Does Knee Arthritis Get Worse When You Walk?

Walking might be quite painful if you have knee arthritis. When you try to move your knee, put weight on it, or try to walk to the car, your knee aches. So, your natural question is, “Does walking aggravate knee arthritis?”

When your knees hurt, it makes sense to avoid standing up, but the reality could surprise you:

Knee arthritis does not become worse as you walk.

In reality

Knee osteoarthritis does improve with walking!

Does Knee Arthritis Get Worse When You Walk?

The reason osteoarthritis should not get worse with walking is that you’ll gain muscle to help support the joint and help release synovial fluid to lubricate the joint.

You should incorporate frequent walking into your lifestyle if you have osteoarthritis in your knees. If you’re anything like me, you might require this knee support for arthritis in order to walk.

Most days of the week, a minimum of 30 minutes should be spent walking for exercise.

Therefore, even though it could be challenging to find the motivation to go for a walk when your knees are sore, staying in bed would only make things worse.

If you don’t exercise regularly, you’ll loose:

  • flexion and extension of your knees
  • Shortening of tendons and muscles will increase discomfort.
  • Knees with arthritis will remain swollen, rigid, and painful.

Protect your joints. Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints.

cdc.gov

This is How Walking Makes Knee Arthritis Better

The most common type of joint deterioration to our knees, hips, hands, and lower back is osteoarthritis.

The best way to deal with osteoarthritis is to walk or do other low-impact activities that keep your joints moving.

Walking Helps You Gain Muscle

I try to avoid moving when I get pain or discomfort in my knees or other joints, is that normal? I mean, why would I want it to move if doing so causes pain? At that point, I start to question if walking will make things worse or if it actually helps over time.

Does exercise improve or exacerbate knee arthritis symptoms?

The muscles that support my legs start to atrophy, shrink, and shorten if I don’t move my knees. Atrophy of the muscles is what is happening, and it makes walking more painful.

The muscles you require to support the afflicted joint will be built and maintained by regular walking for exercise. Atrophy and soreness will increase if you don’t move about and sit more.

When you have arthritis, you want to maintain the health and strength of all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your knee joint.

Walking keeps joints healthy

Joints and cartilage that are lubricated rely on natural lubrication to glide and move freely. The lubricant, known as synovial fluid, helps move essential nutrients and oxygen into the knees.

Exercise is necessary to flow the synovial fluid into the joint and cartilage, which is necessary to maintain the remaining cartilage in the joint.

Immobility prevents the synovial fluid that supports healthy cartilage from being produced.

Your knees may feel tight and sore when you first get out of bed in the morning or as you begin to rise or sit up from a position.

After some movement, though, they start to bend and move a bit more easily.

As you move, you start the process of lubricating and maintaining the knees by transferring fluids and lubricants into them.

Walking Can Aid with Weight Loss

We are seeing an epidemic of overweight and obesity in the US, which aggravates and hastens the development of knee arthritis. The good news is that walking on the majority of days of the week benefits arthritis in several ways.

You may take care of your knees and make a conscious effort to shed additional weight by engaging in a walking program of 30 to 60 minutes per session, four or five times per week.

Every pound you can remove from your knees is a significant reduction in discomfort.

Can Knee Sleeves Help?

Compression knee sleeves give you more support, ease pain, warm up the joint, keep your muscles in the right place, and give you confidence in your knee.

To help you enjoy walking rather than hate it, consider getting a knee sleeve for extra support.

Knees Need to Relax and Rest

Your knees will need time to recuperate as you walk most days of the week.

Thus, two things follow:

  1. Sleep well because it gives your body a chance to unwind and your muscles a chance to recuperate from your daily activities and exercise.
  2. Don’t overdo it and become fixated on walking. It’s simple to believe more is better when you first start walking frequently, especially. You may begin by walking for only 10 minutes and gradually increase the length of your exercise session to 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the severity and intensity of your individual arthritis.


It won’t take long to distinguish between a fatigued knee and your lack of will to move.

You’ll stay motivated if you keep in mind how crucial walking is for keeping an active lifestyle while having arthritis, but remember that your muscles and joints need time to recover when they’re worn out.

Otherwise, you will just make matters worse.

