People with knee osteoarthritis may reduce their risk of knee pain by walking more, according to a study published online June 8, 2022, by Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Researchers looked at the walking habits of more than 1,200 people with knee osteoarthritis (average age 63, 45% men). They were asked how often they walked for exercise since age 50 and whether they had frequent knee pain. X-rays were done to assess structural knee damage.
The investigators first looked at participants who did not report regular knee pain. They found that among this group, those who walked for exercise were less likely to later develop knee pain (26%) at the follow-up eight years later compared with those who did not walk for exercise (37%).
These findings suggest walking regularly may offer some protection from pain due to knee osteoarthritis. But the researchers pointed out that even for those people who already experienced symptoms like pain and stiffness, regular walkers had less structural damage to their knees than non-walkers did.
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