The following is an excerpt from an article addressing arthritis and the increasing number of joint replacements being performed every year. A friend of mine who was a professional skier and remains an active cyclist and hiker, constantly asks me “how can I keep doing all this with my already wearing knees ( he is only 28 years old)?
Basically, I answer with a similar response as below. It’s all about finding non-weight bearing or non loading strength training to isolates the weak areas. We cannot always heal certain pathologies, as arthritis, but we can be proactive in our prevention. Lets preserve our joints and spend less on joint replacements.
“GET FIT It makes sense. The better toned your muscles are, the less likely you are to injure yourself (unless you are also playing football every Saturday morning).
And “building muscles up around joints acts like a shock absorber, spreading stress across the joint,” said Dr. Laith M. Jazrawi, chief of the sports medicine division at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. Pilates, moderate weight lifting, vinyasa yoga and swimming are all nonimpact forms of exercise that firm up your muscles without jeopardizing your cartilage.
No definitive link exists between increased flexibility and lower, or higher, rates of osteoarthritis. But some doctors interviewed said they believed that by regularly stretching your muscles you are less likely to injure your joints. It can’t hurt to judiciously stretch your muscles after a workout. And even if it won’t protect your joints from deterioration, it will certainly make your muscles feel better.”