How to Walk with Knee Arthritis: 7 Tips

1. Invest in some quality walking shoes.

Walking shoes should have flat, supple, and flexible soles.

I truly struggle to locate shoes that have all these characteristics, but the hunt is worthwhile.

Walking with osteoarthritis won’t be the finest experience in running shoes with raised heels, a sole that’s too firm, and that won’t flex in the center.

Instead, try to find shoes with very soft soles and little heel elevation so that the majority of the impact may be absorbed before it reaches my knees.

2. Before you begin, warm up your body and muscles.

Warming up before exercising is vital, especially for people with arthritis.

Before you start, you should warm up your muscles, tendons, knees, and hip joints and get blood flowing through them.

You may warm up before walking with a warm shower, stretch, or just add a few minutes to your walking time to start out slowly.

You might want to try a decent knee sleeve since the compression they provide helps to enhance blood circulation, which heats the joint.

3. Begin slowly.

It’s crucial to start out by walking modest distances when you first begin walking consistently for fitness while dealing with arthritis.

Once or twice a week, try walking for 10 or 15 minutes, and then gradually increase that time to 30 or 60.

Starting out slowly will increase your stamina and give you a chance to assess how you are doing.

If you start off by walking for too long or too hard, you’ll end up with aching muscles and unneeded discomfort and stop working out before you see any results.

4. Find someone to walk with.

Even though I occasionally like to walk alone, I normally do better with a companion.

You are motivated to exercise when you would much rather not by having a walking companion. Although I sometimes don’t want to go, I either go anyhow because I know my partner depends on me or because I don’t want to confess it.

We occasionally engage in lengthy chats and occasionally go for hours without speaking a word. Another benefit is that having a walking buddy makes many individuals feel safer.

5. Some surfaces are better for walking than others.

The better the walk, the less force is applied to your knees by the surface.

Although it requires more work than walking on smooth surfaces, walking on trails, grass, cinder tracks at high schools, or gravel roads is kinder on your joints and provides you an opportunity to exercise and keep your balance.

Although I observe many individuals exercising by walking in malls in the early morning, concrete surfaces are harsher on the knees than asphalt tracks and highways.

Some folks enjoy the comfort of treadmills in their own homes’ seclusion.

6. Include walking in your daily routine.

You don’t want to overdo it when you first start walking by going for a stroll every day and incurring greater discomfort and soreness as a result.

Making sure you walk at least three times a week will help you establish the habit. After a few months, you ought to be exercising for at least 30 minutes, up to 5 times a week.

Within a short period of time, you will realize that walking does not worsen your knee arthritis at all but rather keeps your range of motion intact and really benefits your knee.

7. Use the best knee sleeves you can afford

If you haven’t tried them yet, now is the time. A good sleeve makes a difference for almost everyone with this type of arthritis.

If you’re curious how they help people with arthritis walk more easily, read here: Everything You Need To Know About Knee Sleeves

So even the cheapest selection at Walmart will be helpful in some cases? Try them instead if you’re hesitant to spend a few dollars extra on real quality.

The biggest variations between premium sleeves and inexpensive ones are as follows:

  • the extent of support
  • length of time they provide that support

The extremely cheap ones initially provide less support and eventually sag with time (a few weeks of use). Even so, you’ll be able to see right away how valuable the additional support, blood flow, and warmth are for arthritic knees.

One will do if you just have one damaged knee. However, these devices also help to safeguard a healthy knee and improve how it feels when you walk.

Conclusion

I hope it is now clear to you that walking does not worsen arthritis. So, in response to your query, “Does walking aggravate knee arthritis?” No, it should improve it, is the correct response.

My knees really get a lot better when I walk, so I can continue to be as active as I like.

On certain days, the joints are stiff when I get up, and I might worry that they won’t be able to complete the trip. But it always remains the same: the muscles and the joint start to warm up and move effortlessly after a short while.

With osteoarthritis, regular walking will significantly improve your quality of life while also assisting you in maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. But there are many more excellent exercises for knee arthritis.

Swimming, cycling, water aerobics, and any other low-impact activity that makes use of your knees’ range of motion are all options. The most crucial aspect of having knee arthritis is that it will prevent you from losing your active lifestyle.

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