Walking is an essential part of an active lifestyle that helps keep your heart and bones strong and your joints functioning. However, aching knees can be a challenge for walking. Doctors recommend maintaining constant movement that helps reduce your symptoms. If you have knee pain due to osteoarthritis or other causes, do not let it keep you from starting a walking routine explains Dr. Rupa Mehta, Co-Founder, Head of Physiotherapy Dept., Healthspace Clinic, while she was in conversation with us. She also further elaborated how walking can play a major role in easing knee pain. Read on to find out all the details.
Walking And Its Advantages For Knee Pain
Walking can be done regularly as it is a low-impact activity. The most common benefit of walking is that it helps in the building of the muscles, which in turn leads to fewer chances of injury and less pain. Walking even is a good form of cardio exercise which helps in losing weight and in turn eases pressure and stresses of the knee joint. For every pound you lose, you apply 4 times less pressure to the knee.
Walking helps in improving your cardiovascular endurance and capacity keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. Your knee joint is made up of bone and cartilage. Walking stimulates blood flow and hence nutrients enter the joints lubricating the cartilage which is extremely important to keep the bones healthy. Make sure you get up and move around or stretch every 15 minutes. Moving your joints ensures that the cartilage receives the nourishment it needs to stay healthy.
Tips To Help You Maintain A Healthy Walking Regime
Alternative activities: Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity and can help you maintain joint health. However, it's not the only option. If your sensitive knees keep you from walking, you can get the physical activity you need through cycling, pool exercises, swimming, or water aerobics. Try cycling on a stationary bike, bicycle, to help keep your opposing muscles in shape offering better support of the knee. You can also start walking in the pool as it relieves the pressure on the joints.
Aim for 6000 steps per day: Studies show that people with osteoarthritis knee pain benefit most when they walk 6000 steps or more per day. If you can, eventually exceed the number of steps without increasing pain. The eventual goal is to get 30 minutes a day. Begin with an easy/ moderate pace as you build endurance. Eventually, try to walk briskly at a pace that you find challenging.
Choose softer walking surfaces: You can start on a level surface as walking on a slope. However, walking on natural surface paths (dirt, bark dust, pea gravel) is easier on the joints. Although sometimes uneven, natural surfaces help achieve a more balanced exercise.
Choose the right shoes: Ensure that your walking shoes are flat and flexible. Make sure that it is bendable in the forefoot with a low heel-to-toe drop. Avoid high heels, pointy toes, or heavy shoes. Look for shoes with a wide toe space. If the heel is even 1.5-inch higher, it can increase pressure, causing knee osteoarthritis damage.
Use cold packs after walking: A regular walking routine can help reduce stiffness and inflammation in the knee. Make sure to apply cold packs after your walks to help reduce the inflammation further.
Do not walk with your knees bent: During this period use a cycle or try out some pool exercises to keep your joints mobile. Consult a doctor to diagnose the reasons for the bent knee. Physiotherapy treatment(Physiotherapy vs myotherapy) can be done to straighten your knees using mobilizing techniques supported by modalities to strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility. Once the knees are straight you can then try and walk. Once you are confident walking, you can even include them in your walking workouts. Just keep moving.
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Do you also suffer from knee pain? Cure it by walking as per activities suggested by our experts also, do reach out to us in case of a query. Stay tuned to Her Zindagi for more.