When you suffer from knee pain due to osteoarthritis, walking can become a challenge. But if you avoid it altogether, the issues with your body can worsen as your legs weaken from disuse. Contrary to how it may feel at first, walking regularly can decrease the severity of your symptoms and improve your health. Here are some tips for going on walks with bad knees.
Wear the Right Shoes
You might be surprised at the effect a pair of shoes can have on your walking ability. Hard, uncomfortable pairs don’t just lack cushion, they can also put pressure on your joints. Shoes with high heels, for instance, can result in a greater impact on parts of your knees. Dress shoes and flats can indirectly hurt your knees when you shift your posture to compensate for their rigidity. For these reasons, you should walk with athletic shoes that are flexible in the forefoot and have ample space for your toes.
Think About Surface
Normally, you may not give much thought to the type of surfaces you’re walking on, but when you have knee pain, this can make a significant difference for you. Try to walk on softer, more natural surfaces such as dirt or gravel, as they will absorb your steps better. They may be lumpier, but this can also work to your benefit, as you’ll use your leg muscles to a greater extent and strengthen them more than you might otherwise. Should you prefer flat ground, it’s better to walk on asphalt or cinder (like what is found on school tracks) as opposed to concrete. Avoid grass, as it may put unnecessary tension on your knees and will make you more susceptible to trips and falls.
Use a Cane
If you need some support with your walking stability, a cane can help to take tension from your legs by distributing some of your weight onto the cane. It can also help with your balance when your legs are weaker and you need something to lean on as you walk. On prolonged walks, you could use a walking cane with a seat. This will not only provide support, but it can double as a seat for you to rest on when you’re in an area with no benches nearby. House of Canes provides all types of walking canes to help you on walks. Browse through a vast selection and call us today if you want a cane for yourself or a loved one.