Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Is Walking Good For Arthritis In The Knee?

Yes, walking is good for arthritis in the knee. Generally, the knee pain experienced by arthritis patients hurts so much that they hardly want to move around. But walking is actually good for arthritis in the knee, as regular walking can eventually make their knees feel better.

Is Walking Good For Arthritis In The Knee?

How is Walking Good for Arthritis in the Knee?

When arthritis patients first start moving after a long time, their joints become a bit sore and achy. They may feel a bit uncomfortable due to the slight inflammation in their knee. But they should continue walking and the hurting achy knee should not keep them away from doing their usual activities. Walking helps to ease the knee pain for arthritis patients by:

Rebuilding the Joints: Cartilage is the springy tissue in the joints, which acts as a shock absorber for the knees. The knee cartilage gets damaged or worn out due to arthritis and leads to stiffness and pain in the knee joint and problems with mobility. To rebuild the knee joint, one needs to exercise regularly. The sponge like cartilage gets nutrition from the compression and decompression of the body weight as one walks and helps with arthritis in the knee.

Strengthening the Legs: Walking builds the leg muscles. Strong leg muscles lessen the pressure on the knee joints and take on more of the body weight themselves. This helps to decrease the friction and arthritis pain in the knees.

Promoting Weight Loss: Excessive pressure on the legs causes knee pain. Every pound of weight lost, decreases the pressure and stress on the knees by 4 times. So by losing weight, one can make a great difference in their knee joint pain from arthritis. Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise, which can help lose those extra pounds and benefit when one is suffering from knee arthritis.

What is The Ideal Walking Regime for Knee Arthritis Patients?

Arthritis patients should go for a walk for at least 3 to 5 days in a week, if not every day. Walking for 30-60 minutes per day should be the goal for arthritis patients. But, for patients who are just starting out, even 5 minute walks thrice a day can prove helpful in building strong bones and muscles, increasing mobility and reducing knee arthritis pain. Arthritis patients can gradually increase their time until they reach the ultimate goal. Arthritis patients should walk at moderate intensity, i.e. at a speed of around 3 km/ hr. Ones who are unable to do this should not worry and try to build up their stamina gradually. Arthritis patients should try and walk at a speed at which their heart and breathing rate are fast, but still they are able to carry on a conversation as they walk. Counting steps also proves helpful in making walking a part of the everyday routine. One should aim to cover 6,000 steps per day. It should be kept in mind that most people already walk 3,000 to 5,000 steps per day in their normal course of activities. So, it is fine to slowly build up the number of steps one takes when suffering from arthritis in the knee.

Things To Remember When Suffering From Arthritis In The Knee

In order to stay healthy, it is important to get 30 minutes to an hour of exercise on most days of the week. But one should not push too hard and overdo the workouts. Patients should start by walking for 5 minutes on the first few days and then gradually increase the duration. If experiencing sudden increase in swelling, severe pain in the legs, feeling of instability and imbalance, and body ache, they should stop walking as these are some warning signs being sent out by the body. While walking, one should always wear good walking shoes. On experiencing swelling or soreness after walking, the person should lie down with their legs raised and apply ice on their knees. If walking hurts, a doctor should be contacted right away. The cause of the knee pain needs to be identified in time for proper treatment. Painful walking often indicates problems with knee alignment and so assistive devices like custom-made inserts for the shoes may need to be used to move around more comfortably.

Final Take

It should be remembered that the human body is meant to move, and motion itself has a healing effect on the body. So, even though walking can initially be an uncomfortable affair for people with arthritis in the knees, one should not stop moving around. What may feel as slightly achy at first bring about some great results gradually, not only in how the knee feels, but also in how the overall body feels.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 29, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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