An incredibly effective tool for finding osteoarthritis knee pain relief may sound like a catch-22; walking to move your joints can ultimately help you avoid knee pain. But initially, walking can seem to cause the pain you’re trying to avoid. To motivate you to get moving, you need the good news; what are the benefits of walking as a knee pain treatment, and what is the safest way to get started to find knee pain relief?
Why You Should Walk
There are many surprising benefits to taking up walking as a knee pain treatment:
- When you have osteoarthritis, your cartilage, or the resilient, springy, soft tissue that absorbs shock in your knees, becomes damaged and worn and causes pain. Walking can help rebuild the tissue, because the compression and decompression of your body weight on the joint pulls in nutrients like a sponge.
- Walking will strengthen the muscles in your hips, glutes, and legs. This will then work to absorb some of the forces of walking and moving themselves. Stronger muscles will also serve to support the joint, making it more stable and decreasing imbalanced mechanical motion that causes uneven wear and pain.
- The increase in activity can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, reducing extra pounds that strain already irritated joints. In fact, according to a Wake Forest University study, there’s a 4lb. reduction in the forces on the knees for each pound of body weight reduced. So the accumulated reduction in knee load for just a 1lb loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked.
Walk the Walk
When the furthest you’ve walked in a while is from the recliner to the restroom, it can seem daunting to take on a daily exercise program for osteoarthritis knee pain relief. So seeking support can help you begin confidently and without any further risk of injury.
- Take care of serious pain. If the pain you’re feeling is acute and truly immobilizing, seek a knee pain treatment. Steroidal or non-steroidal injections can rapidly reduce pain and inflammation around the joint. This can help make it possible to hit the pavement as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
- Consider seeking range of motion therapy to improve your mobility. Connective tissues around joints can sometimes shorten due to injury and lack of movement. A physical therapist can work with you to loosen up stiffness and to make getting started more comfortable.
- Pace yourself. If you experience soreness or swelling after a walk, Jemima Albayda, MD, a rheumatologist at Johns Hopkins University, recommends lying down with the legs elevated and icing the knees for relief.
Ready to Step Into Knee Pain Relief?
The team approach of medical doctors, chiropractors, nurses and physical therapists at Health Star Clinic allows us to determine the best course of treatment for successful pain management and healing. This responsible approach works to avoid all surgical options and minimizes the need for prescription medications. Contact us today to get your own personalized treatment plan!