- Aging & Longevity
Walking Helps Relieve Pain and Stiffness of Arthritic Knees
If you have been suffering from the stiffness of osteoarthritis, now you can relieve your pain and stiffness with a few steps – literally. The simple act of walking seems to help improve the stiffness and relieve the pain that comes with osteoarthritis of the knees.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects over 16 million people in the United States today. The progressive disease affects the joints, causing stiffness, aches, and occasional loss of motion.
The knee joint is frequently affected, and many people complain that they can’t get around like they used to because their knees are so stiff.
But researchers think they have found a way to relieve some of that stiffness. Recent research suggests that the simple exercise of walking will help loosen up the knee joints in people who suffer from osteoarthritis.
To test the effects of walking on osteoarthritic joints, the investigators recruited 102 volunteers who were over the age of 40 and who suffered from osteoarthritis of the knees. The volunteers were divided into two groups: one group began an eight-week program that involved walking three times a week (30 minutes at a time), classes on osteoarthritis, and support groups.
The other group received classes on osteoarthritis and support, but no exercise program.
After the full eight weeks, the volunteers in the exercise group reported improvement in the amount of pain they had and improvement in how well they could get around.
No one reported that the walking increased the pain of stiffness – the results were overwhelmingly positive. The volunteers were also healthier than when they started, and most could walk a good bit farther than they could when the study began.
On the other hand, the volunteers in the no-exercise group experienced little or no improvement in their symptoms.
The results from the study should encourage people who have stiff knees from osteoarthritis to start on a simple walking program. Taking those first, simple steps might be your key to getting rid of your stiffness and getting back into life the way you used to know it.