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Why Riding a Bike is Good for those with Joint Pain

Many people believe that joint pain is something that only affects older people. And while people do tend to start feeling joint pain in middle age and older, it can happen to people at any age. According to Children's Health, "the disorder can also affect young people in their 30s, 20s, and even teens."

Further, about one in four U.S. adults suffer with arthritis, equaling about 15 million people who experience severe chronic joint pain associated with this condition.


In any case, there are a lot of people trying to manage joint pain daily. One way that medical professionals recommend managing joint pain is through daily exercise. Mayo Clinic stresses that it is crucial for those who struggle with joint pain to engage in regular exercise since it boosts strength and flexibility and helps combat pain and fatigue.


Riding a bike is a great exercise you can use to manage joint pain. Let's learn more about how you can feel better each time you ride your e-bike or traditional bicycle.


What Is Joint Pain?


Joint pain is best known as discomfort, pain, or inflammation arising from or settling in at one of the body's many joints. These areas might include bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. However, the most common cause of joint pain is arthritis, also known as arthralgia, which is a form of inflammation or pain originating in and coming from inside the joint itself.


Different people experience different types and levels of pain and discomfort. However, joint pain most commonly causes soreness immediately after some activities or even after long rest periods. Individuals might experience severe pain that limits movement, especially in cases where they need to put weight on the irritated area.


Various Causes of Joint Pain and Why Exercise Helps Ease Them All


There are more potential causes for joint pain than most might imagine. Most of the time, we think of it as an aging-related disorder, but as noted above, people of all ages suffer from joint pain. The question is: why?


Let's explore some reasons people might struggle with this pain and discomfort to understand why exercise is so helpful:


Adult's Stills Disease


This type of inflammatory arthritis is rare but especially painful for sufferers. It often presents as a rash, fever, and joint pain throughout the body. Individuals might experience this again and again, or they might experience one episode.


Avascular Necrosis


Avascular necrosis, as the word "necrosis" suggests, is the death of bone tissue when there is a lack of blood supply.


Bursitis


Bursitis goes right to the bones, causing inflammation. This painful condition attacks the small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae to break down the tendons, bones, and muscles close to joints.


Excess Weight


According to Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, weight matters when it comes to joint pain stating that "being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30-60 pounds with each step." Therefore, any time you spend overweight can cause joint pain, and your attempts to get fit and lose those pounds by walking might compound the problem. Once again, that means that riding your e-bike is the best way to combat excess weight, trim down and give your joints some relief.


Fibromyalgia


This disorder expresses itself as widespread musculoskeletal pain and frequently features other symptoms like the excessive need for sleep and extreme fatigue and mood and memory issues. Harvard Health confirms that exercise helps this painful and uncomfortable condition that affects your joints and just about everything else in your body. It might sound painful and counterintuitive to think of building an exercise regimen, even one as gentle as sessions you can do on your e-bike, but you can do it by taking your time. Start slowly, and give yourself plenty of time for rest and recovery after each ride.


Gout


Gout can affect anyone at any age for various reasons. This common yet complex form of arthritis is accompanied by sudden and severe bouts of pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness in one or more of your joints. It occurs most frequently in the big toe or foot area. Creaky Joints recommends regular, gentle exercise that doesn't aggravate the toe or any other joint causing you pain and other gout-related issues. Riding your e-bike is the perfect exercise to support your fitness goals without causing more pain when managing gout.


Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is probably the most common and well-known form of arthritis. It is the condition most of us think of when someone says they suffer from arthritis, especially since it affects millions of people worldwide. This condition takes hold when someone's protective cartilage, meant to cushion the ends of the bones, erodes and wears away over time, which is why so many people associate joint pain with older people. While osteoarthritis can concentrate on any joint in the body, it most frequently attacks the hands, hips, knees, and spine. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, there are plenty of things you can do to manage the condition and associated pain and discomfort, even though the condition cannot be reversed once it has set into your joints. The best thing you can do is to stay active, eat a nutritious diet, and maintain a healthy weight. If you do fall into the senior citizen age range, consider becoming part of the ongoing Biking Boom, led by persons aged 60-79 years. Use your electric bicycle, road bike, or stationary bike to stay active and foster good circulation to support your joints.


Polymyalgia Rheumatica


Polymyalgia rheumatica is another joint-related condition that affects people 65 and older, generally. It is rare to see anyone under age 50 with this inflammatory disorder that causes muscle stiffness and pain. People most frequently report issues with their shoulders and hips, once again making cycling an excellent activity to combat the condition.


