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Advice on Sports and Other Activities for Amputees
An amputation does not limit an individual from taking up or continuing sport or other physical activities. Naturally, adaptations to how you approach sport and exercise will be needed, but these changes can usually be made more easily than you would think. In fact, sport can offer a range of benefits to amputees, including improved self-esteem, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved motor skills.
Different sports have different requirements, for example, hand-eye coordination for basketball, strength for rugby, and stamina for football. If you’re not sure about what you want to do or what you’re able to do, the Parasports site has a self-assessment form to help you find what sports and activities are in your area and are suitable for your level of disability. This may also be an opportunity for you take up something that you haven’t done before.
Popular Amputee Sports
Cycling is a popular sport among lower-limb amputees because it is non-weight bearing. There are many alternatives to a regular bicycle that are designed especially to help, from tricycles, quad cycles and recumbents to hand-powered bikes and power-assisted bicycles.
Swimming is also a common sport taken up by amputees as your body is mostly supported by the water. What’s more, the water resistance increases the benefit of movement, while being submerged makes it a less public form of exercise. Most amputees swim without their prosthesis; however, there are water activity limbs available if that is preferred.
Many instructors and swimming clubs have a disability liaison officer. Contact your local pool for information on what’s available near you.
Wheelchair tennis is extremely popular around the world, with more than 100 countries playing the sport. Tennis courts do not need to be modified and disabled players can play and train with able-bodied players with slight adaptations to the rules. The sport can be useful for improving a person’s mobility, strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Golf is a very adaptable sport that caters for a whole range of abilities. The sport is a great way to get and keep fit, assisting balance and strengthening muscles. It also is relatively low impact, with an average of 6,000 steps needing to be taken even when using a golf buggy. To find your local golf range or for more information on disability golf, take a look at the England Golf website.
Many sports can be played by below-knee amputees on the same basis as non-disabled people, but there are sports that have been adopted, such as sitting volleyball and football, and wheelchair basketball. The Limbless Association has a sports and activities directory that lists clubs and associations that cater for amputees. The list includes athletics, cycling, football, martial arts and skiing.
Sport is not as restricted as people first think and with the success of flagship para-events such as the Paralympics, the Commonwealth para-sports programme and the Invictus Games filtering down to grassroots level, there is a clear, growing interest in the field of para-sports. There are many different options out there to cater for a whole range of interests and abilities, so if you’re an amputee and a sports fan, you shouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of what’s available to you.
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation and you feel it could have been avoided, call JMW’s personal injury team today. We are here to provide legal advice and expert representation for those looking to make a claim. Simply call 0800 054 6078 or complete our online enquiry form and a solicitor will be in touch.