Over 180 million people in India are suffering from arthritis, says Arthritis-India’s website. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and it can affect one of multiple joints. While there are over 100 types of arthritis, the two most common kinds are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Though the condition is seen among people who are over 65, it can develop in children and teens too.
Apart from regular physiotherapy and medicines, doctors claim that cycling can help deal with arthritis pain in a better manner. “Non-impact activities such as cycling are one of the most efficient ways to not only prevent arthritis, but also delay its progression. It strengthens the core leg muscles without any impact,” says Dr Aditya Khemka, consultant orthopaedics at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical.
Benefits of stationary cycling
The knee bears anywhere above three to four times the body weight when one is walking or running. Thus these activities are not recommended to someone with a weak knee or arthritis. Stationary cycling is a great exercise for arthritis patients as it prevents further damage to joints.
In fact, Dr Khemka recommends cycling to patients even after a total knee replacement, since it’s the best form of exercise in physiotherapy. “There is often a myth that people with arthritis should brisk walk but on the contrary regular cycling for 15- 20 minutes is the key not only to weight loss but a way to prevent arthritis,” he adds.
According to Huzefa Lokhandwala, program director, TrainMe, while cycling is important, it is even more important ensure the right posture. The adjustment of the seat is very important so as to not cause any further strain. If it’s an upright bicycle the angle of the seat is to be such that the angle of the leg through the hip, knee and back has to be in 90 degree,” he says.
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