Is Walking Good For Knee Pain?Jo Clacher
Is Walking Good For Knee Pain?
Is walking good for knee pain?
That is an interesting question, and unfortunately, there is no black and white answer as it depends on the type of knee pain and what is causing the knee pain.
Let’s break knee pain down into two categories to discuss this in more detail. Knee pain can occur broadly in two categories:
- Structural knee pain is caused by damage to one or more of the structures that make up the knee, e.g. bone, ligaments etc.
- Mechanical knee pain is generally muscular and is usually caused by an injury to one or more of the muscles that assist with knee movement and stability, or an imbalance in how these muscles turn on and off, which can affect how the knee can move.
Suppose the reason for your knee pain is structural. Too much walking can actually make the pain worse as you may be aggravating structures that require rest or gentle exercise with less bodyweight to recover. In this case, it is better not to push through the pain and to limit your walking to what you can manage safely. This may mean that some walking is ok, that you may be able to walk with a brace or crutches, or that you may have to avoid walking altogether.
If your knee pain is mechanical/muscular, generally, some walking will be ok as you want to maintain the strength and endurance of your muscles. However, you also want to work within your pain limits safely as too much walking may overload your muscles, prolonging and even hindering your recovery. In these circumstances, you may need to modify the characteristics of your walking and scale back on the pace, distance, time or terrain that you are walking.
If you are uncertain, remember that if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so it is always good to make an appointment with your physiotherapist so that they can determine the cause of your knee pain and advise you on what level of walking would be suitable for your individual situation.
More information: Common Knee Injuries