Sports and Osteoarthritis

Hello Doctora. I would just like to ask if it is okay to engage in Multisports despite my osteoarthritis? I was an athlete in my younger days and was  with the varsity track and field team of up diliman. I was very active before until motherhood came and I stopped all my sports activities. As a result I gained weight and ballooned to 250 pounds. In 2007, I had a wake up call which forced me to diet and exercise and make a complete lifestyle change. I lost 120 pounds. Now, I am slowly getting into sports again. My knees often hurt as well as my spine. Usually after my running training sessions. Is that bad? Should I stop? Am I setting myself up for a painful old age by pushing my joints to the limit?
Thank you very much. I would appreciate any reply. God bless you.



Dear C,

Your question has been forwarded to the best pain and sport specialist I know … my husband, Dr. Ramon Antonio Sarmiento. This is what he has to say regarding your concern:

“Sounds like she has degenerative arthritis alright. Her history of being an athlete during her younger years, previous weight of 250 lbs. and her present active lifestyle may all cause degeneration of her joints (especially the weight bearing joints like the knees).

First thing I would do is to document the diagnosis by getting X-rays of her knees and spine. Once the diagnosis of osteoarthritis is established, there are several approaches to the problem including medications (oral anti-inflammatory medicines and topical gels), intra-articular steroid injections, joint fluid replacement injection and the ever reliable physical therapy program.

Losing weight and modifying her sports to “non-weight bearing aerobic activities” will also be beneficial. Instead of running, she can shift to cycling/spinning or swimming which are both good aerobic exercises but less demanding on the joints.

I suggest that she go see her favorite physiatrist or rehabilitation medicine specialist for evaluation.

Always remember, you don’t go into sports to get fit, you have to be fit to get into sports. ”

Hope this helps. Please see my “List of Recommended Doctors” section for the schedule and clinic hours of Dr. R.A. Sarmiento.

Doc D

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1 Comment

  1. Deepak Sehgal says:

    very useful answer.