Arthritis is a prevalent disease and at least one in every four adults in the US have osteoarthritis. Arthritis affects the joints and may make walking and even other activities such as hiking much harder. However, this does not always have to be the case. Here are three tips that will make it easier for anyone with an osteoarthritic knee to enjoy a hiking trip.
1. Get Well-Fitting Shoes
One of the most common symptoms in osteoarthritis is stiffness and pain, which hinders joint movements. For this reason, people with this disease need all the support they can get, starting from well-fitting shoes. They help with balance as well and reduce unnecessary weight.
2. Take it Easy
It is okay to pick up the challenge of going hiking with osteoarthritis of the knee, but you also need to look out for yourself. Do not push your joint limits by taking on too much activity. Also, select a hiking path with level terrain and use hiking poles for better support. Hiking poles will help to even out the burden on your body and your knees as well, which means less pressure on affected joints.
3. Talk to Your Physician Before You Go Hiking
There are four stages of osteoarthritis. Each one has different intensities on the joints, which causes varying levels of pain. Before you decide that you are going hiking, talk to your doctor about it.
Your doctor will evaluate which stage of the disease you are in and recommend ways to cope. This might mean you take it easy with hiking or not go at all. Your doctor might also recommend other safety measures to use while you are hiking.