January 26, 2022

Osteoarthritis: sport as a treatment? – Featured

November 26, 2021

Osteoarthritis and sport maintain a paradoxical relationship. And for good reason, physical activity can both help promote the development of osteoarthritis and… position itself at the forefront of care!

Osteoarthritis “ or the disease of worn cartilage ”, as the French anti-rheumatic association (Aflar) calls it, affects 10 million people in France. Or 17% of the population. “It is the leading cause of functional disability for people over 40”, she specifies.

Some risk factors are well known, including obesity (for knee osteoarthritis), smoking, static abnormalities, but also the lack of regular physical activity. Or the opposite, “Vigorous physical activity is likely to increase the risk of joint injury and therefore the potential development of degenerative joint injury”, is it noted in The Swiss Medical Review. This may be the case, for example, with repeated injuries to the knee or ankle, when playing football or tennis.

Discipline scope

In such a case, physical activity can also be a therapy of choice for osteoarthritis! Good for the head and the quality of life, it would exert an analgesic action. Plus, it will help you control your weight – especially if you’re overweight or obese. History thus to avoid additional pressure on the joints.

Before you start, talk to your doctor. The challenge is to choose the right discipline (s). In this case, it can be brisk walking or a practice known as ‘reach’ such as cycling or swimming. In this way, you will limit the risk of joint microtrauma. Practice endurance, but without necessarily going as far as short of breath. In all cases, your doctor will be able to advise you according to your age, and will establish a precise activity program adapted to your condition.

  • Source : Swiss Medical Review, 332, March 14, 2012 – https://www.aflar.org/, https://www.arthrocoach.com, sites consulted on November 25, 2021

  • Written by : David Picot – Edited by: Emmanuel Ducreuzet