How I Play Basketball With Arthritis


I’ve had osteoarthritis since I was a teenager. It started with knee pain, but over time it has spread to other joints in my body. Now, I have arthritis in both knees, my hips and one of my ankles — although the doctor says that’s normal for someone who’s had osteoarthritis as long as I have. The good news is that there are ways to stay active even if you have arthritis: For example, if you’re going out for a bike ride or hike but have knee pain from arthritis (or anything else), consider cycling instead of running or hiking uphill — it can be easier on your joints!

I’ve had osteoarthritis since I was a teenager.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, which means the cartilage in your joints has been worn away. The joint becomes less flexible and more painful over time. It can happen in any joint, but most often occurs in the knees, hips and spine.

Arthritis doesn’t just affect older people—it also affects younger patients as well. If you’re young and have arthritis, there are things you can do to reduce the pain and help prevent further damage to your body:

I’ve had to learn how to play basketball with it.

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people all over the world. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Unfortunately, it can also greatly limit your ability to play sports like basketball due to the constant pounding on your joints. However, if you’re dedicated enough and willing to put up with some pain every now and then, playing sports with arthritis is still possible.

Here are some tips for playing basketball with arthritis:

  • Treat it immediately when injured – If you get injured while playing basketball because of your arthritis don’t wait until the next day to seek treatment; get help as soon as possible so that you avoid further damage or worsening symptoms from occurring.
  • Find ways of reducing the impact on your joints – For example wearing a brace or splint can provide additional support for vulnerable areas such as ankles or wrists which may otherwise cause more discomfort than necessary during sporting activities such as running/jumping etcetera (especially if there’s already existing problems).
  • Always warm up before exercising – This helps reduce muscle stiffness/soreness afterwards by gradually increasing blood flow throughout muscles before strenuous activity takes place (such as when practicing shooting hoops).

Over time, a normal knee joint becomes worn down, causing stiffness and pain that can make it hard to walk, bend and even sit still.

Knee pain is a common symptom of arthritis. There are two main types of knee arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of joint disease in North America, affecting over 26 million people. OA happens when the cartilage that normally cushions your joints wears down over time. You’re more likely to get OA as you get older and have a family history of the condition; it also increases your risk if you smoke, are overweight or have previous injuries in that joint area.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that inflames and damages the cartilage around your joints—specifically those in your wrists, hands, spine and knees—causing inflammation that can cause pain or stiffness on its own or alongside other symptoms like fatigue and fevers.

It’s not the same as the better known rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. Instead, osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the knees over time.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling around the joints. It occurs when cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones and cushions them, breaks down over time. This can be caused by injury or surgery to your joint, but more often it’s from aging and wear and tear on your joints.

Common symptoms include:

  • pain in one or more of your joints on most days for more than three months
  • stiffness in one or more of your joints for longer than an hour when you first wake up
  • joint swelling that affects one or more parts of your hand, wrist, foot or ankle

Several years ago, my doctor recommended surgery — he said it would give me back most of the knee function I’d lost because of the disease.

I had surgery on my knee, but it wasn’t a cure. I still have arthritis and need to manage it with medication, exercise and diet every day. Because of the surgery, though, I have pain and swelling in my knee joint that makes it difficult to play basketball or engage in other physical activities like hiking or playing tennis.

Because arthritis affects so many parts of the body — from your knees to your ankles to your fingers — different people experience it differently. For example:

  • Many patients who’ve had joint replacement surgery for arthritis can’t return to their pre-arthritis activity level because they suffer from stiffness or increased pain after years of wear-and-tear on their joints.*

The day after surgery, it felt like somebody had shot me in the knee with a gun. My knee was so swollen that I couldn’t bend it more than halfway.

If you’ve had a knee replacement, it’s likely that you remember how sore and swollen your knee was immediately following surgery. The first few days of recovery are difficult because of the pain and inability to bend your new joint. You may also have trouble walking without assistance or sitting for more than a few minutes at a time.

However, after six weeks of healing time and physical therapy, most people can return to normal activities—including basketball—with little difficulty.

Two years later, I’m still dealing with the pain from my arthritis flare-ups that come without warning and last for weeks at a time. So far, there’s no cure except more surgery — which would most likely lead to a lot less mobility than I have now.

If you have arthritis, it’s important to remember that this is a chronic condition. You may be able to keep it under control and slow down the progression of symptoms by following your doctor’s recommendations, but there is no cure for arthritis.

Over time, your joints will become stiffer and more painful. The good news? There are treatments available to help manage the pain associated with these flare-ups — even though they won’t cure your arthritis or reverse its effects on your body.

In recent months, my arthritis has made playing basketball incredibly painful if not impossible to do — but I’m determined not to let it win.

In recent months, my arthritis has made playing basketball incredibly painful if not impossible to do — but I’m determined not to let it win.

The first step is to find a sport that you enjoy. There are many sports that can be played with a team or individually, and some are more forgiving than others for those with arthritis. A great option is tennis! You have the option of playing singles or doubles, which can add variety in your game play and increase the speed and intensity of your workout. Another option is badminton: this game requires less running than most other racquet sports, but still provides an excellent cardiovascular workout while building strength and flexibility in your arms and legs thanks to hitting back and forth over the net three times during each point (which gives players plenty of time between points).

Of course there’s always swimming as well; swimming keeps all muscles active while providing essential resistance training at the same time! Plus water offers gentle support against joints which makes it easier on them when moving around instead of having solid ground beneath us like we would have if we were running barefoot on asphalt pavement for instance…This means no more pain after practice/game night either!

You can find fun ways to stay active in spite of arthritis

If you have arthritis, it’s important to be cautious about the activities you do. However, there are still plenty of ways to stay active and have fun. Many people find that exercise helps them manage their arthritis symptoms better than medication does. Exercise helps prevent stiffness and swelling, which can make movement painful if it becomes severe enough.

The most important thing is to find a sport that feels good for your body:

  • Swimming is an excellent low-impact activity for people with arthritis in their joints because the water reduces friction between muscles and joints
  • Tennis balls are easier on hands than hard rubber balls when you’re playing sports (and they’re also great for tossing around during down time)
  • Cycling is another low-impact way to stay active; since it doesn’t put as much strain on your knees as running does, it’s also good if you have problems with those joints


It’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways to stay active despite having arthritis. The key is finding activities that don’t put too much pressure on your knee joint and finding ways to keep the pain at bay when it flares up. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our blog post on how to play basketball with arthritis!