Over exercising may lead to arthritis

over exercising causes arthritis

Exercising too much in middle age can cause Osteoarthritis says scientists

Although the beneficial health effects of maintaining an active lifestyle are clear, men and women in their middle age may be risking the onset of arthritis if they over-exercise, a recent study has found.

The study conducted in the US of 236 men and women aged between 45 and 55, found those of average weight who tended to exercise the most, risked damage to their knees.

Several hours of physical exertion such as running, sports and walking on a regular basis could trigger the onset of osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease affecting around eight million people in the UK.

Osteoarthritis occurs when changes in cartilage causes joints to fail to work properly, at its worst causing the ends of the bones in the joint to rub against each other.

Dr Christoph Stehling, a reseacher at the University of California said of the study "Our data suggest people with higher physical activity levels may be at greater risk for developing knee abnormalities and, thus, at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis."

High impact exercise the worst culprit

"This study and previous studies by our group suggest that high impact, weight-bearing physical activity, such as running and jumping, may be worse for cartilage health.

"Conversely, low-impact activities, such as swimming and cycling, may protect diseased cartilage and prevent healthy cartilage from developing disease."

A spokeswoman for the Arthritis Research Campaign said the results of the study were not surprising, adding that the gains of exercise far outweighed any potential risks.

She said: "We have known for years that certain high impact sports and jobs are associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee, but for the vast majority of people exercise is good, not only for the cartilage but for total body health.

"Most people can exercise without any problems but if you have had a joint injury or torn cartilage or ligaments you should be cautious about exercise, and swimming and cycling may provide a better option for you. It is a matter of balance and sensible moderation, as the risk of developing osteoarthritis as a result of too much exercise is outweighed by the risk of being overweight and sedentary."

Consider taking cod liver oil capsules which are believed to delay the onset of the disease and help relieve symptoms.

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