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Sun Jan 25 12:15:54 SAST 2015

Avoid knee pain by taking up low-impact exercises: study

AFP Relaxnews | 26 November, 2012 13:55

Suffer from knee problems or have a family history of osteoarthritis, joint replacement or obesity? You may want to consider sparing yourself from debilitating knee pain by taking up lower impact sports like walking and swimming rather than running and tennis, says a new study.

Presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago this weekend, researchers also said that the degeneration of knee cartilage was observed equally among the sedentary type who engage in little physical activity.

For their study, scientists from the University of California in San Francisco analyzed 205 patients aged 45 to 60. Participants used a questionnaire to record their physical activity, and researchers measured the evolution of degenerative changes in the knee by looking at the biochemical and molecular composition of the cartilage.

According to the results, those who participated in regular high-impact activities like running were at high risk of developing osteoarthritis and degenerated cartilage.

At the same time, given that those who had low levels of activity also demonstrated cartilage degeneration, researchers conclude that there may be an “optimal” level of physical activity to preserve the connective tissue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in two people in the US are at risk of developing knee osteoporosis by the age of 85.

By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans over the age of 18 are projected to develop arthritis.

A study presented this month at a rheumatology meeting in Washington DC found that the consumption of sugary soft drinks can also accelerate the progression of knee osteoarthritis, particularly among men.

In addition to cutting out soft drinks, another simple way to reduce knee pain is to lose weight, said another study out of Penn State College of Medicine in the US, which found that shedding pounds reduced stress on the joints and improved stiffness and overall well-being.

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