How to adventure with arthritis

Learn how to adventure with arthritis because you don’t have to stop all of your adventures! Adventures look so different for everyone and we are here to help you keep them alive. Whether it’s hiking, skiing, biking, or just being there for your family or grandchildren we are here for you.

natural remedies for arthritis

Incredible Power of Natural Remedies for Arthritis: 5 things to learn from a patient’s journey

Many aspire to find natural remedies for arthritis and they are able to find life changing pain relief with the right ones. Looking beyond trying to find the exact supplement or specific exercise to do, the success lies in the holistic approach. Surgery and/or pills likely will not lead to longer term pain relief. Instead, there is power in natural remedies for arthritis that can help not only with immediate pain relief but pain relief in the long term too. Let’s look at a patient’s compelling story. 

Here at Keep the Adventure Alive we are all about instilling hope and optimism to those that have arthritis. I love sharing patient success stories because I want you to see that it is possible to thrive with arthritis.

It may not look like total pain relief or a cure of the condition. This patient went from chronic pain in multiple joints to tolerable pain that didn’t limit her in higher level activities like golf and mountain biking.

Your arthritis adventure is possible.

Let's meet pearl

This patient’s name is changed for privacy reasons but Pearl was the name of my old car so that’s what we will go with (haha!). I want to share this story because I want you to imagine yourself in this situation. You may even share some of the same thoughts, pains, and history! I want these natural remedies for arthritis to become very real for you. I promise is not the typical “voodoo” healing powers you may have read about.

This is real. This patient is real. The results are real.

Her background

Pearl, 57 year old female, came to me during a seminar about knee arthritis at a running because she had begun experiencing knee pain in the past couple of months. She had to stop running and really wanted to get back to it. 

After meeting Pearl, I found out so much more. She was dealing with more than just knee pain. Many times when it comes to arthritis, pain can be experienced in many different areas.

Here is a little of her history: 

  • Multiple shoulder surgeries to both shoulders but left causing more difficulty than right- impacting her golf swing
  • Previous injury to her left ankle from a fall off of a mountain bike 1 year ago with continued pain 
  • Recent left inside knee pain that she has begun to feel when walking longer distances and coming down hills 
  • Recent feelings of disappointment and anxiety around having to give up her active lifestyle because of all of these pains
  • Osteoporosis diagnosis in the past 2 years

She had tried various types of physical therapy, massage, and minor diet changes but nothing seemed to stick. Her pain kept coming back

Everytime she tried a new exercise program, she ended up making her pain worse, even when she tried a water aerobics class. 

She loved golfing, mountain biking, running, and being active with her husband all over the West. She did not want to give any of that up and was very dedicated to getting back.

Can you relate to any of this? 

What we found

Arthritis and chronic pain relief is so much more than just movement. There are many things that can contribute to pain besides movement! We talked about: 

  • Recent stressors of a home renovation and continued pain that was taking a lot of her energy
  • Foods she was eating- turns out she was not eating enough in general but more specifically was way under on her protein intake (we know how important that is!)
  • Her recent interest in journaling which has helped her develop some coping mechanisms with her pain and other life activities
  • Her thoughts on her pain- she was fearful of pain because everytime she felt pain she thought she was making her shoulder, ankle, or knee worse
  • Medications and supplements she was taking for underlying conditions
  • Strength and balance deficits we found from a movement assessment

Her main goals

Her ultimate goal was to live a happy, adventurous life. She didn’t want to have to slow down. She didn’t want to deal with pain for the rest of her life.

This is a perfect time to think about your goals? If you are reading this you are likely dealing with some sort of joint pain. What do you want? What would you do if you woke up without any pain tomorrow?

Her journey

Here is how we started: 

  • Discussed what pain actually means. Pain does not correlate with more damage which helps to alleviate some fears and anxieties.
  • Completed simple movements that did not flare up pain and had the right amount of support based on where we found the strength and balance deficits.
  • Talked about how to incorporate more protein into her diet and importance of tracking foods to get started.
  • Emphasized the importance of journaling so she could continue to unload her thoughts onto paper so she wasn’t spending so much time and energy on them

Results

With natural remedies for arthritis, out primary focus in on the small wins. These keep us motivated and keep us going! In order to receive these results, Pearl began following the exercise program-15 minutes at least 5 days per week, followed the diet changes at least 75% of the time, and started to shift her thinking about her pain.

In just 4 weeks she experienced: 

  • More energy throughout the day
  • Decreases in severity of all joint pain
  • Decreased occasions of knee pain- stated she was on vacation and “didn’t even notice my knee. I was so happy!”
  • Stronger golf swing. She was hitting the ball further without increase in shoulder pain and more consistently.
  • She didn’t think about pain as much. She knew discomfort was okay and she didn’t have to worry.

Is she completely out of pain? No. But that’s not what these natural remedies are about. The main goal is to build long lasting pain relief and positive life changes.

There is still work to be done but she has so much HOPE.

Albeit small, these changes can start to snowball into amazing changes to her life. The purpose of this journey is to make slow changes so they are much easier to make into long term habits.

If we would’ve just focused on how she moved and focused on giving her exercises- we would have missed out on a huge piece of the puzzle.

Addressing nutrition, her beliefs about pain, and the other contributing factors- we might not have gotten as far as we did in a short period of time.

Just getting an x-ray then being sent to physical therapy where they work on your knee for 4 weeks may work temporarily but pain relief may not stick.

Getting a massage or acupuncture every couple of weeks might make you feel good in the moment but may not last either.

To find long lasting pain relief and unlock your arthritis adventure, the success is in the holistic approach.

How you can find relief

Okay, that’s great for Pearl. Now I know this is possible. But how can I find the same relief and changes she did?!

Some of these natural remedies for pain relief may not work specifically for you and that’s okay! There is a giant box of possibilities. Maybe you need more emotional support, a different change to your diet, more exercise or even a new medication. 

Each person’s arthritis adventure looks a little different but are based on the same general framework: 

  • Exercise your mind before your body
  • Understand your options for pain relief 
  • Follow through with these options
  • Find a way to incorporate it into your daily life
natural remedies for arthritis relief

Keep in mind

When you are trying to find pain relief the journey is almost never completely linear with progress. There are occasional dips while you are trying to achieve control over arthritis. With the right plan, you can get through the flares with confidence instead of fear.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

inflammation reducing foods

15 Amazingly Simple Things You Need to Know About Inflammation Reducing Foods & Habits in 2021 From the Experts

Inflammation reducing foods could be the missing link in your arthritis relief. There is lots of information out there, it can be hard to weed through it all. We went straight to the experts and had an amazing interview with Dr. Ann Kulze of Dr. Ann Wellness. She is an MD, best selling author, motivational speaker and mother of 4 who specializes in nutrition, healthy living, and disease prevention. Here are the 15 Rock-Solid ways to reduce inflammation and finally feel good! 

Here is a summary of this video interview below of the 15 best takeaways including inflammation reducing foods, supplements, and other lifestyle changes that can truly eliminate inflammation! Eliminating inflammation is the first step towards feeling healthy and living your best life, especially with arthritis.

Table of Contents

1. Learn to love onions

Okay so if you don’t like onions, there is still hope! Onions are a part of a family called the Allium family. This family includes: chives, garlic, and leeks too. The Allium family packs a punch when it comes to healthy superfoods. 

According to Dr. Ann Kulze, as well as the Arthritis Foundation, onions and their counterparts can help to reduce cancer risk, improve bone density, and can actually have an anti-inflammatory effect. 

One flavonoid found in onions, called quercetin, has been shown to inhibit inflammation-causing leukotrienes, prostaglandins and histamines in osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), reduce heart disease risk by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and help prevent the progression of cancer.”

It turns out, yellow and red onions are the best but others have varying degrees of effect. As an inflammation reducing food, this is one that you want to start including in meals if you haven’t already. You can easily do this in salads, sandwiches, vegetable stir frys, and more! 

2. Treat yourself to dark chocolate

Wait, so you’re telling me dark chocolate is actually good for inflammation?!

Yes, that’s correct! If you are looking for a treat and you are dealing with arthritis pain or high levels of inflammation, dark chocolate can actually be beneficial. 

Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity.”

As an inflammatory reducing food, dark chocolate can help to not only contribute physically to arthritis pain, it can also improve your mood! We know that high levels of stress and anxiety tend to further irritate our already overactive nervous system. 

Next time you are searching for something sweet, instead of going for the ice cream or candy- grab yourself at least a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar! 

But remember…moderation 🙂

3. Get familiar with the superfoods

In our interview above, Dr. Ann Kulze discusses the inflammation reducing superfoods. Not shockingly these foods are those that are whole foods and don’t include any processed foods. 

These foods are primarily plant-based and include foods like fruits, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, oily fish, and more. You can check out the full list of the BEST anti-inflammatory foods that we curated here. It may be best to print this list out, keep it in the kitchen, hang it on the fridge or keep a picture on your phone that you can look at when grocery shopping.

Working on including these superfoods into daily life is a great first step when trying to get inflammation under control, lose weight, and reduce osteoarthritis pain. 

