For many, summer means time for sports or physical activity, especially on holiday, at the seaside and on the sand. Beach tennis, beach volleyball, beach soccer and even beach rugby are some of the many activities that Italians practice on holiday. Speaking of knees, many of these activities, even if practiced only in summer, are not indicated. Why? We asked Dr. Piero Volpi, head of the Operating Unit for Knee Orthopedics and Sports Traumatology at Humanitas.
In fact, running or walking on the sand, a match of beach football or beach volleyball may not be activities suitable for everyone – explains the expert. In fact, people who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, or has a knee launch or valgus, or when there is a deviation of the axis of the lower limbs so that the legs appear arched outwards with a large space between the knees or the knees touch to form an “X” shape should avoid physical activity on the sand but prefer the one at sea. In these cases, rather than sports on the sand, all water sports that can also be done at sea are to be preferred, such as canoeing and swimming, because they reduce the overload on the knees, and pain in case of arthrosis. If you are not very familiar with water sports, you can achieve the same result by walking in the water or cycling inland. However, to avoid physical activity and to run the risk of trauma and injury, it is advisable to consult a specialist to determine the type of activity to be practiced, even in summer or on holiday, based on the general health conditions, the state of the knees and the age. Finally, don’t forget that although there is more time for physical activity during the holidays, it is important to get trained and prepared: it is enough to walk or jog for half an hour a day to reduce the risk of trauma and injury.