Cold water swimming and osteoarthritis- help or hindrance?


I swim in the sea most mornings with a group of friends. I have osteoarthritis in my knees, which has been a problem since the COVID lockdowns when I became very sedentary.

Last winter my knees got really painful after a trip to the Austrian Alps. It took a long time to get back into my swimming, but I did. I will never visit the Alps in winter again.

This winter I had a break from my swimming after New Year while mornings were still very dark but I’m just getting back into it, having been in every morning this week. I’m experiencing some pain again now though after jarring my knee on an unseen slope in a pavement while rushing to get in out of the rain.

Is there any research to show whether cold water swimming is good or bad for arthritic knees?

I really hope it isn’t!