If you would like some recipe ideas or inspiration, Dr. Ann has put together lots of yummy ideas here.

4. Think about fish oil

Caveat being, always make sure you consult your doctor first before starting any supplements because they can interact with certain medications. 

According to Dr. Ann, there is a hierarchy of supplements when it comes to reducing inflammation and fish oil is near the top.

This one is common and usually necessary if you are not eating oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel etc at least 3 times per week. These foods contain long-chain omega 3 fatty acids that are hard to find in other foods. 

Long chain omega-3s are some of the vital building blocks in the processes that help to reduce inflammation.  But, when searching for a fish oil supplement they aren’t all created equal. She advises “Choose high-quality fish oil supplements – look for ‘pharmaceutical grade’ or ‘molecularly distilled’ when purchasing.

5. Get your levels of vitamin d checked

It has been found that upwards of almost 50% of people in the US are deficient in Vitamin D. Many of us may think we get enough vitamin D from the sun but it turns out there are some things that can prevent vitamin D from getting into our bloodstream. These include things like sunscreen, clothing, obesity, diabetes, and others.

Typically done through a blood test, your doctor can very easily check your levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in overall health such as bone density, brain health, immune function, and even inflammation reducing.

Talk to your doctor to see if your vitamin D levels are low. If they are, you could be experiencing signs and symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, inflammation, increased joint pain, among others.

A supplement of vitamin D may be appropriate if you are deficient. According to Dr. Ann, “a blood level between 40 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml is a good target range”.

According to Consumer Lab, these are approved forms of Vitamin D: Webber Naturals® Calcium Citrate Vitamin D3, Garden of Life® mykind Organics Vegan D3 2,000 IU, and Nature Made Vitamin D3.

6. Combination supplements for "Joint health" may be a waste of time

There are always new supplements hitting the market especially targeting those with arthritis and chronic pain. Popular ingredients these tend to contain are glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, among others. Since supplements aren’t federally regulated, there is always a degree of skepticism of if they actually contain what they say they do. 

One recommendation Dr. Ann suggests is to check with Consumer Lab. They review all kinds of different supplements for quality and publicly post the information. 

These types of supplements should be in combination with inflammation reducing foods and a regular exercise routine. These should not be taken as your only defense against inflammation because they will not be effective. 

These joint combinations are one of those things that if you take them for a few months and you notice a change in pain, keep taking them. If you don’t notice a change, don’t waste your time with them. 

7. Turmeric is one of the most powerful inflammation reducing spices

Some take this in a capsule but Turmeric is one of the most powerful spices when it comes to tackling inflammation. This spice can work wonders for the human body because of the phytochemicals found in it. 

Turmeric is not only great for arthritis and other chronic pains, it also is magical for the brain. Adding a few dashes to food can make a profound difference on inflammation. If you are not a fan of it, you can also take it in a capsule form but make sure you talk to your doctor first.

Not sure which one to get? According to Consumer Lab, this is one of the most quality forms of turmeric.

8. Mother nature's sugar is not bad

Fruits are some of the top inflammation reducing foods out there. Many times we demonize all types of sugar but according to Dr. Ann this sugar is one of the necessities. There are some fruits that are more beneficial than others including: apples, citrus, berries, cantaloupe, and kiwi to start.

Now processed sugars on the other hand, we should stay away from. High fructose corn syrup is one of the main culprits. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “What’s even worse, Dr. Hyman notes, is high doses of fructose “punch little holes in your intestinal lining, causing what we call a leaky gut.” He explains that this allows foreign food proteins and bacterial proteins to enter into your bloodstream, which triggers inflammation, makes you gain weight and causes type 2 diabetes”

Natural sugars found in fruits are totally fine especially if you have arthritis. You want to try to consume at least 3-4 servings per day for optimum results. 

9. Vegetables should be your friend

Vegetables can provide vitamins, nutrients, and other anti-inflammatory properties especially for those struggling with osteoarthritis. It’s no secret vegetables are good for us but they are also a part of inflammation reducing foods group. 

Focusing on dark green leafy vegetables is key. Dr. Ann recommends broccoli sprouts, best ate raw. She loves adding them to salads to get her daily intake. 

Ideally, we want to get at least 4-5 servings of vegetables per day. One of the recommendations is to begin slowly adding more vegetables to your meals, i.e replacing typical dinner side from noodles to broccoli. Small wins can make all of the difference.

If you want to know the other foods that are a part of the inflammation reducing foods group, download our free ebook here.

10. Understand the power that food holds

Understand that you have the power to manage your inflammation, manage your arthritis pain, and manage your weight by what you are putting in your mouth. 

If we continue to be complacent with what we are putting in our bodies, we aren’t accepting responsibility for our health. 

The only way you will see positive changes in arthritic joints, overall mood, weight, and sleep quality- you have to change something. As Dr. Ann says, the greater the change you make, the greater the change you will see on the other side. 

Realize that you are holding the power.

11. inflammation reducing foods don't work alone

Food has one of the biggest impacts on our inflammation levels. What you are feeding your body up to 12-18 hours a day can make a dramatic difference on inflammation and therefore arthritis pain. 

Food is only one piece of the puzzle. The interesting thing, though, is when you eat healthier, you are more likely to participate in other healthy habits. This includes regular exercise, positive self-talk, and social engagements.

One of the most important things that works in conjunction with healthy eating is positive exercise routines. Our bodies are meant to eat plants and move. So we have to do those things in order to life a healthy life. There are some things that are out of our control but keeping these two things in line can dramatically reduce our risk for LOTS of chronic diseases.

12. There is a right type of exercise

Not all exercise is created equally, especially when dealing with arthritic joints. Exercise should not cause you significant pain if you are doing the right type of exercise. 

When we have arthritis it is important to make sure we are keeping our joints healthy. Contrary to popular belief, you are able to run, hike, bike, and do high impact activities like jumping with arthritis

Shocking right?! 

In order to continue to do these things or return to doing these things, it is important our joints are prepared.

Walking is a common form of exercise for those with arthritis. BUT If you are solely walking for exercise, there are potentially lots of other muscles you are neglecting that you might not even know! Walking isn’t inherently bad but variety is key to success with osteoarthritis- check out what you should be doing below.

13. A professional that listens to you can catapult you to success

It can be hard in the traditional medical system to find a healthcare professional that takes the time to listen to your concerns about inflammation and osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, most of the time we are told “no running, no jumping, lose weight, and exercise” and sent on our way. 

The problem is, most of the time, these general guidelines don’t lead to success. There is no plan. Without a plan or accountability, adherence can be really hard! 

At Keep the Adventure Alive we listen to your stores, we listen to your goals, and show you how to make them happen. 

For example, running is one of the first things that is ruled out with knee osteoarthritis which can be devastating, especially to those that love it. High impact activities are a close second.

We have helped our clients get back to running, enjoy hiking again, return to downhill skiing and more! 

We don’t want to be stuck on a path trying to figure out what we can do and instead end up giving up all activity! 

My main mission is to inject positivity and optimism into your diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Your life doesn’t have to end as you know it. With the right plan, dedication, and accountability- your dreams and goals can still come true. 

Learn more about our services here.

14. Action is key

If we don’t take action, our inflammation can become a real problem. Not only with more arthritis pain but other chronic disease such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, increased stroke risk, Alzheimer’s disease, and others! 

If you are currently on a path where you find yourself in pattern of eating foods that aren’t good for you and not moving or exercising, this path can be dangerous. 

In order to thrive with optimal health we need a combination of inflammation reducing foods, a regular exercise plan, and a positive mindset. 

We have to take action. We can’t wait for tomorrow. We can’t wait for someone else to start for us. You are responsible for your future.

Too often we see people are waiting too long to take action. The longer we wait, the deeper the hole is we have to try to climb out of. It’s time to take action today.

15. Believe you can do this

If you firmly believe that you can change your habits, you will. If you go into diet changes or new exercise programs with the mindset “this isn’t going to work”- it won’t. 

There has been so much research that you can reduce inflammation- you can change our arthritis pain. You don’t have to live in pain or in poor health just because you are 50, 60, etc. 

In this society, we tend to be reactive to our health. We wait until our pain is so severe or our health is so out of control before seeking help. Instead, the most success comes to those who are proactive. Understanding how to prevent chronic disease will allow you to lead a long, healthy, adventurous life. 

There aren’t any guarantees in life but it’s time to play your cards as best as you can for the best odds.

 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

running with knee arthritis

Running with Arthritis Knee Pain: 5 Things You NEED to Know From the Experts

Running with arthritis knee pain is actually possible, although many healthcare professionals are very quick to tell you that you can’t. What if you found out that running is actually good for your joints? Or that you don’t have to give up running because you have arthritic knees? Research has shown that running can help to rebuild cartilage and your joints need the ground reaction force in order to function properly! Running also helps to build lower body strength and stamina that are necessary for everyday life. 

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An all too common situation, how many of you can relate?:

You are out running and you start to feel moderate knee pain that doesn’t seem to go away, even if you try to ignore it.

