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Walking Reduces Knee Pain

Regular walking benefits people over 50 with knee osteoarthritis.

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Two men walking for knee pain

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).

See also: No Risk of Osteoarthritis from Physical Activity

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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