Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that makes individuals reluctant to move the affected joint areas. However, if you have hip arthritis you can’t avoid moving the hip joint, which can make every step excruciating and can even disturb your ability to get proper rest.
Medical experts will tell you that you need to keep exercising that hip joint in order to help you maintain your range of motion and remain as healthy as possible. They also recommend that you indulge in low impact exercises to prevent any more damage to that arthritic hip.
Cycling is one such low-to-no-impact exercise and is in fact, the exercise recommended most often. So if you’re among those with hip arthritis and wondering if biking is good for hip arthritis, consider these.
No Simple Answer
There really is no simple answer to the question Is cycling good for hip arthritis? While most doctors who treat patients with Hip arthritis agree that cycling can be good for people suffering with hip arthritis they also know that every patient is different, so that what works for most people may not work for everyone. However, here is the reasoning behind cycling for those with hip arthritis.
Symptoms of Hip Arthritis
There is little doubt that hip arthritis is extremely uncomfortable. Symptoms of this condition include: pain, joint stiffness, and grinding of the hip joint as well as muscle weakness. Cycling may help relieve some of the symptoms caused by hip arthritis.
Why Cycling May Be Good For Hip Arthritis
Low impact exercises like cycling helps to strengthen the hip and thigh muscles which may take some of the stress off of the hip. Experts do recommend that people with arthritis may feel more comfortable using a stationary bike over an bicycle made for outside use due to the fact that stationary bikes allow you to control you environment whereas, outdoor bicycles require you to deal with changing terrains as well as weather conditions.
Stationary bikes also reduces the chances of falling, which helps those who are exercising feel more secure.
Choosing Between a Recumbent and Upright Bike
While some individuals with hip arthritis do well with an upright bike, other find a recumbent bike to be more comfortable whichever bike you should choose you need to be sure that the seat is adjusted correctly so that your knees are slightly bent when the pedals are in down position.
To begin exercising using a bike, you should set the bike at the lowest resistance and start out cycling no more than 5 to 10 minutes every few days until you begin to get to use to cycling and keeping track of whether or not you are experiencing any additional pain in your hips.
Then slowly increase both the time and the resistance until you hit a spot where you feel you are exercising your hip properly without overdoing things.
If you are experiencing more hip pain when cycling then stop immediately and talk to your physician. It may be recommended that you undergo some physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles in the thigh and lower back before attempting to cycle again or your doctor may recommend that you partake of some other exercise.
So while cycling is good for most people with hip arthritis it may not be suitable for everyone.