You take a few days off and try to run again; the knee pain is back

After a month or two of rest. you try again and your knee pain is worse. You think to yourself, okay something must be wrong with my knee.

You go see a physician or a surgeon and they take an x-ray of your knee. 

You have signs of knee osteoarthritis” they say.

Unfortunately you can no longer run because you have virtually no cartilage left. Stick to low impact activities like swimming and biking.” 

You are left to walk out of the office with your head down because you LOVE running and now you can no longer do it for the rest of your life.

Raise your hand if you would be ecstatic if you found out you didn't have to give up running.

running with arthritis knee pain

One of the biggest misconceptions around arthritis is that running is bad for arthritic joints. This is simply not true.

You are in fact able to run with knee arthritis.

I recently chatted with Brodie Sharpe, a physiotherapist based out of Melbourne, Australia who specializes in treating runners of all ages.

We had such an empowering conversation I wanted to make sure you knew these TOP 5 things that we talked about.

If you want to run but have been told you have a form of knee arthritis or are dealing with chronic knee pain, you won’t want to stop reading!

The good news!

Oftentimes we are told that “running causes further damage to our joints” and high impact activities are going to “make arthritis worse”.

But, contrary to popular belief, research has told us over and over again that running is beneficial to the cartilage of our joints. 

Look at what this study found:

“Among individuals over 50 years of age with knee [osteoarthritis], running was not associated with longitudinal worsening knee pain or radiographically defined structural progression.”

Running with knee arthritis pain can be tricky but we will be the first to tell you that it is possible.

I recently had a client who was diagnosed with knee arthritis and totally related to the situation described above. She was told she had to stop running and buy a recumbent bike for her home. She used running not only for physical health but mental health as well. She was so sad that she had to give it up.

She lost all hope and gained a hatred for the recumbent bike. She decided to search out some of her options and stumbled upon Keep the Adventure Alive. 

We met and she was SO excited there was hope again. After dedication and commitment she is back out on the trails, feeling better than ever.

She believed it was possible and learned so much about her arthritis along the way. Turns out, she was believing all the wrong things. We want to clear these things up for you below! 

5 Things you must know about running with arthritis knee pain

Here are the most important topics we discussed in the interview above. For more details, watch the full interview!

  1. Pain does not mean damage. Usually, when we experience pain, that signals in our brain that something is wrong. Pain is what triggers most people to stop running, especially when they are exhibiting other signs of arthritis like joint stiffness and instability. Discomfort and mild pain levels are actually okay when running and it doesn’t mean your joint is getting more damaged!
  2. Our joints need stress! If we only rely on low impact exercise like swimming and cycling, we could actually be doing our joints a disservice. Our cartilage can get weakened if we don’t put stress through our joints. The popular beliefs about arthritis make us think that the more we “rest” and the “less stress we put through our joints the better”. Following these thoughts are likely making your pain worse. 
  3. Don’t forget about cross training. Adding in strength training exercises into your week can make or break your success in running with arthritis knee pain. Maintaining your leg strength can make running feel so much easier and enjoyable. The stronger your legs are, the more support your joints will feel. We agreed that the most important exercises are squats, step ups, single leg squats, single leg balance and hopping (wait, I can JUMP with arthritis, tell me more!).
  4. Be aware of your running volume. If you experience pain flares and swelling during or up to 48 hours after a run, this could be a sign that your joints aren’t happy with the amount you are running. They may be saying “hey, let’s maybe not run so much next week”. This is common when we have a sudden spike in how many miles we are running in a week, likely if you are training for a race or event. If you start having pain, it could simply be a volume issue! 
  5. Take the time to learn. The hardest part about running with arthritis knee pain is weeding through all of the common myths that are out there. We have to keep moving, we have to keep exercising. If we stop, pain will likely get worse. Often we think that arthritis is caused by “wear and tear” thus making us think that movement is harming our joints. In reality, movement is doing the absolute opposite, our cartilage LOVES exercise (learn more about specific exercise benefits here). 

Running is actually recommended if you have knee arthritis! In order to set yourself up for success, you have to make sure your mind and your joints are ready to take on the miles ahead. 

One of the first things you can do is download the TOP 3 Myths About Knee Pain That Almost EVERYONE Believes. You can get it instantly below. 

Once you read these three myths, your mind will change regarding your arthritis. If you believe you can do it, you’re already 75% of the way there. With arthritis, our mind can oftentimes get in the way more than our actual pain can. 

Finding a healthcare professional that you trust and won’t just tell you to give up running is KEY. There are definitely ways you can keep running with knee arthritis pain, don’t let someone take away your dreams.

We want you to know that running is possible.

You can do this. If you would like to know more running specific information, follow Brodie’s Run Smarter Podcast!

Don’t give up on something you love. We can make it happen! If you would like more support, head on over and join our FREE Private Facebook Community.

stairs with knee arthritis

5 Things to Avoid When it Comes to Stairs with Knee Arthritis: The TRUTH About How To Stop Dreading Stairs And Hills

Stairs can seem frustrating, scary, and dreadful if you are experiencing knee arthritis. What if I told you it was possible to stop dreading stairs with knee arthritis if you avoided these five things?! Well, it’s true! If you avoid cluttering stairs, limping, carrying objects, losing balance, and surrendering- your life will change. I have seen it happen over and over again with so many people who thought they would never be able to climb up or down stairs “normally” again! Learn more below.

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We asked real people living with knee arthritis how they felt about stairs…can you relate?

“Stairs is just awkward for me. It’s not the pain that’s the worst, although I have a little pain, it’s just really awkward.”

I’m always frightened of falling downstairs.”

“Going up and down stairs are a problem for me. I have 35 stairs from my front door to my car! Kills me every day!”

I do better going down stairs instead of upstairs. The pain is horrible. I have 6 stairs to get in my house and 6 steps up from kitchen to den. It’s really difficult.”

“I’m not too good at stairs with knee arthritis no matter which direction I’m going! This is why I have a single level home”

“It’s hard for me to watch my young grandkids because they always want to go up and down the stairs and I can’t keep up!”

Have any of you felt this way before about stairs with knee arthritis?!

Turns out that many people think stairs are actually HARMFUL to your joints. The answer is actually quite the opposite! You can read a previous post where I explain if stairs are good for osteoarthritis!
Let’s learn a little more…
stairs with knee arthritis

The problem with stairs and knee arthritis

One of my recent clients was actually fearful of stairs because she thought going up and down the stairs actually made her knee arthritis worse! And let me tell you, she’s not the only one. In the comments above, others feel the exact same way. People have changed where they live because of the pain. 

So, why are stairs such a problem?!

For a majority of people, going down the stairs can be more difficult than going up. This is because you are trying to control your leg against gravity trying to pull it down. Without the right amount of strength, this becomes very difficult and puts abnormal stress through your knee joints.

If you have difficulty going up the stairs and feel like you are death gripping the railing, strength deficits are likely also at play here too. When climbing the stairs with knee arthritis, you have to be able to support your entire body weight. If you can’t, this is where the railing can become super helpful.

In both of these scenarios, this abnormal loading over and over again can lead to more pain. Struggling up and down the stairs can be extremely limiting to daily life along with any adventures you may go on! Hills act the same way. 

Avoiding certain movements and behaviours can help you tackle any stairs and/or hills that come your way. 

Understand what is possible

Before we go any further, I want you to know that climbing stairs with knee arthritis won’t damage your joint IF your joints are ready for it! The idea of learning the things to avoid is going to set you up for success in preparing your knees to climb stairs with ease. But first, I want to give you a sneak peek into some of the things my clients did to make stairs a breeze now. 

What should you avoid when climbing stairs?

1. If you have pain with stairs, avoid trying to carry anything in your hands.

Okay, but who is going to carry the laundry or the holiday decorations up and down the stairs?! 

This is a common mistake that can be very dangerous especially if you are not confident in your ability to go up and down the stairs. 

If your joint is experiencing abnormal loading already due to strength deficits and lack of muscle control, adding on extra weight can make things much more painful. Having one hand occupied can also be dangerous to your balance if you are not confident in your knee(s). 

If you need to carry we recommend using a bag that you can put over your shoulder to carry up or down the stairs. Those reusable grocery bags work great for this. You could also use a drawstring bag for small items too! 

When carrying something larger, you can set it on the stairs and move it up as you go. Coming down may be a little trickier with larger objects. One safe way to do this could be going down the stairs backwards, moving the object down to the stair 1-2  above you.

Both ways can be helpful if you need to take something up or down the stairs with you without sacrificing your safety! Stairs do require extra concentration when carrying and maneuvering objects, so it is crucial you only try what you are comfortable with!  

2. Avoid cluttering stairs with loose objects

messy stairs

This one is pretty straightforward. When tackling stairs with pain, any distraction or obstacle becomes even more dangerous. Keeping stairs clear can make your journey up and down so much easier! 

3. Avoid limping up or down the stairs

I know this can sound very challenging because when we find ourselves limping we usually don’t have the control to stop. This can lead to a higher fall risk down the stairs, especially if you don’t have confidence in your leg(s).

