Is a Rebounder Good for Arthritis?

We all know the importance of diet and exercise when it comes to healthy living. Engaging in walking and weight training is crucial for proper bone health. Managing a consistent exercise routine is hard work, and for people having conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, sticking to an exercise plan becomes even more daunting.

Rebounding is an activity gaining popularity among people with health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. But is a Rebounder good for arthritis?

Rebounding is good for arthritis because jumping on a rebounder helps lubricate the joints and reduces the pain and stiffness associated with this disease. Rebounding has anti-inflammatory effects. It efficiently stimulates and supports lymphatic drainage.

Rebounding is a cardio exercise on a mini-trampoline or a giant trampoline that can be done indoors or outdoors. George Nissen and Larry Griswold built the first modern trampoline in 1936.

Ed Russell created the first small trampoline in 1938, and Victor Green later patented it in 1975. Within a year, five American companies were manufacturing small trampolines, which were called rebounders.

A rebounder is a small trampoline, a low-impact piece of exercise equipment. The rebounder helps you work out while minimising the impact on the knees, which is helpful for people suffering from moderate to severe arthritis of the knee. This decreases the symptoms and pain from a workout.

The intensity and level of activity depend on each individual’s fitness levels and health. Like most exercises, one can start with simple exercises and gradually increase the intensity. Acceleration and deceleration both help each cell in the body work efficiently, impacting the lymphatic system positively. 

Exercises that can be done on a Rebounder 

The rebounding exercise begins as soon as you step on the rebounder and start moving. Highly aerobic exercises like sprints and interval training are ideal on a rebounder. It does not impact the body as much as the hard ground; the motion is slow and gentle similar to gentle rocking.

Rebounders have evolved from spring-based units to modern spring-based units and high-end bungee-based units; the types of exercise and movement done on rebounders have also evolved with time.

Is a Rebounder good for Arthritis?

According to Al Carter  The World’s Authority on rebounding, three kinds of exercises could be done on a rebounder

  1. Health bounce – a gentle rocking motion that anyone can do with any fitness level. 
  2. Aerobic bounce – An exercise which involves running in place or dancing, thereby alleviating the heart rate. 
  3. Strength bounce – An exercise which involves bouncing higher with both feet leaving the mat. This leads to both abdominal and lower body strength.

Dr Harry Sneider, a college athletic coach, somewhere during the late 70s or ’80s, brought sport-specific training methods like the use of resistive hand-weights to rebound exercise. Along the way, celebrities like fitness guru Jack LaLane and the self-help guru Tony Robbins have endorsed rebounding. 

Although there are so many benefits of rebounding as an exercise, is it suitable for patients with arthritis is a question that needs to be answered.

Is Jumping on a Trampoline Good for Arthritis?

Jumping on a trampoline helps lubricate the joints and reduces the pain and stiffness associated with this disease. Rebounding has anti-inflammatory effects. It efficiently stimulates and supports lymphatic drainage.

Rebounding helps older adults increase their bone strength and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and the risk of falls. Rebounding helps improve balance and muscle-strengthening, which can help prevent falls. 

NASA conducted a study, “Rebound exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.”-The Miracles of Rebound Exercise; Carter, Albert E.; The National Institute of Reboundology and Health, Inc. Edmonds, Washington, 1979. The researchers found that the G-force (force of gravity) absorbed on the ankle or knee while running was twice as compared to the G-force absorbed by the head at the same time.

Most of the pressure was on the knees and ankles. While in the case of rebounding, the G-force was the same all along with the head through the foot. That is why your body is highly efficient in absorbing the impact, which is already minimal, thus further reducing the pressure on the knees.

NASA also found that your body gets up to 68% more rebounding benefits than running with the same effort. You get the benefits of running without working your body as hard or feeling as exhausted.

The study analysed how various forms of exercise on the trampoline help astronauts restore muscle mass and bone loss after spending time in space—rebounding increased the oxygen consumption more than running due to increased strength.

“This showed that rebounding benefits the body more quickly at the cellular level than any other exercise method.”

Is a Mini Trampoline Good for Osteoarthritis?

Mini trampoline has been proved to be suitable for patients with osteoarthritis, as it helps you work out while minimising the impact on the knees. In case of a severe flare-up, it may not be possible to bounce on a mini trampoline for more than a few minutes.

It is best to ask for help to get on and off the equipment. Going slowly is OK!

One must keep trying until the body gets used to it for longer durations. If you keep trying after a while, you will notice that you can quickly jump around for 10 minutes or even more.

Rebounding and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is caused by progressive cartilage degradation in the knees or hips. It limits mobility and causes severe pain. It results in lower physical activity and mental burden. Characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis include functional disability, pain, and fatigue.

The patients experience body composition alterations that can further impact their overall physical health. Arthritis is associated with systemic manifestations like an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Strong evidence suggests that increasing exercise can simultaneously improve symptoms and reduce the impact of systemic manifestations like cardiovascular diseases in rheumatoid arthritis. However, implementing interventions to facilitate training within routine clinical practice is slow because of patient-specific and healthcare professional-related barriers. 

The cardiovascular system has the heart as its pump to keep the blood flowing, but so is not true for the lymphatic system as it does not have any. But when you rebound, the lymphatic circulation improves, thereby helping to flush out the body’s waste and dead white blood cells.

In arthritis, what happens is that the debris of the white blood cells builds up at the joints causing inflammation and soreness. Having a trainer at your side as a motivating training partner supports you in breaking out of the vicious circle of pain with gentle training options on the joints. By using a rebounder, your body strengthens itself by increasing and decreasing stress. 

Patients with chronic knee problems are usually less likely to end up with a knee injury, but sometimes rebounding may cause a health hazard. Using a rebounder is no exception.  It’s called a rebounder knee injury.

Rebounder knee injury is rare and won’t happen unless your knees are hyperextended during a rebound. This injury happens if you accidentally twist your knees against its natural elastic movements. If a minor ligament tear occurs, you’ll feel pain for a couple of days.

In some cases, surgery becomes essential on the road to recovery. Once you hyperextend your knees, a visible swelling is seen. The knee movements are temporarily impaired.

Rebounding may cause a hyperextended knee if you land in an ungainly way wherein you might not be able to continue bouncing. The hyperextended knee will require immediate medical attention to prevent any long-term problems.

With the right kind of treatment, you will feel much better within a week. Also, the trampoline edges are made of metal which usually are responsible for a rebounder knee injury. For instance, one might fall while jumping.

However, this might happen in any form of physical activity; staying alert is critical. Manufacturers make mini trampolines with flexible netting to avoid these injury problems, thereby providing extra protection.

Since it’s an easy exercise, people start rebounding 20 minutes from day 1, which is not advisable. It is disastrous for your limbs and leave the muscles sore. In contrast, your muscles will be more prepared for longer workouts if you start gradually.

We have seen how rebounders can affect the knees both positively and negatively. It is advisable for people with arthritis to consult their health care practitioner and start the routine slowly.

Only after the approval of a certified healthcare professional, you should proceed with the exercise. We hope that the article has addressed most of your questions regarding arthritis and rebounding, helping you make informed decisions.

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MSc Biotechnology and Healthcare Communications Professional

Science content writer, editor. A postgraduate in Biotechnology with extensive content writing experience in Healthcare, Biotech, and Clinical research. Therapy Areas include but are not limited to Diabetes, Oncology, Virology, Immunology.