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The impact of physical activity on weight-bearing knee joint
Date:9/27/2007

ow lesions, as well as measure cartilage volume, an indicator of cartilage health and strength. Loss of knee cartilage is linked to worsening knee symptoms in OA sufferers. Subjects also answered specific questions regarding their exercise and walking habits, as well as routine activity at home and at work, to determine their level of physical activity in both the 6 months and 7 days prior to the study. To create a baseline for each subject, past information on weight, height, body mass index, and physical activity, from questionnaires completed between 1990 and 1994, was obtained. Then, the team performed a series of analyses and comparisons.

Among the notable findings, both baseline and current vigorous physical activity exercise that gets the heart pumping and the body sweatingwere associated with an increase in tibial cartilage volume, free from cartilage defects. Whats more, tibial cartilage volume increased with frequency and duration of vigorous activity. Recent weight-bearing exercise was also linked to increased tibial cartilage volume and reduced cartilage defects. Finally, moderate physical activity, including regular walking, was associated with a lower incidence of bone marrow lesions.

This is the first study to demonstrate a potentially beneficial effect of walking on the reduction in the risk of bone marrow lesions in the knee, notes the studys leading author, Dr. Flavia M. Cicuttini. Bone marrow lesions have been associated with pain and radiograph-defined progression of osteoarthritis, type II collagen degradation, and loss of cartilage volume.

Demonstrating a protective effect of past and current vigorous physical activity on knee cartilage in healthy adults, this study strongly supports the benefits of exercise for older individuals at risk for OA. Though both the intensity and duration of physical activity had a significant positive impact on cartilage, the ideal amount of physical act
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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