Research shows that walking can prevent new knee pain for some

New research suggests that walking can relieve knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 people aged 50 and older and found that osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common type of arthritis in the United States. Some are initially permanently ill, while others are not. After four years, those who began to exercise their knees more frequently and who exercised at least 10 times felt less new, regular stiffness or pain around their knees and had less structural damage to their knees. The study suggested that people with bowel osteoarthritis may benefit more from walking.

The study offers an easy and free way to deal with one of the most common culprits of knee pain in the elderly.

The results signify a “paradigm shift,” the doctor said. Grace Xiao-Wei Lo is an assistant at Baylor Medical College in Houston and co-author of the study. “Everyone is always looking for some kind of drug. This osteoarthritis intervention emphasizes something else, including the importance and likelihood of old exercise. Research shows that exercise can help fight osteoarthritis in other joints, such as the hips, arms and legs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis, affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States and occurs when joint cartilage breaks down and the bone beneath the bone begins to change. The risk of developing the disease increases with age, and one-third of people over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis of the knee, says Dr. Lo said. Many patients use medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to treat the disease, which in large doses can lead to kidney problems and ulcers, he added.

Instead, they can exercise. For decades, health professionals have seen walking as a way to improve cardiovascular health, the doctor said. Elaine Husney, a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, did not participate in the study. In recent years, doctors have been considering exercises that have little effect on treating conditions such as depression, cognitive impairment, and mild osteoarthritis. But new research shows that walking can also work as a preventative measure, Dr. Lo said people who are at high risk for the disease may want to include regular walks in their routine. For example, Dr. Based on her findings, Lo said her mother had osteoarthritis and needed to walk more.

The study began in 2004 and was documented in participants ’knee pain using them to assess their osteoarthritis. Researchers then asked participants to document their exercise habits and asked them how often their knees hurt, and reviewed their symptoms on a regular basis.

Four years later, 37 percent of study participants who did not walk for exercise (excluding occasional trips to the train or grocery store) developed new, more frequent knee pain, compared with 26 percent who walked.

Of course, researchers cannot say for sure that walking stopped knee pain, and it did not reduce the current pain. Self-assessment may be less accurate than fitness trackers or step counters. Researchers did not track the distance or frequency of people walking, nor did they suggest how and when people with osteoarthritis included walking in their exercise routine.

However, the results confirm the understanding of doctors on how to deal with osteoarthritis. Regular exercise helps build muscle mass, strengthens the ligaments around joints with osteoarthritis, Dr. Husni said. Walking is a low-intensity, low-impact exercise that allows people to maintain strength and flexibility, which are important for healthy joints, he added.

“It’s an intervention that someone can do,” he said. “You have no excuses. You can do it wherever you are. ”

People who are already sick should be careful not to exercise too much, the doctor said. Justin Elbayar, a sports medicine specialist at the NYU Langone Health Orthopedic Surgery Department, said he was not involved in the study. Walking long distances can exacerbate pain in some severe arthritis sufferers, he said – but for smaller arthritis sufferers, he said “this is one of the best exercises you can do.”

He suggests that people start with a small, short walk and gradually build a distance over time. The goal of the exercise is to support the muscles in the arthritic knee and get used to walking on joints, tendons and tissues, he said.

He also suggested wearing supportive shoes, drinking plenty of water while walking, and resting frequently if tired or new. Cooling the knee after a long walk can also help alleviate the discomfort, he added.

While walking outdoors may not restore cartilage or alleviate current pain, exercise offers a convincing and affordable option to eliminate the intrusive aspects of osteoarthritis, Dr. Lo said. Because, he added, “not a penny of walking.”

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