How Much Can I Walk With Knee Arthritis
Consistency and moderation are important when it comes to walking with arthritis in the knee. To begin with, patients are encouraged to do about 1015 minutes of light walking per day and eventually work their way up to 30 minutes per day. You can do one 30-minute walk or several shorter walks throughout the day. Follow these tips to ensure safety and comfort when walking with arthritis:
- Warm up: Lightly stretching and warming up the muscles is always a good idea before exercising. This helps prevent injury and is particularly beneficial for patients whose knees are stiff due to arthritis.
- Choose appropriate terrain: Make sure you choose an even walking surface, such as a track or mall, to avoid possible accidents or undue strain on the joints. While some doctors believe a very moderate incline is helpful for the knees, flat surfaces are just fine.
- Dont overdo it: Begin by walking short intervals at a moderate, comfortable pace. In the coming weeks, your body and joints will likely feel better and stronger, allowing you to increase the distance of your walks.
- Walk when your knees feel the best: While walking may help arthritis pain in the long term, it is important to try and walk when your joints are feeling their best. For example, if you wake up with stiff, painful knees, it may be best to wait until later in the day to begin your walk. Additionally, walking right after taking anti-inflammatory medications can help minimize any possible discomfort.
Make Sure To Warm Up First
You may want to apply heat to your joints before you begin walking to help them warm up. You can also do stretching exercises to get your knee joints limber and moving. Start your walk slowly to allow time for your joints to warm up. You can pick up your pace after a few minutes if you want. Think about taking your walks during low-pain times of the day. For example, if you are stiffer in the morning, get up and move around for a minute or two every half hour before walking. You will enjoy your walks more and that will help you be consistent.
Getting To Know Your Knees
Your knee is the largest joint in the human body and is the meeting place of four leg bones, the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Comprised of two joints that work together to form a modified hinge joint, this gives the knee its range of motion allowing it to bend and straighten and to swing from side to side. Dr. Andrew Chung of HealthPages.org explains that the knee is susceptible to injury since it has the task of bearing enormous pressure while maintaining flexibility. For example, while walking, the load put on our knees amounts to 1.5 times our body weight. While climbing stairs, this load is equal to 3-4 times our body weight.
In addition to the normal wear and tear of the knee from daily activities, the increased mileage from long dedicated walks can be tough on the knees especially if you are using improper form.
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Take Time Off From Running
Often, taking a short rest when symptoms are mild can get you back on track quickly rather than waiting until symptoms are severe and require more intervention and rest time. Only you can decide which symptoms warrant rest. Keep in mind that you can cross-train at these times with swimming, walking, lifting, or use of an elliptical to keep yourself fit and strong while resting affected areas. Alternatively, you can schedule physical therapy appointments to get rehab guidance and prevent injury.
What The Studies Show
In a 2011 study published in the;Journal of Biomechanics,;Shull and his colleagues retrained nine healthy people without osteoarthritis to shift their gait.
They had the participants walk on a treadmill while wearing equipment that measured the forces on the knee and gave feedback on how they were walking. With the feedback, participants were able to learn how to shift weight to different parts of the knee. The pressure on the medial compartment was reduced by 20%. A knee brace can reduce pressure by 1015% and foot orthotics can reduce pressure by 510%.
Once Shull and his colleagues established that the technology could help healthy people learn new walking patterns, they decided to test it on people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
The 2013 study published in the;Journal of Orthopaedic Research, looked at 10 people with medial compartment knee OA and self-reported pain. They participated in weekly gait retraining sessions for six weeks. Their scores for pain and function improved by 29% and 32%, respectively.
Researchers at University of British Columbia and University of Melbourne have also been studying how changes in gait may lessen knee burden. In a 2012 study published in;Arthritis Care and Research,;they taught 22 participants with knee OA to shift their trunks toward their damaged knee.;Although the greater the lean, the less pressure on the inner joint, participants had a tough time learning the new walk and initially at least, found no pain reduction.
