Trekking poles or Nordic walking poles are everywhere these days. You see them on sale in most high streets and if you go out for a walk at the weekend you’re sure to come across people using them. So why are they so popular and can they help you walk without pain?
So what is Nordic walking?
Nordic walking is essentially walking using two of these trekking poles, one in each hand. The action is similar to that of cross country or Nordic skiing. There are many benefits of this form of exercise including the fact that you burn more calories and also that it can make walking easier for those with knee pain.
How can it help with Knee Arthritis?
The poles used in Nordic walking help with balance and stability and can make walking easier while still providing a great workout. The trekking poles can help absorb some of the landing impacts with each step, particularly when going downhill, they also help keep the body upright and symmetrical, improving balance.
Research has shown that Nordic walking burns about 20 percent more calories and uses more oxygen than just walking –without making you feel you’re working harder. A study of fibromyalgia patients, published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, found that Nordic walking helped improve physical function more than a lower intensity walking program.
What equipment do I need to start Nordic Walking?
A pair of comfortable, well-fitting shoes with a firm but supportive sole, poles of course, and perhaps some tips on how to do it properly.
The cost of entry-level walking poles start at around £30. They are sized to fit your stride and height – your elbows should generally be at about 90 degrees when you hold the pole tips by your toes, although that may vary for comfort. Adjustable poles for different terrains and comfort are available. Good poles should have comfy and easy-to-fit hand straps, and they could have a metal spike on the bottom – to be used in dirt or snow if needed – or a rubber base to be used on normal footpath surfaces.
You can use different types of walking movements, such as speeding up into a gliding motion or even into a walking run. And the poles can help you up and down hills with more support and control.
How can I get help with my Knee Arthritis?
As with any condition, it’s important to get the right diagnosis and the right advice and treatment sooner rather than later. Often if diagnosed early knee arthritis will respond to non-invasive treatments such as physiotherapy and exercise. If things aren’t settling then here at the My Knee Doc clinic we offer treatments such as specialist knee injections which can help you stay in control of your symptoms without the need for pain-killers.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help or if you just want to speak to our specialist knee surgeon Mr Gareth Stables then click here and arrange your free call back.