Swimming with painful joints?

susie51
susie51 Member Posts: 57
edited 2. Apr 2018, 16:04 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi I haven't been onsite for a while now. I did find it a lifesaver when, after years of arthritic pain, I was diagnosed with not only Osteo but also rheumatoid arthritis. I have had both hips Replace and my left knee and I am waiting for a date to have my right knee done . I also have pain in my ankles and feet, wrists, back and neck, I was definitely the runt of the litter :lol: So that's my problems listed, now the reason I'm here today is because I really want to continue swimming as the perfect exercise but I'm getting panic attacks because my ankles and wrists are preventing me from being able to swim properly :o does anyone have any advice on anything I could use that would help? I'd be very grateful for any suggestions Cheers Susie

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Being in a pool is lovely as the strain is eased from the joints but, to my way of thinking, that doesn't mean you have to swim. I don't indulge often because the payback when gravity hits (I'm still lumbered with my original joints) is not worth the ten minutes or so of bliss but when I have access to a private pool I 'bounce walk' in a seated position, using my arms in breast stroke to help propel me up and down (or across the width), do my old hydrotherapy exercises, float on my back (luckily I own two large built-in buoyancy aids :wink: ) whilst gently kicking.

    I have never been a good or confident swimmer, if you have then it must be very difficult to think differently; our bodies might not be as flexible as they were so our thinking has to be to compensate. I am sure there must be guides etc. online about suitable exercises to replace the actual ploughing up and down, I hope you can find something (or develop your own programme) to help. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am not a swimmer so please bear that in mind.

    I know swimming is recommended though not the breast stroke leg action after hip or knee replacements.

    I wonder if your pool has a professional who might give you some tips on making adjustments. Mr SW occasionally consults his golf club pro and they're good at suggesting alternative methods to accommodate ageing limbs.

    I also wondered how practical it would or wouldn't be to try swimming using ankle / wrist supports.
  • susie51
    susie51 Member Posts: 57
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Being in a pool is lovely as the strain is eased from the joints but, to my way of thinking, that doesn't mean you have to swim. I don't indulge often because the payback when gravity hits (I'm still lumbered with my original joints) is not worth the ten minutes or so of bliss but when I have access to a private pool I 'bounce walk' in a seated position, using my arms in breast stroke to help propel me up and down (or across the width), do my old hydrotherapy exercises, float on my back (luckily I own two large built-in buoyancy aids :wink: ) whilst gently kicking.

    I have never been a good or confident swimmer, if you have then it must be very difficult to think differently; our bodies might not be as flexible as they were so our thinking has to be to compensate. I am sure there must be guides etc. online about suitable exercises to replace the actual ploughing up and down, I hope you can find something (or develop your own programme) to help. DD

    Hi thanks for replying, I am a water baby anything to do with it, saunas are good for the joints too I find and I love exercising in the pool, my knee replacement is not a year old yet so I still have lots of exercising to do which I find a lot easier in the pool, I am overweight which is why I want to be able to swim I have thought about floats but I can't see that working :lol: unless I walk on my hands under water.....Cheers
  • susie51
    susie51 Member Posts: 57
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am not a swimmer so please bear that in mind.

    I know swimming is recommended though not the breast stroke leg action after hip or knee replacements.

    I wonder if your pool has a professional who might give you some tips on making adjustments. Mr SW occasionally consults his golf club pro and they're good at suggesting alternative methods to accommodate ageing limbs.

    I also wondered how practical it would or wouldn't be to try swimming using ankle / wrist supports.

    Hi thanks for the reply, I think I will ask at the pool but I don't hold much hope, I will also ask the people here at Arthritis Care see what they know...watch this space Cheers
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have been swimming since I was little but not regulary lately. I was going to our local pool once a week, I do my very slow breast stroke swim (shoulders won't let me do crawl), up to 6-12 lengths depending on how I feel, it was getting busy in there so I stopped. Last winter I started going in the sea with a group, which I thoroughly enjoyed but found I can't swim against the current, I just stay in one place for 25mins! Then they put the price up so I dropped out.

    I did try flippers but they feel awkward. Swimming does not hurt my ankles but I am careful with my hands wrists and shoulders and pushing harder does hurt, so gently does it. Wetsuit boots give me too much rearward bouyancy, normally I can float for England but it isn't an official sport yet!

    Anyway, do go swimming, you don't have to race, just take your time. Or go into the kiddies pool and do exercises with the other women? The sea swimming was good though.

    tcold
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't see why floats wouldn't help, you won't know until you try. As you are swimmer I am sure you know they now come in all shapes and sizes, including ones you can wrap around yourself; gone are the days of the headstone-shaped slab of greying polystyrene so beloved of schools.

    I hope you find an answer that works for you, that's the important part. Please let us know how you get on. DD
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,071
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would try floats hugged against your chest on your back maybe?

    Swimming I such good exercise, but panic attacks are terrifying aren't they?

    I know you can get adult arm bands...hmmm.....

    I found this site:

    http://www.therapyworld.org.uk/buoyancy-aids-6-c.asp

    does anything there look like it would help?

    I myself might invest in the head one as my neck gets sore if I swim too much :(

    Best of luck Susie

    Toni xx
  • Moxie
    Moxie Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Have you tried swimming with a noodle? A friend takes one with her each week and finds it really helpful. Tucks it under her armpits when she's on her back and has it across chest when she's on her front. Maybe a bit less conspicuous that armbands - although horses for courses!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think I've worked out what you mean by 'a noodle'. The first image that sprang to mind was less than helpful :lol:

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