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Why Walking Is The First Step To Better Health
Here are some of the advantages of walking:
In addition, as you walk more and become more active, youll become more confident in your physical abilities.
Walking Rebuilds Joints And Strengthens Your Legs
If your pain is due to a condition like arthritis, the cartilage in your knee can become damaged and worn.
The end result is pain, stiffness, and problems with mobility.
Walking can help rebuild the joint.
The cartilage in your knee is like a sponge, and it gets nutrients from the compression and decompression of your body weight as you walk.
Walking will also build muscles in your legs so they can relieve some pressure off of your joints and handle more of your bodyweight themselves. That means less stress and pain for your knees.
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Your Walking Surface Matters
Walking on hard surfaces like asphalt roads or concrete sidewalks put greater stress on your knees. Although plenty of people take their daily walk or jog on the road, walking surfaces that give slightly will have less of an impact. SportsKnee.com advises choosing surfaces that are softer such as the rubber tread of a treadmill or paths covered in grass, dirt or wood chips. A walking track with its rubberized surface has both give to make it easier on the knees and grip to help prevent slips and falls. The longer your walk, the more your knees will appreciate a softer surface. You might get by during a 5-minute walk, but if youre trying to burn calories by walking for an hour or more it pays to reduce the impact on your knees. A good walking surface can be hard to find, but many schools have walking tracks that may be open to the public during certain hours.
Too soft of a surface can also be a problem. A surface that gives too much, like a sandy path or beach, can also be damaging because its hard to get stable footing. Its very easy to injure a knee or ankle if sand or dirt suddenly gives away. Uneven surfaces like a natural dirt trail or woodland hiking trail can be hard on your knees as well. They increase the likelihood of tripping and falling, and may make a natural walking gait difficult.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 1 Wear The Right Shoes
The foot is a very complex part of the human anatomy.
Its made up of 19 muscles, 26 bones, 107 ligaments, and 33 jointsand these take the brunt of a foot strike when running.
Since running is a high impact sport that places a great deal of stress on the knees, wearing the right trainers not only helps you to run faster and longer, but may also reduce risks of pain and injury.
A good running shoe is designed specifically to diffuse the load shooting up the rest of your leg.
Just dont get me wrong.
Im not suggesting that proper shoes are the ultimate solution to your knee issues.
But its a start, and an important part of an overall prevention and treatment and plan.
That said, I should also point outand this may surprise some of youthat the current research on the effectiveness of running shoes in improving performance and preventing overuse injury is, at best, mixed.
This link provides you with more insight on the subject at hand.
Yet, in my experience, a proper pair is non-negotiableregardless.
Therefore, to stay safe, you got to find a shoe that fits your feet properly.
More importantly, go for a pair that supports your natural foot typewhether youre neutral, high arched , or flat-footed runner.
To find a suitable pair, head to your local running store and ask for a foot type and gait analysis, which will help you find what best matches your physiological and training needs.
Also, be sure to replace your trainers regularly.
Strength training is good for you.
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Where Is The Pain
There are a few different places within the calf muscles that can feel sore when sustaining an injury. The calf muscles run from the back of the knee all the way to the ankle where it attaches to the Achilles tendon. The large bulk of the muscle you can feel in the back of your lower leg is the gastrocnemius. Anywhere in this entire area, superficial or deep into the soleus muscle, or even the Achilles tendon itself, can feel tender with use and palpation.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
A number of mind-body therapies, such as acupuncture and tai chi, may be used to treat knee pain, especially knee osteoarthritis.
While once popular, the dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have fallen out of favor for treating knee osteoarthritis. This is due to their lack of benefit based on scientific studies; although, some people may obtain mild relief. Like any medication, vitamin, or supplement, be sure to talk with your doctor first before taking it to be certain it is safe for you.