There are strategies you can use to help prevent limping when going up or down the stairs. Let’s take a look:

  • Using a stair rail can likely provide the support you need, especially when going up the stairs. Ideally, there would be rails on both sides  
  • Using a cane can be extremely helpful, even if it is just temporary or if you use it during a flare up.

Also it is important to note that when you are limping, you are putting abnormal loads through parts of your joints that may not appreciate it. The goal is to keep your walking and stair climbing as normal as possible (I know it is easier said than done!). The less compensations we can learn, the happier our joints will be. 

4. Avoid losing your balance

This answer is two-fold because the obvious is DUH! you don’t want to lose your balance and fall down the stairs. This becomes much more of an issue if you don’t train your balance. Goes with the saying “Use it or LOSE it!”

When you are doing stairs with knee arthritis and really, arthritis in any joint, balance is critical. Not only so you don’t fall but balance is one way your body uses to support yourself.

When going up and down the stairs, you are asking each leg to carry your entire body weight for a brief period of time. To keep your balance and allow for this to happen without pain, you need your muscles to all be on the same page. This is what balance is.

If they aren’t on the same page, you will end up with more pain and more difficulty with going up and down the stairs. The good news? There is an easy way to fix this. 

This is a great video to start with to improve your single leg balance:

But these alone may not be enough. Many times I find that people have more success with a plan in place. With our 3 Stair Climbing Secrets Program Every Go Getter with Arthritis Needs to Know  you will learn exactly what it takes to improve your balance enough to be able to tackle any stairs or hills that come your way! 

5. Avoid throwing in the white flag with stairs

Stairs and hills can be frustrating and so painful to our joints if we don’t take the right steps towards success. Cheryl, a client of mine, was going  up the stairs one at a time with a death grip on the railing for the past 3 years. She thought this is what life will be like forever.

We began working together and after 5 weeks, she was climbing up the stairs one after the other and was shocked that it finally did not have to take her 30 minutes to navigate a flight of stairs!

Without action, she would have continued to get slower and weaker, to the point where she would’ve had to move her bedroom downstairs! I have seen it happen time and time again. 

We have to get in front of our knee pain and realize that we can actually change our pain. Want to know the biggest thing that is standing in your way? What you believe about your knee pain. Most of the time, the things we think that are true about our knee pain can be the very things that are holding us back on activities like the stairs.

What if I told you that I created a guide just for you, explaining each of these 3 myths so that way you don’t have to try to weed through all of the information out there to decide what is true and what isn’t. 

Even better? It’s free. Download below.

Conclusion:

There are things you can avoid when climbing up and down stairs that can make your experience so much easier and with much less pain! This is true even for those with knee arthritis. Follow the above recommendations can make stairs with knee arthritis much more doable.

Understanding that stairs are not bad for arthritic knees and taking the valid steps to improving ability can make a world of difference. As a physical therapist I have seen it happen time and time again! 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

is jumping safe for osteoarthritis?

Is Jumping Safe for Osteoarthritis?: Why You Should Be Doing Jumping Exercises in 2021

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Contrary to popular belief, jumping is actually very beneficial if you have mild osteoarthritis. Jumping exercises can slow down progression of knee osteoarthritis and osteoporosis when done correctly. According to the research, “the most important novel finding was that patellar cartilage quality can be improved with the kind of high-impact jumping exercise that has been shown to be beneficial for bone integrity. Importantly, this kind of impact exercise is well tolerated and, in addition, is not harmful to tibiofemoral cartilage” Jumping can improve bone density and improve the cartilage make up instead of hurting it! The most important thing is to make sure your body is ready to add jumping into your training! Let’s find out more.

Muscular weakness is common with osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis. This is due to changing mechanics primarily due to joint pain. Many times we decrease physical activity or change our activity to adapt to the pain. With the muscle weakness that usually accompanies decreased activity, knee osteoarthritis can continue to get worse. A systematic review found that with increased weakness to the knee extensors (thigh muscles), there is a 1.65 fold chance knee osteoarthritis symptoms will become worse.

We know that muscle strengthening is good for osteoarthritis as it builds support around the joint and promotes evenly distributed pressure in the joint. The muscles help to absorb some of the shock. With muscular weakness, your joint will take more of the stress, more than it is prepared for, thus pain. You can learn more about the benefits of exercise here.

Why jumping?

Jumping is one way to build not only muscular strength but muscular power which is strength + speed. Muscular power is extremely important for daily activities like stair climbing, climbing hills, running, and even walking. The more power your legs have, the more efficient they are at doing just daily activities. Jumping also increases bone density, particularly in the hip which can help to prevent hip fractures later in life.

Research has shown that decreased muscular leg power is inversely related to knee osteoarthritis symptoms. This means on average, the less leg power, the further progression of osteoarthritis. So, thus the more muscular power, the better your osteoarthritis symptoms such as pain and instability could be!

Research has also shown with general aging, we begin to lose muscular power. With less muscular power, our muscles are not as efficient as they once were and this can then contribute to joint pain and osteoarthritis. This loss of muscular power can be attenuated with high intensity exercises such as jumping. With decreasing power, even daily life activities could become very difficult to complete.

Another study found that muscular power is a significant determinant of knee pain and quality of life. This research has also found that more muscular power can significantly improve your walking ability, ability to go up and down stairs, and squatting.

High intensity exercises like jumping can be one way to build stronger legs but is jumping safe for osteoarthritis?!

If you are able to master jumping with osteoarthritis this could be indicative of the ability to keep adventures alive that include skiing, hiking, biking, and running! You don’t have to automatically give these things up! Read on to see the further benefits.

Is Jumping Safe for Osteoarthritis?

Contrary to popular belief, it can be possible to participate in higher intensity training if you have osteoarthritis.

There have been various studies looking at the feasibility and effectiveness of high intensity activities such as jump training with those with mild osteoarthritis. One in particular, looked at women with menopause who were exhibiting symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. They completed a high intensity exercise plan that increased in intensity 3 times per week.

“Our exercise program had positive effects on patellar cartilage quality, that is, on the structural properties of the collagenous fiber architecture and water content…in postmenopausal women with mild tibiofemoral and patellofemoral OA. Thus, these results highlight the importance of physical activity for knee cartilage characteristics.”

Effects of Exercise on Patellar Cartilage in Women with Mild Knee Osteoarthritis

In this same study, out of the 80 participants, there were only 6 participants that experienced joint pain and there were no adverse effects over the 12 month program. We have muscular power to gain, without any negative changes to the cartilage!

It is important to note that jumping has been studied primarily with patients with knee osteoarthritis but can be applicable across other joints. It is also important to note that it is plausible in most mild stages of osteoarthritis, stages 1 and 2, but may not be in more severe cases. You can learn more about the 5 stages of osteoarthritis in this post.

So is jumping safe for osteoarthritis? In most mild cases, the answer is likely yes. There are lots of things to consider though before you go pick up that jump rope! Muscular power is extremely important but we need to make sure we have a few things in order before we start adding it to training.

What to consider before jumping

Jumping is possible, but it is important to take into consideration making sure your body is ready for it. These are some things to make sure you are able to do before adding jumping into your training. You will want to make sure you have a well-designed program from a trusted health professional to make sure you are adequately prepared. Here are a few things to make sure you can master first:

  • adequate lower body strength (i.e being able to squat without pain or support)
  • the ability to stand on one foot for at least 30 seconds
  • the ability to walk for at least 1 mile without significant increase in pain

Remember, these are just a few guidelines that we consider before adding in jump training. If we add it in too early, you could experience more pain. If your body is ready, you could experience decreased pain, increased ability to do the things you love, and improved quality of life!

Preparation for jump training

In order to prepare yourself to add jumping to your training, there are a few movements you should master first. It is important to make sure you can master these with control and without exacerbation of pain. Once you are able to complete these 3 exercises confidently for at least 3-4 weeks, then you can look into beginning to add jump training into your sessions!

As mentioned previously, it is very important to seek out personalized assistance in order to get the best results as these are general recommendations.

Let’s look further into these next 3 exercises.

1. Single Leg Supported Squat

Single leg strength is critical for your legs to adequately handle beginning to add higher impact exercises. Not only is it important to have the appropriate strength to complete the exercise without pain but also to complete this exercise with the correct form. It is also vital that both legs have equal strength. Imbalances can lead to compensations.

2. Reverse Lunges Without Support

The ability to complete reverse lunges without pain and with symmetrical strength is important to establish before you begin higher intensity exercises. You can begin with support as you are getting stronger and then can progress to without support.

3. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a great test for working the muscles that are necessary for jump training. This exercise starts to incorporate power but in a more controlled setting than jumping does. These are our favorite kettlebells that are very affordable.

How often should you be jumping?

For jump training to be safe for osteoarthritis, we have to avoid doing too much, just like any other exercise. There is a sweet spot that is a little different for everyone depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis. 