Rheumatic Fever


Children who suffer from scarlet fever or strep throat and do not receive appropriate care for the conditions can develop rheumatic fever, which is an inflammatory disease that typically affects young people, aged 5-15 years old. Still, it can occur in those younger or significantly older and into middle age and beyond. While the condition is rare in the United States and other first-world countries today, it was once more common among the Silent Generation and older Americans, so their issues with the condition might be expressed as arthritis. Since the symptoms are so much like arthritis, bicycling is a great way to fight this problem.


Many Conditions Can Cause Joint Pain - Bike Riding Can Help with All of Them


The above-listed issues that cause joint pain, along with several others, might cause you to feel like everything is an uphill battle, but you can always hop on your e-bike to get the exercise your body needs and the joy, calm, and relaxation your mind needs to stay strong mentally.


Different Types of Exercises Joint Pain Sufferers Often Consider


While riding a bicycle isn't the only way to manage joint pain, it is one of the best and easiest for your body. Let's take a look at some other exercises joint pain sufferers try.


Swimming


Sure, swimming is wonderful, but not everyone has easy access to a swimming pool, nor does everyone know how to swim well enough to get the most out of a session.


Walking


And while walking opportunities are right outside your door 24/7, you can get more out of a cycling session without as much wear and tear on your body. You can do it as a beginner and steadily ramp up your pace, but if you want to increasingly boost your distance, fitness, and pain management efforts, you will need to start walking much faster before ultimately needing to run to reach a good pace. The pounding from running would likely exacerbate any pain you feel caused by arthritis-related joint pain, radiating throughout your body.


In other words, walking can only take you so far.


Strength Training


It might sound counterintuitive to imagine lifting weights with your sore joints, but it's actually an effective way to combat joint pain. Arthritis Health notes that resistance training, using machines, free weights, or bands, has been proven to decrease joint pain and enhance strength and function for people who have arthritis.


While this is a sound way to combat joint pain, it is better when paired with a regular cardiovascular exercise regimen to help increase blood flow. With that in mind, cycling and strength training are a powerful combination in the fight against joint pain, helping you strengthen your joints while giving them the necessary circulation to improve flexibility.


Why Riding a Bike Is one of the Best Ways to Combat Joint Pain


Bike riding can support your efforts as a beginner and far into your pain management plan. While you will have to make an initial investment in a bicycle or electric bicycle, you'll find it is well worth it when your pain decreases and you start to feel better. Imagine starting your day by doing some gentle stretches that will support your ride, whether a planned excursion or a necessary commute to work, and feeling better by the time you dismount. That is exactly what happens when you commit to bike riding to ease your joint pain.


Now that you have reviewed the most common reasons for joint pain, it might help to understand why riding a bike can help ease the symptoms and thrive despite those conditions.

Here are some primary reasons why this form of exercise is ideal to support your pain management strategy.


Weight Control Management


As mentioned earlier, carrying excess weight can only worsen existing joint issues, or any added weight you put on can cause your joint issues. And it won't necessarily stop at your knees, although they carry the brunt of any excess weight and the force it puts on your body. You might also notice pain in your hands, hips, neck, and back.


Along with a nutritious eating regimen, regular e-bike sessions can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Here are a few reasons why cycling is ideal for managing your weight to control joint pain:


  • You can increase the distance as you become more fit and comfortable in the saddle. Even if you can't ramp up the intensity right away, you can increase the distance to help improve circulation while conditioning your body with regular physical activity.
  • You can boost the intensity once you start to see improvement in your weight and overall fitness. Let's face it, most of your weight loss from distance cycling is more likely to do with your kitchen habits than your high-impact cycling sessions. However, you've put in the work, and your body has better conditioning to start increasing intensity. At this point, you can push yourself to work harder, raising your heart rate and burning more calories.


Muscle Strengthening


A solid, consistent strength training plan can help protect your joints, tendons, and muscles, helping you stay fit on your e-bike and in every other aspect of your life.


How to Boost the Benefits of E-Bike Riding to Help with Joint Pain: Find the Right Bike


As you now see, your e-bike—or non-powered bike—is a powerful ally in fighting joint pain, regardless of the cause or severity. Fortunately, there are ways you can streamline the process and boost your results with a few key strategies. The first is a broad recommendation in finding the right e-bike for you.


Make sure to work with an e-bike company like Six Three Zero that cares about your comfort and offers help finding the right size and style for your needs and desires.



Contact our helpful and knowledgeable Six Three Zero team to learn more about our broad range of e-bikes to help you stay healthy and happy on your bike and off.

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