritis according to the Arthritis Foundation, so that you can get back to the usual activities you enjoy like running. Talk to your physical therapist or doctor about using a brace. It can help to support your joints and take some pressure off so that you can run. When you also lose some excess weight, it will also help in reducing the strain on the joints especially when running. Taking some anti-inflammatory medication, supplements like deer antler velvet and using heat and cold therapy may help you in managing your symptoms.
According to experts, the best non-drug treatment for your osteoarthritis is through exercise. Running can place many strains on your joints. By strengthening the muscles that surrounds your knees and hips will help relieve some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and may even allow you to run. Performing exercises like leg extensions, squats, hamstring curls, will all help. Try to add some side leg lifts to strengthen your inner and outer thighs as well.
Stretching your muscles around the joints is important as strength training to help you manage the osteoarthritis while you are running. If your muscles are tight, they can pull on your joints and create intense pain. Having an osteoarthritis can also make your joints stiff. You need to make sure that you stretch your hamstring muscles, calf muscles and quadriceps. The best time to stretch is usually right after running and your muscles are still warm. When running, there are some surfaces that are better than the others. Best surfaces are grass, synthetic track, your treadmill and not the concrete and asphalt. What you eat is also important. Eat only foods that promote healthy bones and joints to counter the symptoms of your osteoarthritis. Always consult a doctor before running.