This article is based on a Sept. 23 article from NPR.org titled “Exercising To Ease Pain: Taking Brisk Walks Can Help.” It supports the same recommendations made by Adams County’s own Dr. Robert Mauss, D.O. in my column from this past May about prescribing walking as medicine.
The NPR article starts with a story of a 40-year-old woman, Emma, who had debilitating pain in her knees. Climbing stairs was very painful and she was avoiding any movement that she didn’t have to make — exercise was out of the question. It turns out Emma coincidentally worked at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina. The woman in the office next to hers ran a program that encouraged people with osteoarthritis to start walking to help reduce their pain. So Emma gave it a try. At first it hurt, she felt stiff, tired and out of breath. But, within a week she started to feel looser in her joints, she wasn’t out of breath and her mood started to improve. She is now four years into her walking routine and feels great being out in nature and her knees feel much better — stairs no longer daunt her.