Can Taking Up Cycling Help You to Beat Joint Pain?
When your joints are feeling achy and stiff, the last thing you’ll want to do is exercise, but increasing your activity levels can have a positive effect on your joints, especially if you are currently suffering from arthritis or similar conditions.
In fact a new trial by Royal Bournemouth Hospital has revealed that cycling on a static or moving bicycle for 30 minutes a day can help to stop muscle wastage, delay or prevent the onset of arthritis and may even avert the need for surgery.
How can cycling reduce joint pain?
Now whilst in the past professionals have viewed arthritis as a cartilage and bone problem, Rob Middleton, the leading orthopaedic surgeon behind this trial believes conditions such as osteoarthritis should be treated as a muscle problem.
By doing so, and introducing the right types of exercises, you can reduce joint pain without the need to use stem cell technology or tiny robots to repair your joints.
But why cycling?
Middleton has formulated this theory based on 2 facts:
Firstly, that without exercise you have got a higher probability of developing arthritis (Middleton concluded this after a study on rabbits found that those who were allowed to exercise did not develop arthritis, whilst those whom were denied it developed arthritis).
Secondly: the fact that whilst professional cyclists may have signs of arthritis, they do not suffer from joint pain until they retire and exercise less.
Can exercise prevent arthritis?
Although this trial is still in the early stages, research does seem to suggest that regular exercise can reduce the symptoms of arthritis and offer you a drug free solution to joint pain management.
The key is finding the right type of exercise and ensuring you do not push your joints too far too soon.
- Cycling – if you have got access to a bike, then cycling is a fantastic way to strengthen the ligaments and muscles around your joints whilst limiting the amount of strain you put them under. Similarly, cycling lightly for an hour can help you to burn nearly 200 calories, which will further help your joints as the lighter you are, the less weight your joints will have to support.
- Water walking/swimming – both of these exercises are great for your joints as not only will water support the majority of your weight, it will also act to strengthen and tone your muscles.
- Walking – if you are not ready to jump on a bike just yet then going for a 40 minute walk every day can help to loosen your joints, tone your muscles and keep the lbs at bay.
If you are suffering from arthritis as you are reading this, then we understand that exercise can be a daunting prospect especially when you are already in so much pain. However, begin to increase your activity levels daily and you will soon begin to notice that your joint pain is reduced and you are much more flexible.
So give these exercises a try, and ensure that arthritis no longer rules you. With practice, you can experience genuine joint pain relief.
This article was written by Amy Fowler who is interested in methods of natural pain relief.