Swimming and Joints
By: Michelle Greer, RN, Senior Vice President, Sales Nufactor Specialty Pharmacy | May, 2016 | Download Article |
Did you know that swimming has tremendous benefits on your overall health while protecting your joints? When you float and swim in water, there is buoyancy that occurs that actually causes you to become lighter. This force, in effect, takes the pressure off your joints. This is an excellent way to exercise and not put stress on your joints.
Joint damage, known in the hemophilia world as hemarthrosis, is caused by repeated bleeding into a joint cavity. The resulting damage is similar to what people with arthritis experience. Your joints have several components, and when a joint bleed occurs the major effects are on the synovium, or the lining of the joint, and the cartilage. The end result of repetitive bleeding into a joint is an inflamed synovium and decreased joint space. This only increases the potential for more bleeding and increased damage over time.
When you swim, it truly takes the load off your joints and can improve their function without exacerbating pain, swelling and or bleeding. A study published in 2013 on the effect of aquatic exercise on muscle strength and joints range of motion in hemophilia patients concluded that aquatic exercise therapy can be a useful method to improve joints strength and range of motion in hemophilia patients in order to improve their daily functioning and quality of life. The study compared a case group (those who performed the aquatic exercise) with a control group (those who did no exercise.) They found that the strength of the muscles around the knee joint increased significantly and range of motion in all joints was improved in the case group. The control group actually experienced a reduction of strength and no significant improvement in range of motion. There have also been numerous studies done on people with arthritis who engage in swimming and water aerobics, and the conclusion is exercising in water can improve your joint and overall health without the strain and stress on your joints.
The great thing about swimming is it's a great exercise and activity no matter what your age. Children can take lessons very young and even engage in competitive swimming in school and beyond. Adults can swim recreationally indoors or outdoors. Local exercise facilities with pools typically have lanes reserved for recreational swimmers as well as water exercise classes.
Contact us today for a set of googles and find some time to do some water exercise!
Your joints will thank you!
The information provided on this website is not medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with questions concerning a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking it based on information provided on this website.