Quick, what activities come to mind when you think of being active with osteoarthritis? Walking. Stationary biking. Swimming. Maybe sitting on your couch.
Yes, those answers are correct.
But what about surfing? That’s right. Hear me out…
Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of osteoarthritis exercise programs to help with my ankle stability and strength. Of all those programs, it was a workout designed for surfing that has proven to be the most beneficial for me.
For many years, my workout routines were similar to those I did in college: squats, deadlifts, and jumping and agility exercises. As my ankle osteoarthritis grew worse, it became clear that those were not the type of exercises I could continue if I wanted to properly manage my OA.
Ankle physical therapy (not me pictured)
I’m terrible at doing my ankle exercises. I really should do something everyday, or at least every other day. Spending about 20-30 minutes doing some range of motion, some stability exercises, then some strength work shouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s really not that hard. I have my own wobble board, foam roller, all types of bands, and an exercise ball. Hell, I don’t even need to go to the gym in order to do my ankle workouts.
But it’s so damn tedious and boring.
I’ve been doing ankle exercises for almost 20 years now to help treat my ankle osteoarthritis. Starting in high school, then in college, and on and off again after college until my first ankle surgery in 2008. Since then ankle exercises has been a constant activity in my life.
20 years of ankle exercises. And I’m only 38. Damn.