October 25, 2017
In January 2015, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis due to hip dysplasia along with a labrial tear in my left hip joint. While surgery could be done to repair the tear, there would be no guarantee that it would last and that it would be best to treat the symptoms. My physician said a hip replacement would eventually be needed but not for 5 to 10 years. We tried several treatments including physical therapy and cortisone shots to help relieve some of the pain. In March of 2016, I started looking into losing weight to help take some of the pressure off my hip. The problem with arthritis is that it hurts to move but movement is the best thing to keep the muscles strong.
Since my hip was not getting any better, I went to the doctor to find my hip was now bone on bone and a hip replacement could be done at any time. To help prepare for surgery, I started looking for low impact exercises when one of my co-workers had mentioned water running. So, after doing a quick Google search, I found that the YMCA had water running classes. I immediately signed up thinking what did I have to lose. After my first class, I knew that this was exactly what I needed. Water running is done in deep water with a floatation belt allowing zero impact on your joints. Within a few weeks, I started to lose weight, gain strength and stamina that would eventually help me prepare for surgery. I still had pain while exercising but it was less than walking and the cool water felt great on the joints. I was water running 3-4 days a week for 4 months and with watching what I ate lost approximately 30 pounds. By the time I had my surgery in September 2016, I had built muscle and stamina which helped with the recovery after surgery. After my hip replacement surgery one week later, I was able to walk extremely well with a walker. By week six after surgery, I was walking without a cane and back to work. At 6 months after surgery, I started doing spin classes, body pump, and back to water running.
I would highly recommend trying deep water cadence running to anyone with arthritis or injury that weight bearing is painful.