Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, occurs when stress on the joints wears down the cartilage that cushions them. This causes the bones to rub up against each other and cause pain. Being one of the most significant weight-bearing joints in the body, the knee is a common site for osteoarthritis to develop.
To deal with the pain of osteoarthritis, you may think it best to avoid activity. However, medical research shows that the right type of exercise can actually improve pain from degenerative joint disease in several different ways. Cycling, especially with a bicycle such as a women’s hybrid bike that is designed to be easier on the body, is an excellent form of exercise for arthritis.
Why Is Cycling Good for Arthritic Knees?
Many people with degenerative joint disease ask, “Is cycling good for arthritic knees?” The answer is yes; there are several ways that cycling can benefit knee arthritis.
When you have degenerative joint disease, too much pressure on your joints can increase your pain. Cycling is a low-impact exercise. Instead of your feet pounding the pavement and sending shockwaves up to your knees, your legs move in a smooth, circular motion. During a cycling workout, the only time your feet need to touch the ground at all is when you come to a stop.
Pushing the pedals of a bicycle with your feet brings your knees through their full range of motion, or close to it. This stimulates the production of synovial fluid in the knee joints. Synovial fluid helps to relieve pain in your knees by acting as a lubricant and cushioning agent within the joints.
Cycling can help relieve arthritic knee pain in other ways. It helps to strengthen the muscles of the leg, especially the gluteus muscles in the buttocks and the quadriceps muscles in the thigh. Strengthening these muscles helps to support the knee better, improving the pain by relieving the stress on it. Cycling can also help you lose excess weight, which can mean less joint stress and inflammation.
What Bikes Are Best For People With Arthritis?
Some bikes are designed to offer the full benefit of cycling to people with osteoarthritis of the knee without putting stress on other parts of the body:
- If you are interested in taking up cycling as a casual hobby and are not concerned about reaching top speeds, you may want to look at beach cruiser bikes for sale. The pedal position and seat height allow you to sit in an upright position that is more ergonomic. It doesn’t stress your knees by forcing them into full flexion or extension, nor does it require you to hunch over the handlebars.
- A hybrid bike offers some of the same advantages as a beach cruiser but is more lightweight. This allows you to reach greater speeds and is good for people who do most of their riding in the city.
- With its three wheels, an adult tricycle provides more stability, allowing you to reap the benefits of cycling even if you have balance issues.
Cycling is an exercise that doctors often recommend to patients with osteoarthritis. If you want to get started, it is important to purchase a high-quality bicycle from a reputable dealer. Because cycling will not help your bad knees problem, but also improve your overall health and fitness.