According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), osteoarthritis affects more than 32.5 million people in the US and the United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than 130 million people globally will be suffering from osteoarthritis.
One of the major symptoms of this disease is joint pain and joint stiffness which leads to reduced mobility. Various treatment options exist—ranging from medication, diet, and physical activity. Most of the treatment modalities or management programs have a cost implication and may come with some side effects. However, if you are looking for a safe and almost free treatment option for joint pain related osteoarthritis, then you can take up walking. If you are still not convinced, here are some scientific reasons why you should take up walking.
1. Strengthens your muscles
Walking strengthens your abdominal and leg muscles increasing their weight-bearing capability thus decreases weight-bearing on your joints. It also increases your range of motion and reduces joint pain since there is less pressure on the joints.
2. Improves nourishment to your cartilage
Most cartilage in the body has no direct blood supply to bring in vital nutrition and oxygen supply. Cartilages depend on the joint fluid that circulates when the muscles contract and relax during motion. Hence walking will promote increased muscle movement and help increase the nutrients and oxygen into the joint fluid. Also, this movement helps increase lubrication in the joint therefore decreasing pain and stiffness.
3. Weight loss
Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints and accelerates the process of joint deformity, which comes with increasing pain and joint stiffness. One of the easiest ways to lose weight is through walking, and studies have even shown that a 30 minutes brisk walk can help you quickly lose 200 calories and this makes your body lighter and lessens the pressure on your joints.