Knee Problems? Get Off the Golf Cart and Walk the Course, Researchers Say

Knee Problems? Get Off the Golf Cart and Walk the Course, Researchers Say

Walkers experienced more health benefits and no drawbacks, experts found.

Osteoarthritis in your knees can be a real pain, in more ways than one. It’s the most common form of arthritis, and targets millions of people globally.  It happens when the protective cartilage covering the ends of your bones wears down over time.

When aching discomfort strikes those who have it, it would seem natural that staying off your feet would be a recommended treatment. New research is indicating this may not be the case, however.

Scientists from Northwestern University have found if you love golfing, specifically, walking the course can be beneficial.

“Individuals with knee osteoarthritis are often concerned about pain and may be more likely to use a golf cart,” said lead study author Dr. Prakash Jayabalan.

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“However, through sophisticated blood-based biomarker analysis, this study has shown that golfers with knee osteoarthritis do not need to be concerned about worsening their disease through walking the course. In fact, walking provides the best health benefit,” he added.

In the study, golfers with the disease who walked the course spent more than 60 percent of the round with their heart rates in the moderate intensity heart rate zone.

Those who drove spent just 30 percent of the round in this range. In addition, walking wasn’t associated with any increased pain, inflammation or breakdown of the cartilage.

“Bottom line: walking the course is significantly better than using a golf cart, but using a golf cart is still better than not exercising at all,” said Jayabalan.

For more tips on treating arthritis pain, click here.

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