Moderate exercise can delay the onset of osteoarthritis

Washington, Nov 29 (ANI): A new study has shown that simple changes to physical activity can delay the onset of osteoarthritis.

"According to the results of our study, participating in a high-impact activity, such as running, more than one hour per day at least three times a week appears associated with more degenerated cartilage and potentially a higher risk for development of osteoarthritis," said Thomas M. Link at the University of California, San Francisco.

"On the other hand, engaging in light exercise and refraining from frequent knee-bending activities may protect against the onset of the disease," he added.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness.

MRI exams revealed that light exercisers had the healthiest knee cartilage among all exercise levels, and patients with minimal strength training had healthier cartilage than patients with either no strength training or frequent strength training.

Moderate to strenuous exercise in women who did any amount of strength training was associated with higher water content and more degenerated collagen architecture in the knee.

In addition, the findings showed that frequent knee-bending activities, such as climbing up at least 10 flights of stairs a day, lifting objects weighing more than 25 pounds, or squatting, kneeling or deep knee bending for at least 30 minutes per day, were associated with higher water content and cartilage abnormalities.

"People can reduce their risk for osteoarthritis by maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding risky activities and strenuous exercise," Link said.

"Lower-impact sports, such as walking, swimming or using an elliptical trainer are likely more beneficial than high-impact sports, such as running or tennis," he added.

The study will be presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. (ANI)

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