A regular walking program can reduce the incidence of new knee pain and slow joint damage among people over 50 coping with knee osteoarthritis. Baylor College of Medicine researchers in Texas analyzed a nested group of participant data from a large community-based, multiyear study of 1,212 individuals. Participants were ages 50 and older and had osteoarthritis. Those who reported that they walked for exercise had a 40% less chance of new, frequent pain compared with nonwalkers.
“This study supports the possibility that walking for exercise can help prevent the onset of daily knee pain,” said lead study author Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, MD, assistant professor of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor. “It might also slow down the worsening of damage inside the joint from osteoarthritis.” Lo adds that if a person already has daily knee pain, there may still be benefits from walking regularly, especially for those with the “kind of arthritis where the knees are bow-legged.”
Find this research in Arthritis & Rheumatology (2022; doi:10.1002/art.42241).