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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, September 12, 2016

Walk Away Your Knee Pain

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that only 23 percent of the more than 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis (OA) meet the recommended guidelines for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. OA is a debilitating disease caused by damage joints. Symptoms may include joint pain and stiffness along with decreased mobility.

Yet staying mobile is one thing that may significantly help reduce the pain and side effects associated with this condition.

Evidence shows that moderate exercise, including regular walking and stretching, can provide multiple benefits to those with OA, and even help combat frequent knee pain that is so common.

Though it may seem ironic that physical activity on top of already stressed joints would be helpful, regular exercise can improve joint health in a number of ways:
  • Keeps cartilage healthy: Walking, and other forms of moderate, low-impact exercise, can increase blood flow to cartilage and deliver nutrients to keep it abundant and healthy.
  • Strengthens muscles surrounding the knee: Walking helps build strong calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles surrounding the knee joint. When these muscles are stronger, they can bear more weight and work more efficiently, so the knee itself doesn't have to.
  • Helps with weight loss: Increased physical activity, like regular walking, and a healthy diet can help shed a few pounds. Less body weight to carry means less stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knee.
  • Increases flexibility: Joint stiffness is a common symptom of OA. Regular walking and stretching can actually lubricate the joints allowing for better range of motion and greater flexibility.
As with an exercise routine, check with your physician first before starting something new, especially if suffering from a serious condition like OA.

If you would like to discuss your current OA condition and treatment options, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from Healthline)

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