3 tips for taking care of your joints while cycling and running
If you’re thinking about taking up cycling or running, it’s important to consider the impact these exercises will have on your joints. Orthopedic surgeon Daniel Del Gaizo, MD, shared three tips to help keep your joints healthy while you’re on the trail.
Be aware of the impact running or cycling could have on your joints.
Compared to running, in general, cycling is a lower impact activity that puts less force and strain across the lower extremity joints. However, it is a common misconception that running is bad for your joints.
“There is no evidence to support that running causes knee arthritis,” said Dr. Del Gaizo. “What likely happens is runners are probably feeling pain when they run due to arthritis that was already present and would have developed whether or not they were runners.”
If you experience pain, don’t ignore it.
If you are running or cycling and begin to experience pain during or after, don’t ignore the pain. “Give it some time of rest or take an anti-inflammatory,” said Dr. Del Gaizo.
If the pain persists, see a doctor.
If you develop new joint pain as a runner or cyclist and the pain doesn’t go away with a period of rest, it may be time to visit a specialist for an evaluation.
“It may be an injury or it may be arthritis that can be treated with anti-inflammatories, rest and/or physical therapy. It may also be something that requires surgery,” said Dr. Del Gaizo. Whatever the source of the joint pain is, it is important to address it so it doesn’t cause other issues.
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