Is Walking Good for Arthritis in the Knee?

elderly couple walking

If you have arthritis in your knee, walking can be a great way to relieve pain, stiffness and swelling. Moving your legs at even a gentle pace allows the muscles to stretch, which can help reduce arthritic knee pain. 

At OrthoBethesda, we treat all patients who deal with arthritis. We can help you create a personal walking plan that works for your busy life. 

Benefits of Walking for Arthritis in the Knee

Walking is an easy activity you can do to help your arthritic knees, as it provides you with all kinds of advantages that help you manage your symptoms. Some benefits of walking include:

  • Keeping your cartilage healthy: As a highly mobile joint, the knee contains a great deal of cartilage. Cartilage doesn’t receive constant blood flow from your heart to maintain its condition — instead, it relies on fluid from your joints for nourishment. When you move your joints, you allow them to feed the cartilage in your knee that keeps it healthy.
  • Strengthening your muscles: Any muscle on your body becomes stronger with repeated use. Walking is a form of cardio that gets your heart pumping, and it’s a great way to fortify all parts of your lower body. 
  • Supporting a healthy weight: Maintaining your weight is extremely important when you need to manage arthritis. Walking is a low-impact exercise that allows you to get in shape at your own pace. 

Even if your stroll is 15 minutes a day, this action allows you to continue to perform your daily life activities. By studying the many benefits of walking for arthritis in the knee, you can understand its power to prevent stiff joints and knee pain. 

What Should You Take on Your Walks?

There are several factors to consider when you strive for consistent walks. Plan ahead to properly prepare yourself for your exercise, deciding on location and picking up gear such as:

  • Running shoes: Wearing comfortable shoes keeps you moving at a steady pace. Consider adding shoe inserts for extra support for your joints.
  • Water bottles: Always have water near you to stay hydrated when you plan on being outside.
  • Trekking poles: Depending on the environment, trek poles may be a good investment to help you navigate varying terrain. 

Stepping Into Your Own Walking Routine

Walking is good for arthritic knee pain. Developing a walking schedule that you can stick to regularly will help you stay in shape and lighten your mood. There are a few ways you can start your journey, such as:

  • Choosing a soft surface
  • Starting steady and slow
  • Increasing your speed or incline as you grow
  • Stretching daily

Do what you can to stay committed to your daily walk. Making small goals such as walking for 30 minutes a day — even if it’s just a few minutes at a time at first — can inspire you to keep trying and stick with it. 

When you suffer from chronic knee pain, it’s natural to wonder if an activity like walking can make arthritis worse. Fortunately, this gentle activity is typically tolerated very well. However, if you do experience anything out of the ordinary, halt your exercise and reach out to a physician’s office like OrthoBethesda to evaluate the situation and seek care.

Receive Quality Care for Your Arthritis

Managing arthritis is easier with a knowledgeable physician who can answer your questions and help improve your quality of life. If you’re interested in learning more about how a walking plan might be a good option to manage your arthritis pain, OrthoBethesda can help you get started. Fill out our contact form today for information on our orthopedic treatment options.