Osteoarthritis training together with animals

Last modified: December 11, 2019

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints. The fact that it is chronic means that it is a lifelong disease that cannot be cured. The current treatment is based on relieving the pain and increasing mobility in the joints. The best way to do this is through customized exercises, so-called osteoarthritis training. Therefore, a first step in treatment is to visit a physiotherapist who can help create an individualized exercise program. In those cases where the pain makes it difficult exercise, non-prescription, pain-relieving medications can be used for temporary pain relief. This can make it easier to perform the recommended exercises.

Osteoarthritis training and lifestyle changes

For the person who is suffering from osteoarthritis, performing exercises every now and then is not enough, the exercises must become a part of everyday life. Similarly, a generally healthy lifestyle can help reduce joint pain A person who is affected but the disease can easily become inactive because movements can be painful. This can result in a little extra body weight and reduced muscle mass. In order to make it easier to support the body weight and reduce the strain on the joints, it is a good idea to exercise. This does not need to involve going to a gym, rather simple hikes and customized exercises are sufficient. The important thing is that exercise becomes part of everyday life.

Here is more information about training and treatment.

Dogs provide good exercise

Taking daily walks can be easy for people who are accompanied by a four-footed friend. Since a dog must go outside and must walk several times per day, this means that their owner also gets to take a walk. People with osteoarthritis who are dog owners have an easier time getting started in the morning and getting out in the evening. Taking a walk with the dog is also more fun than walking alone.

In addition to the daily walks, there are additional exercises for dog owners. Training more actively with a dog, provides both the dog and its owner with lots of exercise. A popular dog exercise is agility, where the dog must go through an obstacle course as quickly as possible. The good thing about the agility exercise is that the dog’s owner also gets good exercise because they often have to run along and instruct the dog.

Horseback riding can be both a goal and good training.

Horseback riding is good training for all of the body’s muscles and joints. A person who is been affected by osteoarthritis and who previously enjoyed horseback riding, would be wise to start the activity again. Having the goal of being able to ride again can be very motivating and can make osteoarthritis training more bearable. Once the goal has been achieved, and the rider is back on the horse again, they must continue exercising. This applies to both horseback riding and the customized exercises from a physiotherapist.

It is a good idea to let your physiotherapist know that the goal is to be able to ride again, if this is the case. The physiotherapist can then create special exercises that support you reaching that goal. Certain tools may also be needed, for example, a stool to be able to get onto the horse.

Osteoarthritis training with animals

Horseback riding provides exercise for the entire body, which is beneficial. Horseback riding is also fun – and a form of exercise that is fun is an exercise that you look forward to. The same applies to exercising together with the dog. A dog must go for walks, and doing it together can be fun. In addition, it can be difficult to come up with excuses since the dog must go out. An animal can also provide motivation for exercising in many ways.

Continue to read about different types of exercise for osteoarthritis.