The idea is to begin to gradually incorporate various jumping exercises, aside from just jumping up and down. If you begin with <20 reps total on one occasion to start, this will be a safe way to understand how your body responds. This can continue twice per week if you don’t notice increase in pain or swelling afterwards.

The goal is to work up to 50-75 jumps per week split up over 3 days as long as you have no adverse reactions. Ideally, you would then alternate jump training every other week.

The best way to start incorporating jump training is to do it with support so your body is able to get used to the movements. The patients we have worked with have said that the TRX bands are much more doable and a lot less scary to start! 

Here are some examples of different jumps you can do. Most of them are with support using these TRX bands which we highly recommend to start out with. 

  1. TRX Double jumps: Youtube video
  2. TRX Single leg jumps: YouTube video
  3. Lateral hops with control: YouTube video
  4. Lateral hops unsupported: YouTube video 
  5. TRX high knees: YouTube video

Conclusion

So is jumping safe for osteoarthritis? The answer is yes, you don’t have to rule out higher level impact activities with an osteoarthritis diagnosis, contrary to popular belief. This is with the consideration of mild osteoarthritis, particularly stages 1 and 2. 

Jumping is an effective way to improve muscular power which is correlated with less joint pain and higher quality of life. Without adding higher impact training, you risk losing muscular power which can make daily activities hard to complete in the future.

Keep in mind, each person’s experience with osteoarthritis is different. So it’s important to listen to your body when you are preparing yourself to begin jump training. Making sure you are aware of how your body is recovering and leaving enough time between the next training session is important. 

The goal is to work up to 50-75 jumps per week spread out over 3 sessions. Then alternate jump training every other week or even every 2 weeks depending on how you feel. 

Now that we know power training may be appropriate for you and your joint pain, the next step is to download the FREE Ultimate Arthritis Guide. You can improve pain drastically by having multiple different avenues. I want to show you the top 5 secrets to getting rid of joint pain forever. Fill out the form below to download instantly!

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site. 

This article contains affiliate links that offer us a small commission without any cost to you.

arthritis exercise equipment

TOP Arthritis Exercise Equipment: Build a Home Gym for Less than $200

Exercise and movement can move mountains if you are struggling with arthritis. Getting the most out of your workouts is dependent on the equipment you have. The top arthritis exercise equipment includes hip resistance bands, kettlebell, sandbell, TRX straps, and more. This exercise equipment can be powerful to help you build strength to support your joints with arthritis-friendly exercises.

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When we see our clients, our main goal is to show them that it is possible to do arthritis-friendly workouts at home. We recommend the following budget friendly equipment to get the right amount of resistance to continue to make gains. Home gyms don’t have to be full of expensive equipment to be effective. There are certain pieces of exercise equipment that will bring you more bang for your buck.

We have been working with people suffering from osteoarthritis pain for the past few years and we have perfected our list for arthritis-friendly exercise equipment and cannot wait to share it with you. We know exercise is one of the best things we can do to combat osteoarthritis pain. If you want more details on the benefits of exercise with osteoarthritis, read the post here.

Table of Contents

Top Arthritis Exercise equipment you need in your home gym

1. Kettlebell

A kettlebell is a powerful exercise tool that is versatile for both upper and lower body exercises. We personally love the kettlebell because there are many different exercises you can use with one simple tool. It is different from a dumbbell because the handle and the bell shape allows for safe, dynamic movements. 

According to the 18 benefits of using a kettlebell, “By regularly doing kettlebell workouts, you will rapidly develop the major muscles of your hips, core, shoulders, and neck too…and these are all vital aspects of having good posture and a strong backside.”

Kettlebells allow you to combine movements which leads to increased stamina as well as increased calorie burn. This then helps fuel fat loss which is important when dealing with osteoarthritis.

These muscles are extremely important especially with knee, low back, or hip arthritis. Our favorite kettlebell exercises include kettlebell goblet squats, kettlebell deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and kettlebell overhead press. Watch the video below for examples on how to complete these above exercises.

Our go-to budget-friendly kettlebell is the Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettlebell. They range from $1-$2 a pound, which is a great price for a kettlebell. You can check it out here. 

The weight you choose is dependent on your fitness level. A 10lb or 15lb kettlebell would be appropriate if you are just starting out. We have had clients work up to a 25lb and even 35lb after working with us for 8-10 visits. 

The nice thing about kettlebells is you can have a lighter weight that you use for overhead presses and upper body exercises and a heavier bell you can use for deadlifts, swings, and other leg exercises.

Budget: 15lb kettlebell: ~$30

2. TRX bands

We love these TRX bands, especially when you are starting out with exercise. Adding support to exercises can help to decrease pain and improve range of motion. 

These straps can easily hang from any door in your home, providing bodyweight support to common exercises like squats and lunges that are typically painful with arthritis. 

The TRX bands incorporate core strength with almost every exercise due to the set up and the instability of the straps. You can complete upper body, lower body, and full body exercises. You can also add in dynamic exercises such as jumping and balance exercises which can dramatically help reduce joint pain. 

The video below shows our favorite exercises that we use with our clients regularly. You can find more exercises in this blog post

You can find these bands for less than $80 here. It is a steal for how beneficial these bands are and are a must for arthritis exercise equipment.

TRX bands: ~$70

3. Hip Circle Resistance Bands

These bands are an absolute must for arthritis pain relief. We love using this small circle resistance bands for lower body exercises to help strengthen the muscles that typically get neglected. 

Adding these bands to exercises like squats can improve form and help to decrease knee pain. You can use these bands to help improve posture and upper body strength as well to help with shoulder and neck osteoarthritis. 

These bands typically come in sets of 5 with varying resistances. We usually use the lighter resistance bands for upper body exercises and the heavier resistance for lower body exercises.

Here are some examples of the best exercises to improve your posture along with building upper body strength using one of these resistance bands. We can get creative with these and improve aerobic capacity and stamina too. 

You can get a set of these bands for under $20 here and they are worth every penny in our eyes.

Resistance bands: ~$20

4. Sandbell

This piece of exercise equipment is great to challenge grip strength, especially if you have a history of hand osteoarthritis. Grip strength is extremely important for longevity. Recently there has been research about the importance of grip strength in correlation with other health markers. 

For example, “Researchers say grip strength can predict your overall strength and health, as well as your risk of cardiovascular disease. As you age, the stronger your grip, the more likely you are to survive diseases like cancer.”

The sandbell is similar to a kettlebell but is a soft sack full of small beads that gives it weight. This is a great alternative if you have a difficult time holding onto dumbbells because of hand pain. 

If you have never heard of the sandbell, watch the video below to see sample exercises and how the sandbell works. Essentially, you hang onto the beads in the bell through the exercise. Since the bell is soft, you can complete throws and slams- which you aren’t able to do with dumbbells or kettlebells.

We would recommend 8-10lb bags for beginner to moderate fitness levels. People of moderate-advanced fitness level may be able to use 12-15lb bags.

An 8lb bag costs approximately $30 and can be used in supplementation with the other arthritis exercise equipment listed in this post. At this price, we would highly recommend adding one of these to your collection. Get a sandbell here

Sandbell 8lb: $30

5. Hand strengtheners

Speaking of grip strength, there are specific tools you can use to improve your hand strength and maintain finger mobility. This is extremely important if you are beginning to have signs of osteoarthritis in your hands. 

These tools are very inexpensive and are worth having accessible during the day so you can continue to promote blood flow in your hands. It is important to keep your fingers mobile so you can keep function for opening jars, holding onto grandkids, and holding onto smaller objects. 

These tools below are great to help with grip strength and they offer different levels of resistance. Most that are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis will likely stay with the lower resistances to avoid flaring up pain or over-stressing the muscles. 

This variety pack is one that we recommend due to the variety of tools that are included and you can’t beat the price! Get the variety pack here for under $20. 

Hand strengtheners: ~$15

hand strengtheners

6. Resistance bands

The longer resistance bands or “stretchy bands” are extremely important to help with core and upper body strength, both vital for proper posture. If you are dealing with arthritis in your spine or in your shoulder, these are a must have. 

These resistance bands are commonly used in physical therapy for all sorts of conditions. They are especially important for osteoarthritis pain relief when used correctly by adding resistance through range of motion. 

There are also lots of core exercises you can do with these resistance bands too! There is a video below that shows examples of exercises you can do for a stronger core. Your core is the foundation for almost all movement so it is important to pay attention to!

These resistance bands usually come in a pack of 3-5 different resistances. You typically only need about 3 different resistances. These run between $10-$20 and can be a great addition to a home gym. We use these bands mostly for warm up and cool downs. We like this pack the best, you can get them here.

Resistance bands: ~$15

Conclusion

Total: $180 for 6 items!

These 6 tools are a great way to start a home gym that will be the best bang for your buck, especially for arthritis friendly exercises. The idea is to be able to complete bodyweight exercises before adding weight. We recommend starting with the TRX straps and hip circle resistance bands and progressing to the kettlebells and sandbell.

