A recent study by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) has found that high-impact activities can cause more rapid degeneration of knee cartilage in middle-aged adults.
The study analyzed changes in knee cartilage in a sample of 205 patients, age 45 to 60, over a four-year period. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques were used to study the evolution of early degenerative cartilage changes in the knee. It was found that those who engaged frequently in high-impact activities, such as running had a higher risk of cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. At the same time, the study showed that people with low levels of physical activity also experienced cartilage degeneration. This suggested that there may be an optimal level of physical activity to preserve knee cartilage.
The report concluded that maintaining a healthy weight and staying away from risky activities and strenuous, high-impact exercise can reduce cartilage degeneration among high risk groups – people with a family history of total joint replacement, obesity, history of knee injury or surgery.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in every two people in the U.S. is likely to develop knee osteoarthritis by age 85. It is also projected that an estimated 67 million Americans over the age of 18 will be affected by physician-diagnosed arthritis by 2030.
If you experience acute or chronic knee pain, don’t neglect it. Get timely treatment from an established healthcare center offering orthopedic services. A professional facility can provide you with a customized treatment plan after a detailed medical evaluation and proper diagnosis using MRI and other advanced modalities.