Blackburn Osteopath - walkingWhen we are in pain, it is natural to want to avoid movement to reduce the chances of aggravating the pain in any way. This appears to be the case with those suffering arthritic conditions, with 50 percent succumbing to avoiding exercise due to pain. However, when it comes to joint pain/arthritis, a bit of exercise wont go astray.

In Australia, it is recommended that we should walk at least 30 minutes per day at a minimum. Walking is good for you in so many ways, here are a few reasons to get walking to reduce joint pain!

1. It’s gentle on joints

Walking is a low weight bearing exercise. This means the joints aren’t put under a lot of strain so therefore risk of injury is reduced.

2. It builds strength in muscles and bones

Building the strength in your muscles means that they take the load off the joint itself and walking can help tone your glut muscles, you leg muscles and your abdominals. As for bones, studies have shown that walking can reduce the loss of bone mass in osteoporotic patients and walking for 30 minutes a day can reduce the chance of a hip fracture by 40%.

3. Walking can lead to weight loss

Even a small amount of weight loss can be beneficial in reducing joint pain, especially in load bearing joints such as the hips, knees and ankles. The less pressure these joints have on them, the less pain you’ll have.

4. It improves blood flow and reduces inflammation

When we walk, our calf muscles act as a pump to help blood move from the lower limbs up and back to the heart. This allows old fluids/swelling to also be removed from the area, allowing blood with a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrients to be restored to the area.

References:

  1. 12 benefits of walking [internet]. Arthritis Foundation. USA. [cited 29 May 2015]. Avail from: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php
  2. Skerrett PJ. Exercise is good, not bad, for arthritis [internet]. Harvard Health Publications. USA. 8 May 2013 [cited 29 May 2015] avail from: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/exercise-is-good-not-bad-for-arthritis-201305086202

This article is for information purposes only. Please consult your Osteopath or primary healthcare professional for further information.

Written by Elise Fuller

Elise Fuller

Dr Elise Fuller graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Complimentary Medicine) and a Masters of Osteopathy. She is currently practicing in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and in her spare time writes articles for her blog, inspired by her experience treating patients and from life in general!