A promising new study indicates that walking may prevent knee pain in people with osteoarthritis (or osteoarthritis).
Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 people aged 50 or over With osteoarthritis, the most common joint deformity. Some had constant pain in the beginning, while others did not.
After four years, people who start and walk for exercise are less likely to experience it without persistent knee pain. periodic attacks of stiffness or pain There was less structural damage in and around the knees.
Studies suggest that people with knee osteoarthritis who have arched feet may particularly benefit from walking. Research shows the potential for an easy and free way to combat one of the most common culprits of knee pain in older adults.
the results represent “A Paradigm Shift”said Dr. Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, an associate professor at Baylor School of Medicine in Houston and lead author of the study.
“Everyone is always on the lookout for some kind of medication. This highlights the importance and possibility that interventions for osteoarthritis will be different with the inclusion of more exercise.”
Research indicates that exercise may help control arthritis in other joints, he said, such as: hips, arms and legs,
what is osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritisAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it affects more than 32.5 million adults in the U.S. and occurs when cartilage in a joint breaks down and the underlying bone begins to replace.
According to Low, the risk of developing the disease increases with age, and about a third of people over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis of the knee.
Many patients take drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen to treat pain, which in large doses can cause kidney problems and ulcers.
People who are already in pain should not overdo the exercise. photo shutterstock.
move to healthy knees
rather than, can take exercise, For decades, health experts looked to running primarily as a way to improve cardiovascular health, said Dr. Elaine Husney, a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic who was not involved in the study.
In recent years, however, doctors have turned to low-impact exercise to treat conditions such as depression, cognitive decline and mild osteoarthritis.
But new study suggests walking can also be act as a preventive measureThis, Lo said, shows that people who are at higher risk of developing the disease may want to incorporate regular walking into their routine. For example, Lou said that, based on his findings, he should walk more, because his mother has osteoarthritis.
The study began in 2004 and documented participants’ baseline knee pain using X-rays to assess for osteoarthritis. The researchers then asked the participants to document their exercise habits and review their symptoms at regular follow-up visits, asking them to how often do their knees hurt,
After four years, 37% of the study participants who did not walk for exercise (not including the occasional walk to the train or grocery store) developed new and persistent knee pain, whereas 26% compared to pedestrians.
Obviously, the researcher can’t say for sure That walking prevents knee pain, and does not reduce existing pain. Self-assessments may be less accurate than motion trackers or step counters.
In addition, the researchers did not track how far or how often people walked, nor did they recommend strategies for how and when people with osteoarthritis should incorporate walking into their exercise routines.
However, the results support what doctors already know about treating arthritis. continuous movement can help build muscleStrengthening the ligaments that surround joints with osteoarthritis, Husni said.
Walking is a low-intensity, low-impact exercise that helps maintain strength and flexibility that are important for joint health, he said.
“It’s an intervention that anyone can do,” he said. “There’s no excuse. It could be you anywhere.”
However, those who are already in pain should be careful. don’t over exerciseA sports medicine specialist in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Justin Elbayer, who was not involved in the study.
Long distance walking may increase pain in some patients severe osteoarthritisBut for those with lighter weights, “it’s one of the best exercises you can do,” he said.
He recommends that people do a . start with short and short walkThe distance is gradually increasing with time. The goal of the exercise is to provide muscular support to the knee, he said, and to allow the joints, tendons and tissues to prepare for walking.
He also suggested using supportive shoesDrink plenty of water during the walk and take frequent breaks if you are tired or doing this for the first time. He said that applying ice on the knee after a long walk can also provide relief from the problem.
though walking down the road Cannot repair cartilage or treat pain The current system offers a compelling and affordable alternative to exercise to address the more intrusive aspects of osteoarthritis, Low said. After all, he said, “it doesn’t cost a dime to walk.”
Dani Blum | © New York Times
Translation: Alyssa Cornelli