FROM OUR EXPERTS
Many patients express fear of developing chronic knee pain due to repeated physical exercise, in particular running. There is often a fear expressed that that shock to the knee when that foot hits the pavement is slowly and inevitably destroying the cartilage, sentencing the athlete in question to a lifetime of chronic arthritic pain.
Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of degenerative joint disease of the knee, a potentially major source of chronic pain. And many obese people try to lose weight through aerobic exercise, which often involves running or walking; so are these overweight people actually doing damage to themselves during their exercise sessions?
A study published in the February, 2007 issue of “Arthritis Care and Research” examined the effects of physical activity over time in older adults—many of whom were obese—and found that perhaps all the worry about exercise and knee arthritis is not justified.
Subjects in the study were followed with knee x-rays...
If your mom has arthritis in her hands, you may develop arthritis in both of your knees. A poster presentation at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis looked at 1,333 hand osteoarthritis patients over four years, with respect to knee involvement. To quote the author of the study, "When you have a patient with hand osteoarthritis and relatives with hand osteoarthritis, there is an increased likelihood of bilateral knee osteoarthritis." Patients with one affected knee (and medial compartment involvement), were likely to have progressive involvement of the same compartment on the opposite side, just as patients with lateral joint involvement in one knee have a tendency toward lateral compartment involvement on the other side. This symmetry of disease progression was unexpected, and thought to represent a possible prognostic factor for patients with the disease. No biologic markers for identifying this trend were found, yet the pattern of joi...
In one of my prior posts, " 5 Minutes of Running Can Add Years to Your Life ," some of the dividends of running were discussed. The most remarkable thing discovered was that even short runs can have tremendous benefits. Given the return on the running investment, it is an exercise option worth consideration.
I ended that post with the warning that running can lead to injury. While there is much truth in that warning, there is also a great amount of truth in the point that those injuries can be avoided.
How Common are Injuries?
Fifty-six percent of runners address some kind of injury over the course of a year. To put this in perspective, this is about the same frequency at which football players are injured!
The reason for this pile up of hurt is that most runners don't train properly. Running comes off as pretty straightforward, and perhaps this is part of the reason why injuries are commonplace. Perhaps people think that runners do not need instruction or do ...
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