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How Severe Is The Pain
The amount of pain and soreness you are experiencing can give you a clue as to what is going on. While calf pain can range from minimal to severe, if symptoms are severe you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. It can indicate more serious issues like a blood clot, infection, fracture or major muscle tear. Additionally, while some night calf pain is normal, if its completely affecting your sleep quality talk to your doctor.
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Stop If Anything Hurts
Take a break if your joints start to ache sit on a bench for a minute or two and engage in some easy breathing, then walk again, advises Louw. If the pain is sharp and stabbing, or you feel any new joint pain, its time to stop. Talk to your doctor about what pain is normal and when its a sign of something more serious.
Lower Iliotibial Band Stretch
Lie on your good side, in a straight line along the edge of a bed so youre looking across the bed.
Hold on to the end of the bed with your lower arm for support.
Reach behind you with your upper arm and pull your foot to your bottom, as if you were doing a regular quads stretch. Keeping your foot against your bottom, gently increase the quads stretch by pulling your leg backwards. Youll feel it along the front of your thigh let yourself relax into this stretch.
Still holding this stretch, and making sure you dont tilt your hips backwards, now very gently push your knee down towards the floor.
At a certain point you should feel quite a sharp stretch down near the knee perfect for lengthening those tight soft tissues around the lateral aspect of the patella. Its important to keep your whole body in line and perpendicular to the bed during the stretch.
If youre lucky enough to be able to enlist the help of a patient friend, then ask them to place one hand on your hips and push down very gently! on your knee with the other. This produces a better stretch, since you can completely relax the leg as its being pushed down.
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How Is Knee Pain In Teens Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your teens knee pain:
- Is there a known cause for the knee pain does it happen with certain movements or is there no specific known event?
- How long has the pain been present?
- Where on or around your knee do you feel pain?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
Your provider will perform a physical exam, checking:
- Kneecap and knee stability.
- Alignment of lower leg, kneecap and thigh.
- Range of motion of hips and knees.
- Thigh muscle strength, flexibility, firmness.
Your provider may order imaging tests including X-rays or a CT scan or MRI .
What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers
Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:
- Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
- Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
- Medical conditions that affect the knee.
Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:
- Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
- Improper training methods or equipment.
- Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
- Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
- Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.
Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:
Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:
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Healing Exercises For Knee Pain
The knee, made up of bones, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments, is the largest joint in the body. It;can also be the source of a lot of discomfort.
A lot of people wonder if its a good idea to exercise if they have knee pain.;They think it might put unnecessary stress on their knees. The truth is, not exercising could lead to more pain and weaker knees.
These exercises for knee pain will put you on the path to recovery! So give a few of them a try!
Living with chronic knee pain is difficult. If youve done the exercises and are thinking about the next steps you want to take on your journey to recovery,;consider consulting a professional.
Remember The Golden Rule For Cycling Knee Pain
While we can give you some basic strategies for getting out of trouble when plagued by knee pain, the old adage rings true:;stay out of trouble in the rst place!
- Many problems with the knee can be avoided by not making sudden increases in your training regime or drastic changes in bike setup
- Look after your legs and theyll look after you: stretch all the big muscle groups after each ride and treat them to the odd massage
- Dont neglect core muscle strength smaller core muscles can relieve much bigger limb muscles of surprisingly large loads
The scope of this article is limited to some of the more common overuse injuries, so if youve sustained an acute injury or experience sudden pain, or if your symptoms dont improve with this very general advice, please seek appropriate qualified medical help.
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What Causes Knee Pain After Hiking And How To Treat It
Spending time outdoors can reduce stress and keep you healthy. In Arizona, picturesque trails cover every corner of the state, which makes hiking a popular activity year round. Unfortunately, time spent on the trails can result in knee pain, especially for older residents with aging joints. If youre experiencing knee pain after hiking, you dont have to suffer. There are plenty of ways to get your discomfort under control. Heres what you should know.