It has often been speculated that too much exercise could have a detrimental effect on the health of our knees. Over time, there have been many studies conducted to establish whether there is a link between exercise and knee osteoarthritis.
Until recently, nothing was conclusive when it came to the amount of exercise being connected to knee osteoarthritis. However, new research has revealed that there is no link.
In the UK roughly 1 in 10 adults have diagnosed osteoarthritis. This condition commonly occurs in weight-bearing joints of the hips and knees. Known as the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, osteoarthritis is a painful long-term condition that is directly linked to cartilage damage. It causes the protective layer of cartilage in the joint to break down, decreasing its ability to be a shock absorber.
The exact cause for the development of osteoarthritis is not fully understood however the condition involves genetic, biological and biomechanical components.
The symptoms of knee damage include joint pain, swelling or stiffness, clicking of the joint and locking or catching joints.
Exercising and Knee Osteoarthritis
Research has revealed that specific recreational exercises such as running, cycling and swimming all have little direct connection to knee arthritis. However, more strenuous activities involving repetitive movements can lead to joint overuse or injury, and would put you at greater risk of osteoarthritis.
The study also confirms that time invested in leisure exercise is not connected with knee osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, further research continues into all of the components of physical activity such as the type, intensity, frequency and duration.
Misconceptions on Exercise
Exercise is an important part of protecting against osteoarthritis. This is because strong muscles help to support the joints. Additionally, people who exercise regularly tend to manage a healthier weight, which can also help protect the joints from osteoarthritis.
Furthermore, exercise can actually increase the level of anti-inflammatory chemicals inside the joints and these can protect against cartilage loss and joint damage.
Treating Knee Osteoarthritis
If you have severe knee pain, and you are concerned about osteoarthritis, there are treatments available. These include physical therapies, medications and self-management techniques. Knee joint replacement surgery might be your last resort, but it can be very effective in reducing your knee pain. What’s more, they can last for twenty years or more.
If you would like to find out more information about knee osteoarthritis and the options available to you, get in touch to arrange a consultation with Mr Punwar.