Knee Arthritis: The Exercise and Cartilage Wars Begin…

knee arthritis

A long time ago in a galaxy far far…oh wait, that’s another story. I’ve blogged a few times on whether running is good or bad for your knees, and whether or not it contributes to knee arthritis, as the research seems to be all over the map. Well here’s another installment where the exercise=arthritis guys strike back. A recent study looked at whether the highest exercisers in an existing arthritis registry had more cartilage matrix breakdown on specialized research grade MRI sequences. They did. The last major study I reviewed had gone the opposite direction (more exercise didn’t cause more arthritis), but relied more on simple x-rays. Based on that difference in the technology used to measure arthritis, I’d have to say that for now, the more exercise=more arthritis guys are winning this war. However, don’t count runners out quite yet, as it “ain’t over till the fat lady sings”.  So how much exercise was too much in this study? They had it pegged at 1 hour of “vigorous” exercise three times a week. Do I personally believe this is too much? No, in their recommendations to keep healthy the feds keep raising the bar which is now more than three hours of exercise a week. In addition, our ancestors were much more active. Why can some patients hit it hard their entire life and never get arthritis? We simply don’t yet have enough info to answer this question. In the meantime, if you are concerned about knee arthritis you may want to either wait until the other side throws the next scientific punch or spend some time reading our top 10 list of things you can do to prevent arthritis.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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