Aging knee joints in no danger from exercise, says study

January 28th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 28 (IANS) There’s some cheerful news for elders who need not worry about their joints being in any kind of danger from exercise.A review study did not turn up any evidence to support the popular perception that exercise has potentially deleterious effect on the joints, particularly those of the lower extremities.

Researchers from Boston, USA and Ainring, Germany, reviewed existing studies on the relationship between regular exercise and osteoarthritis (OA) and concluded that in the absence of existing joint injury, there is no increased risk of OA from exercise.

“We found that in elite athletes where there was more likelihood of obtaining sports injuries, there was an increased risk of OA in the damaged joints, but in most people vigorous, low-impact exercise is beneficial for both it’s physical and mental benefits,” said lead researcher David Hunter, New England Baptist Hospital.

“The largest modifiable risk factor for knee OA is body weight, such that each additional kilogram of body mass increases the compressive load over the knee by roughly 4 kg.”

One might surmise therefore that exercise to reduce body-weight, where necessary, could in fact reduce the risk of OA, rather than increase it, said a New England release.

The knee is the joint most commonly affected by the symptoms of osteoarthritis. More than 10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis, the most common cause of disability in the US and women are more commonly affected than men.

The study was published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Anatomy.

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