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When it comes to sports, some can be really rough on your joints. If you’re starting to deal with aches and pains after exercise or sports, here are a few sports to avoid and some tips on alternatives you can still enjoy.
Many sports cause stress to your joints, whether it be through overuse of the joints or just intense pressure as with weightlifting. Baseball, rugby and football are notorious for stress and overuse injuries. Pitchers and quarterbacks often experience issues with their shoulders and elbows. Linemen often experience issues with degenerative spinal problems, and many NFL players live with chronic pain after they retire from the league. Male athletes who participated in soccer, long distance running, wrestling and competitive weightlifting were more likely to develop osteoarthritis in their knees according to a study released in the Journal of Athletic Training (June 2017).
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to experience pain or degenerative conditions later in life. Some former high school and college players experience some of these effects from sports. Part of the problem with making judgments about sports, in general, is we can’t always know how healthy someone is before their sports injury, nor can we know if they practiced proper stretching and restorative routines before and after play.
Warming up before playing any sport should never be neglected.
We can’t stress this point enough. Whether you’re in great shape or you’re trying to get there, warm-ups and stretches need to be a part of your exercise routine without exception. Any sport can be dangerous if you attempt to get active before you’re warmed up.
Sports and exercises that put less stress on your body will be activities you can enjoy without fear of stressing out your joints. If you’re still interested in playing some of the less joint-friendly sports we mentioned earlier, consider moderating them or alternating them with a few of these alternatives:
Joint Friendly Alternatives
Perhaps the most joint friendly sport, swimming provides a great aerobic challenge without the stress of workouts like running. You can burn more calories per hour swimming than with just about any other sport, so don’t leave this restorative practice out of your wellness routine!
If you’ve got a few kinks to work out, yoga may be the activity for you. You can work out at your own pace at home or take a class at the gym. Yoga is ideal for building core strength and improving flexibility throughout the body. If you want a more strenuous workout, there are yoga programs tailored to give you a vigorous workout.
If you love being outdoors, cycling is an ideal joint-friendly sport. Make sure your bike is adjusted to your height to ensure you don’t put added stress on your knees. Enjoy a long ride for a great workout without the stress running puts on your joints.
Being good to yourself also means getting medical attention when you need it. If you’re living with neck or back pain that doesn’t respond well to conservative measures or physical therapy, it may be time to undergo a corrective procedure. Finding the best care available isn’t always easy. At Back Pain Centers of America, (BPC), we understand the value of quality care. That’s why our board-certified spine specialists practice the latest minimally invasive treatments for a wide range of conditions. Call us today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to learn more about how we can help you on the road to recovery!
Did you know?
over 87 million people suffer
from back pain