If you are looking for more guidance on how to get started, check out our Arthritis Workout Planner for a very easy way to plan out your workouts. This planner accommodates beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness levels. In order to get rid of osteoarthritis pain, it is important you use the right progression of exercises.

Dr. Alyssa Kuhn has created this workout planner with proven exercises that have helped hundreds of people find joint pain relief. These exercises are easily completed at home and take no longer than 15 minutes to complete!

Learn more Here

The Arthritis Workout Planner- making it easy to create your own workouts without flaring up your arthritis pain!

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

This article contains affiliate links that pay us a small commission without any cost to you.

adventure outdoors with arthritis

15 Products You Need to Adventure Outdoors with Arthritis

It is possible to adventure outdoors with arthritis and there are products that can help make your joints so much happier in the process. The most popular products include: trekking poles, compression gloves, topical gels, knee braces, elastic shoe laces, and more. Whether you are going for a hike, going for a swim, traveling, or going on another outdoor adventure- here are 15 products you can use to make your life easier.

15 Products to Adventure Outdoors with Arthritis

1. Trekking poles

hiking with trekking poles
Here is my mother demonstrating the use of trekking poles.

Trekking poles can be a life saver, especially when you are planning to walk long distances that are normally difficult for you. Using trekking poles can help normalize your walking pattern, allow you to take bigger steps, and feel more confident on uneven ground. Walking using trekking poles can also be referred to as nordic walking.

Many times when hiking, you may encounter hills. With knee or low back arthritis going up or down hills can be pain provoking at times. Trekking poles help to decrease the load that is going through your joints by distributing more of the force through your arms and thus the poles. 

One study found that nordic walking, “decreases compensatory pelvic rotation, protects the hip joint by decreasing the muscle activity of the hip abductors, and inhibits overused low back muscles.” They also found that your core muscles are more active, increasing the stabilization and control of your trunk which is very helpful to take pressure off of your spine.

These trekking poles are my favorite and are at a decent price (around $35)! I would highly recommend if you have knee, hip, or low back arthritis to grab a set of these before you take off on your next walking or hiking adventure.

2. Extended shoe horn

extended shoe horn

Putting shoes on can be quite the chore. Putting hiking shoes, boots, or even simple walking shoes can be a real pain. If you have a hard time bending over or have hands that just don’t want to be 100% cooperative, these can save you so much time and frustration.

For less than $10, I recommend this extended shoe horn. It’s one of those things that you don’t know how you lived without it. It makes for a nice tool to have in case you are having a pain flare or are feeling stiffer than normal. 

3. Toe Separators

toe separator

If you are dealing with bunions or other conditions that lead to misaligned toes, plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, you might consider a toe separator. 

The idea is that toe separators help to restore normal movement in your foot. Doing this you can improve your arch strength and blood flow to your plantar fascia, which is the tendon that goes along the inside of your foot. To adventure outdoors with arthritis, it is important to take care of your feet! 

They can also make you feel more balanced especially if walking on uneven ground. Walking longer distances can be challenging at first wearing a toe separator because you are essentially changing the way your body is used to walking. This is okay, it just takes some getting used to! Go into using these gradually and speak to your podiatrist first if you have a history of wounds on your feet or diabetes.

I would recommend these toe separators. You can also use these for when you get back from hiking, walking, skiing, or whichever adventure you are off on. They can help stretch the muscles in your feet to keep your mobility and continue to help you walk more efficiently and pain free.

 

4. Pocket dresser

pocket dresser

When we adventure outdoors, it may require layers of coats, vests, button ups, flannel shirts, and other clothing items that might be frustrating to put on if you have hand arthritis. 

This Pocket Dresser can help with virtually any clothing item including zippers and buttons. Having trouble with those pesky shoe lack knots? This can help with that too! For less than $20 this is a great tool to have when you are getting ready to adventure outdoors. Check it out here.

5. Foam roller

Foam rollers can be beneficial for a warm up or a recovery session before you adventure outdoors with arthritis. Posture is key when you are doing activities that require lots of walking, running, or climbing. Foam rollers can improve your mobility in your upper back which directly impacts your shoulders and lower back. 

Spending 10 minutes before you leave or after you come back can prevent you from dealing with pain during your adventure or “paying for it” later. The exercises for your upper back are simple, yet effective. You can also increase blood flow to the muscles in your legs to help prevent stiffness. 

Watch this video below to know exactly which exercises will help improve your posture. Make sure you pick up a foam roller like this one first.

6. Knee Compression sleeves

Knee compression sleeves have a plethora of benefits when you are dealing with pesky knee pains. These compression sleeves are inexpensive can bring significant relief during and after activity. They do this through improving blood flow with compression, decreasing swelling, keeping your joint warm, and improving your sense of stability. 

Dr. Howard Luks, Orthopedic Surgeon in NY states, “with better blood flow, your synovial membrane is open to a steady supply of nourishing oxygen and nutrients and synovial fluid can lubricate the joint.” The health of your synovial membrane is vital when it comes to preventing further progression of osteoarthritis and keeping pain levels down. 

I recommend these knee compression sleeves which are made of a compression fabric without any hard support pieces. I usually only recommend the braces with the hard support pieces if you have extensive knee instability or have been prescribed one by an orthopedic physician as they can potentially limit range of motion, change your walking mechanics, and compensate for your muscles.

7. Compression Socks

If you are on your feet for longer periods of time or if you are at higher altitudes, including traveling on airplanes, gravity acts to bring fluid in your body down to your ankles. When this happens, it can make your legs feel stiff and heavy.

Here are some benefits of compression socks to consider during adventures outdoors:

The key is making sure they are the right size for you, and not too tight. When they are too tight, you may notice a painful, red indent which can break open with too much shear force. Many times, a measurement around the meaty part of your calf can be a good indication of the size you will need.

I recommend these knee high compression socks which are best if your lower leg or feet swell. You can also get shorter compression socks if you primarily notice foot swelling and dislike the knee high version. 

8. topical creams

Topical creams can be very helpful when trying to keep joint pain manageable especially when adventuring with arthritis. Whether you are hiking, cycling, running, skiing, snow shoeing, etc. this may help to maintain pain relief. Since you aren’t ingesting anything, these are usually low risk, unless you are allergic to the ingredients. 

There are many different kinds of creams and ointments that can help with arthritis pain relief. Keep in mind everyone does respond differently so what works for one person may not work for you. Being that there are many options, don’t get discouraged! 

Here are three popular options from the 6 BEST Arthritis Creams of 2021

Each of these products is relatively inexpensive for the amount of relief they can bring you. They are worth trying if you are heading out for an adventure and don’t want to be bogged down or distracted by arthritis pain. Always check ingredients and check with your doctor to prevent allergic reactions or other adverse side effects.

9. Compression gloves

arthritis compression gloves

Compression gloves work great if you are heading out to do any adventure that involves using your hands- skiing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, etc. It is important to prevent your hands from getting stiff or painful when relying on them for your activity. 

These compression gloves can help prevent swelling for the same reasons as the compression socks listed above (number 7). When at higher altitudes, you may notice your fingers start to swell whether you have osteoarthritis or not. 

These gloves have been praised by those who have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis to keep your hands functioning properly. For less than $20 they can make your adventure so much more enjoyable. Get some here. 

10. Walking Shoes

It is important to take care of your feet and give them the support they need when taking on adventures outdoors with arthritis. Making sure you have the right shoes is a MUST. 

Trying to walk longer distances in older, unsupportive shoes can be a recipe for disaster not just for your feet but your hips, knees, and low back! Usually it is recommended to replace shoes about once every 1-2 years depending on how much you use them.

There are lots of options out there, but according to the 10 Best Shoes for Arthritic Feet, here are some of the recommended options: (all 3 of these come in both men’s and women’s options):  

  •  Orthofeet Men’s Edgewater Sneakers: These sneakers are made with a therapeutic design that allows for relief of heel or foot pain while giving the right amount of support. They have a wide toe area but also come in wide widths as well so you can get the perfect fit. A little more on the expensive end but customers say its totally worth it.
  • Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe: this one is budget friendly but still gives support through a high arch while staying lightweight.
  • Brooks Women’s Addiction Walking Shoe: According to this top 10 list, “Brooks Addiction Walker is one of the few professional podiatrists’ and chiropractors’ most recommended shoes for individuals with arthritic conditions.” This one can be on the pricier end as well but has benefits such as high quality tread, support for lower arches, and a shock absorbing sole.
  • KURU Footwear is local to Salt Lake City and has a great CHICANE shoe for both Men and Women that is very durable. These shoes are known for being extremely supportive. Check out KURU here.

11. Ergonomic Waist pack

hiking fanny pack for adventure outdoors

Many times, backpacks can increase our low back or hip pain if they aren’t ergonomically sound or too heavy! I love the waist packs, which are essentially a more durable fanny pack. These can help keep weight lower on your center of gravity which can decrease the stress to your low back. 

The only downfall is you usually cannot fit a ton of stuff in here so they are great for quick trips but will not be sufficient for long backpacking trips. Even if you are just going for a shorter walk, these can be convenient to keep water bottles handy so you can stay hydrated. 

