Running With Arthritis: Do’s And Don’ts To Help You Manage Pain(2023)

Tips for running with arthritis

Dr Verma has outlined key do’s and don’ts people should follow when they want to run with a pre-existing arthritis condition.

Do’s to run with arthritis

Consult a doctor: Each individual has different levels of damage to the joints, and because of this, their range of symptoms may vary. Before starting a running routine, taking advice from a doctor who knows the patient’s condition well can help with a plan to prevent risks and injuries.

Start slowly: Begin with a proper warm-up and gradually start with walking, then increase the duration and intensity of the runs. Allow the body some time to adapt to the impact and stress on the joints.

Choose suitable footwear: Invest in well-cushioned running shoes that provide adequate support and shock absorption, and shock absorption knee pads for support.

Stay attentive to any pain: Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during and after running. If the joint pain, swelling, or stiffness increases, take a break and modify the activity to lower-impact exercises.

Take adequate rest and do flexibility exercises: Rest is important for muscles to recover and gain strength. It is a good idea to do flexibility stretches to relieve joint stiffness after running.

Keep your body flexible. 

Don’ts of running with arthritis

Overdo it: Avoid overexerting and pushing through pain. Running or exercising with pain can make the inflammation even worse and more lasting.

Neglect recovery: Allow your body ample time to rest and recover between running sessions. This helps prevent overuse injuries and gives joints the opportunity to heal and recover.

Run on uneven or hard surfaces: Run on softer surfaces like grass, tracks, or muddy ground with proper cushioning. Avoid running on concrete or other hard surfaces that can increase the impact on your joints.

Ignore joint pain or swelling: If running consistently causes significant pain, swelling, or joint instability, then one must switch to milder forms of exercise such as swimming and yoga. This will help them stay active without causing damage to their joints.

Pro tip for runners

Keep in mind that each person’s experience with running and arthritis is unique and depends on a variety of circumstances, including the severity of the condition and specific symptoms. Always seek personalised advice and direction from a doctor before starting any exercise regimen.

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