Recent research has shown that taking brisk walks can ease your pain from arthritis because when doing so your body releases natural opioids that decrease and relieve pain in your body.
Most people when they are experiencing pain in their joints think that exercising will only make it worse but the opposite is true especially when the right kind of exercise is implemented and walking briskly it turns out is the best.
Emma Dehne, who is a business officer at Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC, says that exercise has changed her life from being severely arthritic to being looser in my joints and in a better mood.
Dehne, who is 44, said that even climbing stairs was so painful, she had to use the stair railing to pull herself up. Four years ago she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees which happens when the cushioning cartilage is deteriorated and it reduces a person’s range of movement.
One of her co-workers was in charge of a program that encouraged people who had osteoarthritis to walk in order to curb their pain. Dehne at first was skeptical, but she decided to give it a try. In the very beginning she was stiff, out of breath and tired, but she persevered and things changed.
She began to feel better after walking briskly for 15 to 20 minutes a day in only a few days. Now she walks 40 minutes a day five times a week. She says she now feels great and her knees don’t bother her anymore and can walk up three flights of stairs in her building with ease.
According to research, walking helps build up surrounding muscles which in turn stabilizes the hurting joint as well as increases the lubrication of the cartilage in the joint. While cartilage doesn’t have blood supply it does have living cells which need nutrition and the way to gets it is by dynamic motion such as walking. This makes the fluid inside the cartilage flow in and out like a sponge so that the entire cartilage ends up being fed the nutrition it needs snd helps slow down deterioration in the joint.
Another benefit from brisk walking is that changes in the brain occurs to promote the production of natural opioids which gives one the sense of euphoria like the ‘runner’s high, long described by athletes.
Brisk walking also decreases stress, as well as improved sleep quality, mood, and reduction in depression and anxiety.
All it takes is a pair of shoes and a safe location to start decreasing your joint pain. Experts say to take it nice and slow and work your way to progression in longer lengths of walking.