This Waterfly fanny pack is under $25 and has been shown to be a safe way to carry your phone, snacks, water, and other small objects without increasing your joint pain! Check it out here.

12. Patella strap knee brace

patella knee strap for adventure outdoors with arthritis

If you will be doing any downhill activity including hiking, walking, or skiing, your patellar tendons (tendon underneath your knee cap) may begin to get irritated. 

These braces are inexpensive and can provide compression to the tendons to help with pain relief. These braces don’t typically inhibit your movement nor change your mechanics which is important to consider when choosing a brace. 

These can be particularly helpful if you have a history of a meniscus injury, knee osteoarthritis, or patellar tendon injury. For less than $20 these can make going downhill much more manageable. You can use one if only one leg is bothering you, or both if you looking for relief on both sides. Check them out here.

13. Elastic shoe laces

Tying shoe laces can be a task, especially if you have hand or wrist osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. For under $15 you can get laces for your shoes that are SO much easier to manage. Elastic laces can be added to almost any pair of shoes so you can get them on and off easier.

These are great to have in case you are having a joint flare or noticing more hand stiffness. That way you can still get your shoes on without having to fight with them. 

These can be useful not only during adventures outdoors but also in daily life too! Check them out here. 

14. Cane

I know assistive devices aren’t usually everyone’s favorite but they can be so helpful, especially if you find yourself starting to limp because of knee, hip, ankle, or foot pain. The more we limp, the more we change our normal walking pattern. This can actually lead to MORE pain, which we definitely don’t want.

A cane can help us to even out our walking and prevent further limping. These are great if you are having increased joint pain but still want to go on a planned adventure. They can help you walk further and decrease the amount of stress on your joints. 

This cane is one of our favorites because it travels so easily by folding up and also has tips that allow it to stand up in case you have to set it down. 

For less than $20 it is a great thing to have even if it is “just in case”. Many times with osteoarthritis a flare up can catch us off guard and we don’t want our adventure ruined because of it. It’s better to be prepared! Check out this cane here. 

15. TENS unit

According to tensunits.com, “A TENS unit aims to relieve pain by sending electrical currents that disrupt pain signals to the brain and to release endorphins that make the mind and body feel better through chemical means without using any prescription medication.”

These can be a great tool for recovery after activity or may even be able to be worn during activity on a low setting, depending on what you are doing.

You use sticky pads which carry the current and place them directly on your skin. The electrical current is adjustable based on the effect you are looking for. Low settings which are typically used for pain relief resemble a massage. Bringing blood flow to the area to help with decreasing inflammation and allowing your muscles to relax. 

These tend to work great for low back pain as well as knee pain, primarily on larger muscle groups. You can learn more here! 

Adventure outdoors with arthritis

Adventuring with osteoarthritis is possible. We just have to be prepared. Listen to your body. Make sure your body is ready. This can be done with appropriate training, the right gear as explained above, and the right attitude. You can do this. Outdoor adventures can be beneficial not only physically, but mentally as well! Adventures outdoors with arthritis are possible, so choose your own adventure and let’s get started!

With knee osteoarthritis in particular, there are so many myths that can prevent you from living out your adventures! The things we believe about our pain can dramatically affect what we are able to do! That is why we have created the FREE Ebook about the “Top 3 Myths You Need to Overcome to Keep Your Adventure Alive with Osteoarthritis” and you can get it here!  

If you are training for an adventure and are looking for a structured exercise program to make sure you don’t hurt your joints while preventing risk of injury, check out our Knee Osteoarthritis Home Exercise 8 week Program to make sure your knees are ready to go! 

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Dr. Alyssa Kuhn is a physical therapist and arthritis specialist with Keep the Adventure Alive in Sandy, UT. An adventure is anything that makes you happy on the inside and her main mission is to help you keep yours alive! She has helped arthritis sufferers all over the country finally break free from their pain without surgery or more pills. She has found lots of adventures of her own including hiking, road biking, and skiing while in Utah which has inspired her to create this journey. She wants to show the world that arthritis pain doesn’t have to take our adventures away. Learn more tips and tricks on how to adventure with osteoarthritis here.

This article contains affiliate links that give us a small commission at no cost to you.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

 

hiking with osteoarthritis

Top 5 reasons why you should consider hiking with osteoarthritis

You will be able to reap more benefits from hiking with osteoarthritis versus walking on flat ground. These benefits include: strengthening your muscles, preventing mental illness, improving your balance, and burning more calories when compared to walking on flat ground. Hiking can actually help you find osteoarthritis relief if we do it the right way! Instead of fearing adventure, here you can find the confidence to keep your adventure alive!

Walking is a common form of physical activity in people that are dealing with osteoarthritis. But have you ever thought about hiking? You don’t even need to live in the mountains to go hiking (although it does bring about some awesome views!).

Hiking is a form of walking but is completed in nature on uneven terrain, usually on trails. Hiking challenges your body differently than walking on a flat surface does. There are actually very important benefits that hiking can offer over traditional walking.

If you are dealing with joint pain, hiking can be challenging at times especially when going up and down steeper hills. Many times it isn’t the pain that limits us though. Usually fear takes over and we become scared, whether its lack of confidence in our balance, in our legs, or in our strength to get up the hills. Hiking with osteoarthritis is actually recommended once we have the appropriate strength and balance!

Before we look at the top 5 reasons you should hike, I want to share a video with you from my last year here in Utah and all the adventures we have been on. I’d love in the comments if you would let me know where your favorite hikes are! 

Here are 5 reasons you should consider hiking with osteoarthritis

Before we get started though, having the appropriate equipment can make your experience so much better. We have outlined the TOP 15 things you need to improve your hiking experience with osteoarthritis! 
  1. You can make serious improvements in your balance when you are hiking. Walking on constantly changing and unpredictable ground, forces your muscles that are in charge of stabilizing you to work in overdrive, but in a good way. These muscles are not challenged very much when on flat ground. Balance thrives on variation too. The more variable the trail is, the more you have to think and react to keep your balance. This then carries over to daily life when you take a misstep or trip over an object on the floor, you are more likely to react much faster if those muscles are appropriately trained! 
  2. Hiking can actually make you feel happier. Joint pain can be overwhelming, frustrating, and stressful. A 2015 study from Stanford University found that time spent in natural environments (as opposed to busy city settings) calmed activity in a part of the brain that research has linked to mental illness. Hanging out with Mother Nature also seems to reduce your mind’s propensity to “ruminate”—a word psychologists use for negative, self-focused patterns of thought that are linked with anxiety and depression”. Hiking with osteoarthritis can release some positive vibes and actually help to make you feel better about the condition! The combination of fresh air, relaxing sounds of nature, and beautiful scenery can truly help to improve our mood and fend off negative thoughts.
  3. Weight loss can make a huge difference to your osteoarthritis pain. It turns out, you burn more calories than walking on flat ground! “…hiking on uneven terrain increases the amount of energy your body uses by 28% compared to walking on flat ground” according to TIME magazine. This is because you are using more of your muscles and possibly even different muscles than you usually would walking on flat, predictable ground. You also may feel more fluctuations in your heart rate due to increased intensity when you are going up and down hills. This change in intensity also contributes to a higher calorie burn.
  4. You can improve your leg strength. The more muscular strength we have, the more supported our joints are. Especially for knee arthritis, one of the most important treatment tools is increasing your knee support with your own muscles! When walking on flat ground, we are using the same muscles over and over again. When hiking, we are moving in different directions to avoid obstacles and to fit through odd spaces. This variety in our movement can help to work different muscles that are rarely challenged when walking on flat ground or in daily life. This is especially common in muscles that control side to side movement. Each step may be different, you never know what you will encounter and your body has to continue to react, thus recruiting muscles it doesn’t normally use in simple movements of daily life.
  5. You can actually reduce your risk of injury. Many times, injuries to muscles in our hips, knees, or ankles are common with repetitive movements. Osteoarthritis puts us at a slightly higher risk for other injuries because pain can change the way we move. When we add variety to terrain and which muscles we are using, it helps to prevent the risk of overuse. Running and walking on flat ground tend to be very repetitive. Our mechanics don’t change a whole lot because the terrain is relatively consistent. We usually only have to recruit the same muscles for each step. When we are hiking with osteoarthritis, we add variety to our stepping patterns and movements and tend to use other muscles like we discussed in #4.

