Is nordic pole walking good for your knees? Knee Health

Nordic pole walking is a version of walking that is performed using specific walking poles. Though low impact, Nordic pole walking is far more active type of walking as it is using the whole body thanks to the walking poles.

The concept of Nordic pole walking is based on skiers who use a similar type of exercise off-season. Even though the workout refers to a colder region, this aerobic exercise can be done anywhere – whether you are hiking or just going on a casual stroll around the city, you can use Nordic walking poles anytime. Nordic pole walking is loved among hikers who use the walking poles to get extra support on hillsides and various terrains.

Nordic pole walking has become increasingly more popular all over the world as more people are discovering the useful effects it has to offer. It is extremely popular among older people who find Nordic pole walking as a great way to relieve muscle pain and maintain their healthy weight with this low intensity workout.

There is one catch to why Nordic pole walking is considered to be great even for those who suffer from arthritis: the Nordic walking poles provide support and balance, leaving your knees with significantly less strain. The aerobic exercise which is naturally great for strengthening the upper body is as equally good for helping your hips and knees so even those with more severe arthritis can enjoy walking with the help of Nordic walking poles.

Another benefit you can enjoy is the fact there are barely any risks. The only aspect you must keep in mind to ensure the safety of your muscles is to use the right equipment. Even if it seems like skiing and trekking poles are similar to Nordic walking poles, they have important differences. Nordic walking poles have a spike tip with rubber boot tip for indoor surfaces – the design is meant exactly for the purpose of Nordic walking.

If using the right walking poles, you have no risk for developing other injuries or worsening the arthritis. There are in fact several reasons why Nordic pole walking can be great for your knees:

  • Helps to strengthen the muscles around the knees;
  • Gives you more balance;
  • Takes the pressure of the joints;
  • Helps to handle the knee pain and can ultimately reduce it drastically;
  • Distributes the weight evenly without requiring the knee to provide full support;
  • Improves posture;
  • Helps to maintain healthy weight which contributes to decreasing stress on your knees.
  • Helps to reduce swelling, therefore can assist those who have suffered from runner’s knee or are recovering from other knee injuries.

The fact that many physiotherapists around the world are using Nordic pole walking to help people recover from injuries is enough to emphasize how useful the exercise can be. If you have struggled with walking because of the knee pain that is constantly bothering you, then you should consider taking up Nordic pole walking as it might be the answer to life without knee pain.

Mathew Foster

I am Mathew Foster – an enthusiast of sports who not only regularly practices different sports, but also has a deep interest in it.


  1. Brillant overview of the amazing benefits of NWing for people with knee pain Mathew! If only others were open to understanding the extensive applications and incredible benefits of Nordic Walking! Thanks Kristen Pratt of Capital Nordic Walking

  2. Great article Mathew – shared it all over Nordic walking groups and fanpages – Bart Piotrowicz from Stepping Out – The Wellness Club

  3. If you don’t grip the poles (i.e. use strap instead) how can they provide support to arthritic knees? Or do they even provide such support? You don’t lean on them do you? Thanks.

    • Straps are generally used to make sure poles won’t fall on the ground if you let them loose for a split moment. As for leaning on them, it’s really up to you and the requirements of your body (as in, how much support you need)

  4. Avatar Karen Mauss Says: February 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Thank you for this short but very informative article. I used to walk a lot, but I have been suffering from a very bad case of knee OA for months. Have been trying to get out and walk more, but it’s been painful. I’ve been debating buying a pair of these and I think you’ve convinced me they would be very much worth a small investment.

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