Arthritis pain? FIVE sports to relieve painful joint inflammation

Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, and restricted movement, according to the NHS.

It’s caused by a wearing down of cartilage that lines the joints.

Regular exercise helps to keep joints strong and flexible.

These activities are the best ways to relieve painful joints, while not causing yourself injury.


Golf includes plenty of walking, while also working your upper back, legs, shoulders, wrists and hands, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

“To warm up, stand in place and gently rotate your body to the right and left as you pretend to swing a club,” it said.

“Try a few gentle swings with a light iron and then do the same with your heavier driver.”

But, if your joints begin to hurt after a few holes, it’s best to stop playing, it warned.


Using your legs to push forward, and your arms to push the cue, means that playing shuffleboard could help to ward off painful arthritis symptoms.

“Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. Don’t overdo it and don’t push yourself beyond a comfortable range of motion.

“This could aggravate shoulder or elbow arthritis if you push the puck too hard, and knee arthritis if you lunge too deeply.”

Cross-country skiing

Unlike downhill skiing, there’s not much twisting and turning of the knees in cross-country skiing, said the foundation.

“You can get a moderate to vigorous total-body workout [by doing cross-country skiing],” it said.

“A lesson is the best way to learn how to coordinate your arms and legs and how to fall and get back up with minimal strain.”

But, you shouldn’t do the sport if you have severe arthritis in the upper or lower body.

Water walking

“Walking in waist-deep water lessens weight on joints by 50 percent compared with walking on land,” said the Arthritis Foundation.

“Take a class with an instructor who can teach you proper form.”

But, make sure you don’t over-exercise by doing water aerobics, and joints can become fatigued and aggravated.

Bocce ball

Similar to bowls, bocce ball is done in a relatively upright position, so bending is kept to a minimum.

The social aspect of the game may help to keep your mind off joint pain, too.

The best way to play, without injuring your joints, is to avoid bending your knees, or extending your arm, beyond what feels comfortable.


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