SHIFT Daily News

News

Running May be Good for Your Knees

Running May be Good for Your Knees
January 26
14:49 2017

(NYTimes) – Many people worry that running ruins knees. But a new study finds that the activity may in fact benefit the joint, changing the biochemical environment inside the knee in ways that could help keep it working smoothly.

In my many decades as a runner, fellow runners and nonrunners alike have frequently told me that I am putting my knees at risk. The widespread argument generally follows the lines that running will slowly wear away the cartilage that cushions the bones in the joint and cause arthritis.

But there is little evidence to support the idea, and a growing body of research that suggests the reverse. Epidemiological studies of long-term runners show that they generally are less likely to develop osteoarthritis in the knees than people of the same age who do not run.

Some scientists have speculated that running may protect knees because it also often is associated with relatively low body mass. Carrying less weight is known to reduce the risk for knee arthritis.

But other researchers have wondered whether running might have a more direct impact on knee joints, perhaps by altering the working of various cells inside the knee.

To find out, researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, recruited 15 male and female runners under the age of 30 with no history of knee injury or arthritis. The scientists wished to study people with healthy knees in order to better isolate running’s effects on otherwise normal joints.

These volunteers visited a clinic where they had blood drawn from an arm. The researchers also siphoned off a small amount of synovial fluid, a lubricating fluid that reduces friction inside joints, from their right knee. Healthy knees contain only a soupçon of the stuff; arthritic and otherwise unhealthy knees tend to contain much more.

The volunteers next were delivered, in wheelchairs, to the university’s nearby biomechanics lab. There, they either sat quietly for 30 minutes or ran on a treadmill for the same 30 minutes at their preferred running pace.

After either running or sitting, they again were wheeled to the clinic and the blood and synovial fluid draws were repeated.

Each volunteer completed both a sitting and running session on separate days.

Then the researchers looked for a variety of substances in the young people’s blood and synovial fluid.

In particular, they focused on molecules that are associated with inflammation. Low-grade inflammation in the knee has been shown to contribute to the development and progression of arthritis.

So the researchers looked for changes in the levels of several types of cells that are known to either increase or blunt the amount of inflammation inside the knee.

509 total views, 1 views today

About Author

Shift Daily News

Shift Daily News

Related Articles

[^@s]
[^@s]
[^.@s]
[^.@s]
[^@s^.]
[^@s^.]