What to think about before your hiking adventure:

Aside from all of these benefits explained above, there are some risks when hiking, especially when dealing with joint pains. Here are a few considerations you should make before going hiking with osteoarthritis:

  • Start slow. Going 0-100 can be irritating to our joints so we want to make sure we aren’t asking too much of them. In order to get the most enjoyment out of hiking, start with minimal hills. Do some research on Alltrails (my favorite, free hiking guide that has information trails all over the world) to find out the elevation gain (how steep the trail is) and the level of difficulty. If the trails you start with have steep hills, you may cause more joint irritation- especially with knee arthritis.
  • Make sure you are confident in your balance. If you don’t feel confident in your balance, hiking might seem scary. Osteoarthritis can impact your balance, as we said before- pain can change the way we move. With the unpredictable terrain, you have to make sure your balance is adequate to avoid any falls or other injuries. I highly recommend checking out this post to find ideas on how to improve your balance before you start your hiking adventure. You can also use hiking poles, which can not only help you feel more stable but give you more confidence too!
  • Make sure you have the right shoes. When walking on unstable surfaces, you need more support from your shoes. When hiking with osteoarthritis, hiking shoes are a necessity. My favorite brand is Salomon but I also like these boots from Columbia. It is worth investing good shoes, especially if you will be hiking at least 3-5 times a month. There is nothing worse than hiking in uncomfortable shoes. You have to take care of your feet, especially if you have arthritis. Hiking boots will give you more support, more stability, and more traction.
  • Nature is unpredictable. This goes with general hiking guidelines that nature is unpredictable so we have to be prepared. Depending on where you live, trails could include a variety of wildlife, weather conditions, and terrain. Making sure you have appropriate hydration, food, and clothing is important. Arthritis pain does have a tendency to increase in colder temperatures. Find out tips here on how to keep your joints warm and happy.

If you are convinced that you want to start hiking, the first step is understanding a little more about your arthritis so you can feel better prepared. This free ebook below will give you the top 5 secrets you need to know to thrive with osteoarthritis.

These are the facts we have gathered over the years and the misconceptions we hear over and over again. If you can expand your understanding about your osteoarthritis that is one more step in the direction of keeping your adventure alive! Download it for free today!

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site. This post may contain affiliate links that give us a small commission with no extra cost to you.

ski with arthritis

Can I ski with arthritis? 3 things you need to know before hitting the slopes

Simple answer, yes, you can ski with arthritis. It can still be enjoyable if we understand how to appropriately prepare our joints! There are important things to take into account including balance and confidence on one leg, muscle endurance, and keeping your joints warm. With these three things, you will be able to enjoy your adventure on the mountain with friends and family.

Living with arthritis doesn’t mean you have to give up on your adventures. I have met lots of ambitious people who have been dealing with joint pain and stiffness who work very hard to stay out on the mountain! Doing the right things can keep you on the mountain too, even without paying the price afterwards. It is important you read each carefully as these three things are equally as important. There are some instances skiing may not be a good idea and those are at the end of the article. Let’s get started.

3 tips on how to ski with arthritis

1. Improve your strength and balance on one leg

When you ski, you need your legs to have symmetrical strength to keep you balanced. You also need power from your leg muscles (glutes, quads, calves) to keep you in a stable position. These muscles are all incredibly important to keep you safe, especially at higher speeds. If we have asymmetrical strength, meaning some of our muscles are working more than others or one leg is weaker than the other, you could have uneven loads going through your joints. This can typically lead to more pain. So what movements should you master if you want to ski with arthritis? Here are two movements to focus on.

Note: If your knee or hip feels like it is going to give way or feels unstable, skiing will not be safe for you. You have to rebuild strength and confidence before attempting.

  • Master the supported single leg squat, at least 10 reps on each side without pushing off using your arms. This exercise challenges the muscles that are important for skiing. Ideally, you want to be able to complete this exercise with your other leg out straight and toe pointed up. If you are having difficulty, practice with your leg slightly in front of the leg you are standing up with. Continue to increase the distance between your feet. The goal is to complete 10 reps on each side with control, confidence, and without significant pain.
  • Master the single leg dumbbell pass through balance exercise. This exercise challenges your single leg balance. When your body is trying to balance yourself, it counts on all the muscles in your legs to work together. When we see instability or pain, your muscles likely are not working together how they should. Some muscles may be compensating for others, altering where the load is going through your joints. With appropriate balance, you are more likely to have stronger, more stable joints especially during high level activities. The goal is to be able to complete this exercise for at least 60 seconds each side with a 5-10lb dumbbell. When you ski with arthritis, you are relying on your balance to be able to react to different movements, such as side to side. This exercise can help to train that.

These two exercises will help give you a good idea of your single leg strength and balance. Practice will help you to continue to get better. Keep in mind, these are the basics and if you are trying to perform at a higher level or looking to do a high volume of skiing- you will likely need a further strength program. If you are having pain or difficulty with either exercise, there are modifications we can make to help you work up to it! In both situations, I have some options for you.

2. Work on muscle endurance

Skiing challenges not only your muscle power but also how long your muscles can perform for. This is called muscle endurance. If our muscle endurance is lacking, this means our muscles fatigue quickly. When our muscles fatigue quickly, we change our mechanics which can lead to parts of our joint taking more stress. For example, if your quad (thigh muscles) or glutes fatigue easily, you start relying on muscles in your low back or in your hips to help compensate. This can lead to more pain and a higher risk for muscle strains especially with arthritis.

Do you feel out of breath walking up and down the stairs or walking up and down hills? If so, that may be an indication to work on your endurance. What should you do to make sure your endurance is up to snuff?

  • Before ski season, or at the start of the season, start to add in cardio workouts to your routine. Some examples include:
    • Walking hills: walking on straight ground is okay but doesn’t challenge the muscles we need for skiing. When you walk hills whether on cement or hiking you challenge the leg muscles that are vital to your performance skiing. It also makes the walk more intense, meaning your heart rate increases and feels more challenging than walking on flat ground. The goal is to try to walk for longer than 30 minutes to begin to challenge your muscle endurance. If you are just starting, try to find gradual hills and work your way up to steeper hills. If you have knee osteoarthritis, you can use nordic walking poles to help decrease the pressure on your knees as you go down the hill.
    • Cycling: Cycling can be a great way to challenge your endurance while being nice to your knees! One of the key things though is to make sure you are going at the right intensity. For example, going for a ride around the neighborhood at a leisurely pace may not be enough to increase your endurance. A couple of options could be challenge yourself at a faster pace for 20-45 seconds then decrease to a comfortable pace and continue these intervals for 20+ minutes. You could also ride for a shorter time but try to sustain an increased pace. You can use an indoor trainer, stationary bike, or a recumbent bike, as well as outdoor options.

3. Keep your joints warm

This section includes both, keeping your joints physically and figuratively warm. In colder weather, arthritis pain tends to increase (learn why here). Our joints like to be kept warm and col temperatures can lead to more stiffnes and pain, especially if you are trying to do outdoor sports like ski with arthritis.

We have to first keep our joints physically warm to help keep them lubricated and decrease stiffness. You can do this with compression tights under snow pants (men’s and women’s), neoprene knee sleeves, or compression gloves if your hands tend to get stiff. Using compression can be helpful to increase and maintain joint temperature. Compression also can give you more confidence as the compression acts like a hug to your joints.

Next, we have to keep our joints figuratively warm as well. This includes warming up prior to heading out to the mountain. Completing a quick warm up can improve mobility and increase blood flow which helps to decrease both pain and stiffness. If we head out without a warm up, you may notice more severe pain, earlier fatigue, and more stiffness especially on your first couple of runs. Moving through simple movements for 5-10 minutes can be helpful to make your skiing experience more enjoyable. With arthritis, you may notice you have to warm up a little longer than your friends or family. That is normal. Some ideas of simple workouts can be found here:

When skiing with arthritis may not be a good idea:

If you can relate to any of these following points, you may want to reconsider heading out to the mountain. This does not mean you can never ski again but if we don’t have the appropriate strength and endurance you may experience more severe pain and stiffness both during and after. When heading out, you want to make sure the activity will not only be safe but that it will also be enjoyable! Look into these before heading out:

  • If you have severe joint pain at least 50-75% of the day (6+/10)
  • If you knee or hip feels unstable, including feeling like it is going to give out or give way at least once per month as this could be very dangerous when skiing down a mountain
  • If you have had a history of fall in the past 12 months related to your arthritis pain
  • If you have difficulty standing on one leg for longer than 15 seconds as this could indicate your legs are not stable enough to support yourself at this time.
  • If you have difficulty doing a squat without support. Without the appropriate muscle support, our knee joints will be taking a majority of the force which can lead to increased pain.

Special considerations to ski successfully with arthritis

When starting off the season, you want to make sure you gradually get back into skiing. We also want to be careful about overdoing it too early. This can leave you frustrated and discouraged. Understand that you may need more rest breaks now and that’s okay! The harder you work on keeping your legs strong, the more you will be able to handle. You just have to make sure you are doing the right things to get you there.

After a day of skiing, you may need to take the next day off depending on how you feel. You want to make sure that when you get back, you are trying to stay moving and avoiding sitting for long periods of time because stiffness will begin to set in. Take it slow, take care of your body, give yourself some time to recover, and you will be able to keep your adventure alive!

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Dr. Alyssa Kuhn is a physical therapist and arthritis specialist with Keep the Adventure Alive. She has helped arthritis sufferers all over the country finally break free from their pain without surgery or more pills. She has lots of adventures she loves like hiking, biking, and skiing. She wants you to have adventures too! There is such a lack of positive and optimistic information out there about arthritis and Dr. Alyssa is on a mission to change that once and for all.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.