Arthritis and CrossFit

There’s always been this misconception that weightlifting or any kind of resistance training is bad for your joints. If you lift weights, especially heavy weights, you’re going to end up damaging your back/knees/elbows/shoulders, you name it. I, myself, have major arthritis in my left knee and elbow. I’ve had it for years. I also don’t experience arthritic pain in either of them and I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years. 

Arthritis is a degradation of bone density in a joint. A joint is filled with tons of something called synovial fluid that provides the joint with elasticity and this ability to pass through a pain free range of motion. Of course, a person has to be flexible enough to hit these end ranges, but synovial fluid enters the joint through movement. If a joint remains stagnant, the body sees less of a need to produce this fluid and the joint essentially dries up. 

The other piece involved in arthritis is bone density. Your bone density is mostly genetic. We’ve all heard of people who are “big boned”. Well no one has bigger bones than someone else, but some people are born with more bone density. Which is just this propensity to be able to sustain more load on the skeletal system. However, someone can improve their bone density…by lifting weights. The skeletal system, much like the rest of the body, has an ability to send a signal to the brain when a load presents itself. If there’s a constant load placed on the skeletal system, it will send a signal to the brain to produce more bone density to handle that load. Your body doesn’t know you’re squatting. It doesn’t know you’re performing a deadlift. It just knows that there is this heavy weight on your shoulders or in your hands and you need to be able to get it off you. 

If you’re dealing with arthritis pain, the worst thing you can do is stop moving.



To learn more about how to improve ailments you may have and how moving your body truly does help them, contact us

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