General Question

nebule's avatar

What's your advice on exercising when you have been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in your ankle?

Asked by nebule (16452points) June 24th, 2009

It’s really painful in the morning and in the evening and having exercised 4 times this week for 45 mins each time it has gotten worse. But I am trying to lose weight in order to take the pressure off my joints so I need to exercise really…

I do aerobics and walking but nothing too strenuous on the ankle…not like constant running on it or anything…

Just wondered what the general advice would be as my doctor was useless and just put me on anti-inflammatories which have now run out and he doesn’t seem to think I should keep taking them…so I’m using an ibuprofen gel instead, which is helping a little…

So are you of the mindset…work through the pain to get the results…(does this then strengthen the ankle too??) or rest and let the weight come off really slowly?

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11 Answers

shilolo's avatar

One, you should probably still take the anti-inflammatory medication.
Two, you can try chondroitin and glucosamine, which some people believe to be helpful.
Three, perhaps you should consider lower impact exercise, like biking or swimming, rather than running or walking. They have the same if not more cardiovascular benefits and weight loss, but without the negative effects on your ankle.

cak's avatar

@shilolo recommended something I was about to say. If you have access to use of a pool, try water aerobics or other water exercises. Believe me, they can be more strenuous than they sound, but very effective. If not, when you are walking, try to do it on a very even surface. You could also try Yoga. There are a lot of positions that are not stressful on your ankle and those that are, you can tailor them to fit your workout.

I have arthritis, as well. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and it is a royal pain in the rear, at times. Water aerobics and walking laps in the pool have been very helpful.

You know, you could seek out a different doctor, one that specializes in the treatment of forms of arthritis. My orthopedic doctor also treats RA and Osteo Arthritis. Also, you could ask for a referral to a physical therapist and they can show you good exercises for your condition. (Strength training, range of motion, aerobic, agility and neck/back exercises. ) They showed me several different exercises, at physical therapy. Strength training was something they really stressed to me, I didn’t need to lose weight, but I needed to tone up. If your insurance allows for the referral, ask for one.

tb1570's avatar

Swim. It’s the best all-around exercise in the world.

cookieman's avatar

I fourth swimming or any water exercise.

Both my aunts suffer from this and the pool helps them greatly.

hearkat's avatar

I’ll will add my vote to the Aqua Aerobics and swimming. My mother has been doing them and has improved her fitness. I also gave her a parrafin wax machine like they have at spas for Christmas a couple years back. The heat in the wax really helps, and she uses it every day. Just be sure you get one large enough to accomodate your foot and ankle.

janbb's avatar

I second (or fifth or sixth) water aerobics and swimming. I’ve been doing both plus walking for a number of years. I just went to an orthopaedist to complain about my chronic knee and hip pain and he was so impressed by my agility and flexibility that he ddin’t seem to care much about my pain! He does want me to go for physical therapy for my posture though so I’ll work on both there.

Darwin's avatar

Water aerobics are the way to go, definitely, plus get a referral to a doctor that specializes in arthritis treatment.

nebule's avatar

Thank you all very much! swimming and water… sports (lol) seems to be the way to go!! Thanks Again xx

mass_pike4's avatar

any exercise that does not put a lot of pressure on the ankle. Take ibuprofen twice daily. Ice your ankle for 20 mins on and 20 mins off 5–7 times a day after a long day of walking for example. Do ankle exercises like calf raises and try to balance on that one foot because strengthening the muscles around the bone gives the bone richer blood to help heal.

nebule's avatar

@mass_pike4 thank you…I was wondering about the strengthening part…whether exercising would do more damage or build up the muscle…seems a two edged sword sometimes… but thanks you..will do xx

Garebo's avatar

My wife and her mother detest doctors, so there self remedy is Shiff’s Joint Flex, Chondrointin, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, etc. I like it and it helps, I have no affiliation, but my recommendation, Swanson’s Nutrition in NoDak, USA-cheap, quality and prompt.
A great exercise regime that helped me I found in the book by Jorge Cruise, 8 minutes in the Morning,emphasis on nutrition and exercise. A good portion became integral to my lifestyle and I have found good results.
The last book I recommend, reluctantly I bought from GNC for a buck, is Patient Heal Thyself which is packed with valuable info.

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