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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I am part of a group of older adults who walk in the mall three or four times a week. I have one painful knee from osteoarthritis. I'd like to walk faster to keep up with the group but the pain is too much. Is there anything I can do about this for myself?

You may want to discuss this with your primary care physician. Pain relieving medications and antiinflammatory drugs used correctly can be helpful.

An exercise program targeted at muscle strength in the legs may be helpful, too. A physical therapist (PT) can help you with this. The PT will test your muscle strength and find areas of imbalance or weakness. Specific exercises can be used to help correct this problem.

Proprioception should also be addressed. This is the sense you have of where your joints are at any one time. As you move, special receptors in the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments relay information to the brain about joint position.

Damage to the joint and soft tissues from osteoarthritis can reduce your proprioception. The joint becomes unstable. Painful symptoms may increase, making it difficult to keep up.

A combination of these various techniques may be needed at first. After six to eight weeks, you should see a difference in your walking speed, distance, and quality of gait (walking pattern). With less pain and improved proprioception, you will likely be able to keep up with the best of them. Good luck!


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