Knee pain was not associated with daily walking levels in an Arthritis Care & Research study of individuals with mild-to-moderate, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
In the study of 59 individuals, average steps per day taken over at least three days were measured every three months for up to three years. Pain was measured using two patient-administered questionnaires.
The results suggest that alleviating pain is not likely to increase physical activity levels in people with knee osteoarthritis. Although managing pain is an important goal, strategies to increase physical activity should focus on overcoming potentially more crucial barriers, such as lack of knowledge, motivation, and overall sedentary lifestyle.
"Key problems faced by people with knee osteoarthritis include pain and inactivity. Pain management must be a treatment priority—but it is also crucial that we purposefully encourage physical activity to promote health and well-being for those living with this disease," said senior author Dr. Monica Maly, of the University of Waterloo, in Canada.