Walking your way to better knees

Recently published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, a study of almost 1,800 adults who either had knee arthritis or were at risk for it concluded that 6,000 steps daily – or about the equivalent of an hour’s worth of walking – predicted who would go on to develop disabilities related to osteoarthritis, with those who took fewer than 6,000 daily steps (as measured on a pedometer) more likely to develop them.

Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as “wear-and-tear” arthritis and limits mobility for millions of Americans. Those who suffer from it find they may have trouble completing the simplest of activities, such as walking, climbing stairs or getting up from a seated position. But, as researchers found out, walking can improve not only flexibility and muscle strength, but arthritis pain as well.

Get moving to lessen pain

Being active may be the last thing you want to do if you suffer from joint pain. But experts say not moving only sets the stage for less joint stability and worsening pain. That’s because movement such as walking builds muscle strength and boosts the production of synovial fluid, which keeps your joints lubricated and helps limit stiffness and pain.

If you’re new to exercise and have knee arthritis, the study authors recommend trying 3,000 steps at first, then working your way up to at least 6,000. Talk with your healthcare provider, particularly if you have other health issues.

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Patient-centered joint replacement

The Joint Rejuvenation Center at Baptist Beaumont Hospital is changing the way patients experience joint replacement surgery. Our program is based on national best practices that focus on patient education and wellness. To learn more, visit www.bhset.net/jointreplacementsurgery or call (409) 212-7284.

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