Rock climbing can be a fun and highly beneficial health activity. Still, it becomes difficult to accomplish for people with osteoarthritis. Since the disease primarily affects the mobility of joints, it needs careful management for one to continue rock climbing.
Have the Right Gear
The need to have the correct equipment cannot be overstated. Having the right gear enhances your comfort and allows you to exploit your abilities to the fullest. It also protects your joints from further damage when climbing.
Some items that may make for a comfortable climbing experience include gloves, joint pads, helmets and shoes. Rock climbing shoes should have a sturdy rubber sole to enhance traction and avoid slipping.
Go for Gentle Climbing Surfaces
It is essential to accept osteoarthritis for what it is. The condition is permanent and will prevent you from being the agile athlete you once were. To continue enjoying rock climbing for a long time, you need to avoid steep, strenuous surfaces. Go for gentle surfaces where you can take a few moments to rest if fatigue kicks in.
Gauge the Regularity That Works for You
You may not be able to go rock climbing with as much frequency as you did before. This is something you need to appreciate. If you feel pain kicking in, it is vital to stop and take a rest. Increase the intervals between which you go rock climbing to allow your joints to have a full recovery each time.
Seek Medical Advice
To maintain your climbing experiences, you will need to get advice from a medical expert. You need to know the severity of your condition before you decide how you will manage it. A doctor will advise you on how regularly you should go rock climbing, the kind of supportive gear you should use and how much intensity you should apply.
Join a Climbing Team
The climbing experience is always better when you do it with friends. Having a group to psyche you up will create a serene mood and make you forget about the pain in your joints. You will also find partners to help you on your way up, literally. A climbing team will also help you to exercise within your limits.
Rock climbing is a great exercise, and there is no reason you should stay away from it. If osteoarthritis that kicks in, all you need to do is follow the above tips to continue enjoying your climbing experiences. There is no need to sulk or fade away, keep rising!