FROM OUR EXPERTS
Now that the weather is turning better and you are starting to shake off those wintertime pains, a walk might sound pretty good right about now. But before you burst out the door with the dog straining at the leash and your brand new walking shoes looking so sparkly, stop to think about what you are doing first. Even though walking seems so easy, there are a few things that could help your first walk of the season be that much more enjoyable and also less likely to cause a flare-up of pain.
First, let's talk about that dog straining at the leash. You are likely to lose that tug-o-war battle and end up with worse pains than when you started your walk. You are supposed to be the one walking the dog, not the dog walking you. Take charge of your walk by expecting the dog to be following you, not out in front of you. As someone who has rescued and trained many excitable bird dogs that want nothing more than to chase small critters, I prefer the Higgins Method for walking a dog .
Besides reducing hip pain, many patients hope to walk better after a total hip replacement (THR). We know that overall function is closely linked to the ability to walk during daily activities. In this study from the Netherlands, researchers looked for a way to test gait (walking) recovery after THR. All patients expecting to have a THR were tested six weeks before the surgery. There were three parts to the test. Patients walked 20 meters at three different speeds (regular pace, fast, slow) while counting backwards from 50 by threes. Adding a mental task helps measure the ability to walk and do something else at the same time. Everyone was retested six months after surgery. This time frame was used because many studies show that most of the improvement in walking comes in the first six months after the THR. A computer program was used to analyze walking speed, step length, and endurance. The authors report significant improvement in all three measures of speed, step length, and enduranc...
Yes, you can remain active and avoid surgery if you have knee and hip arthritis. But there are certain adaptations that you need to do in order to achieve that goal. Those who do not adapt will encounter a life of pain and/or a big surgical scar. Both the knees and hips can be discussed together because they both respond to similar treatments and lifestyle changes necessary to remain active with less pain. Here are some suggested adaptations you should consider.
Take a Walk : Maybe you already enjoy walking but are finding it harder and harder to do. Walking can be made easier if you use some assistance from a walking stick or a trekking pole or two. Three or four “legs” is better than just two, and aids reduce the stress on your knees and hips. Walking can be much less painful if you follow a few simple pieces of advice like using an assistive device.
Dive In : If walking is not your thing, then try some swimming. Taking a few laps in the pool is a great way t...
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