Around 35 million people in Germany suffer from osteoarthritis. Is sport good for the joints? Whether for prevention or for those affected: exercise is the best medicine. FOCUS Online explains which sports are suitable and what you should pay attention to.
- If you want to do something about osteoarthritis, you should exercise.
- With these sports you can prevent.
- At the same time, those affected can still practice many sports.
Anyone who hurts movements in their knees, shoulders or ankles usually suffers from osteoarthritis. It is the most common joint disease. At least five million Germans suffer from it. Experts even speak of 35 million people affected in Germany for early forms of osteoarthritis.
From the age of 30, the risk increases linearly. Among those over the age of 60, 50 percent of women and a third of men suffer from osteoarthritis.
Strictly speaking, however, everyone would get osteoarthritis, says Karl-Dieter Heller, chief physician at the Orthopedic Clinic Duchess Elisabeth Hospital. From the age of 40 at the latest, arthritic changes appear in the X-ray. Osteoarthritis occurs when bones, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules wear out.
Many movements are therefore painful. That tempts you to keep calm. However, this is exactly the wrong way to go. Anyone who wants to prevent joint wear and tear should definitely be active in sports.
With these sports you can prevent osteoarthritis
On the one hand, the aim of sport is to move the joint and maintain flexibility. The movement supplies the cartilage with nutrients. Because this itself is not supplied with blood.
On the other hand, the movement strengthens the joint-stabilizing muscles, which relieves the joint.
Sport improves the metabolism in the joint and the control function of the joints is maintained. Bones and cartilage are relieved.
Cycling, Nordic walking, swimming and cross-country skiing are sports that do not put stress on the joints, but move them gently.
At the same time, a change in diet also plays an important role in prevention, as being overweight puts extreme stress on the joints.
This is how many hours of exercise a week should be
Heller recommends: Three quarters to an hour three times a week is a good workload.
Limit: If you experience swelling and pain in your knees, shoulders or feet, you should adjust the intensity of your training.
Stop-and-go sports can put too much strain on the joints. These include tennis, badminton and squash.