Low Impact? It is a term often thrown around when given advice about knee pain, but what does it really mean? Well basically we want to decrease the amount of force that is applied to the knee and lower extremities during walking/running that is produced by gravity. Since we cannot change gravity we must make some other external change. This can be done by losing weight, changing faulty biomechanics of walking and running, or changing the type of exercise you do. Running will have higher impact forces on the lower extremities that cycling for example. So if running or even walking on cement cause you to have knee pain then maybe you should try the stationary cycle or elliptical or even swimming,
As mentioned before weight obviously determines the number of forces placed upon the knee with all movements. Even from the simplest of tasks such as walking or standing up, the amount of pressure placed on the knee is exacerbated when there is excessive weight. The good news is that just the slightest amount of weight loss (5 lbs) can be statistically significant in decreasing the amount force directed to the knee. My advice would be to start slow and easy with just a short-term goal of losing 5 lbs in one month or so.
Physical therapists are known as the movement specialists in the medical community. By seeing a PT they can help address those biomechanical faults that could be causing you pain. A Gait analysis and thorough evaluation by the PT can determine if there are joint restrictions, muscular imbalances in strength or flexibility, or even if there is an alternate body part that could actually be the root cause of your knee pain.
There is a fine line between overtraining and under training. Your knee pain could be a result of too much exercise or walk. And having poor mechanics with walking will only further increase your pain. It is very important to get adequate rest to allow full muscle recovery after exercise. Many times people have back pain due to long hours of sitting with little movement due to their job. Well, I believe the same can be said to those who are constantly standing for prolonged periods. While there is no exact formula for sitting to standing to walk, we can agree that moving frequently is the most important take-home message.
For more info check out Weight Loss and Obesity in the Treatment and Prevention of OsteoarthritisFavorite