Strengthening exercises for the legs may help slow the progression of knee arthritis, a study shows.
Researchers found that among older adults with knee osteoarthritis, those who underwent lower-body strength training showed less narrowing in the knee joint space over 2.5 years — evidence that their arthritis was progressing more slowly.
Osteoarthritis is the common, “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis that often comes with aging. The cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down, allowing bones to rub together. Over time, the affected joint loses its normal shape, causing further pain and mobility problems.
Other studies have found that strengthening exercises can, in the short term, ease knee arthritis symptoms. The new study was unusual for an exercise trial because it ran for 30 months, looking for differences in X-ray evidence of arthritis progression, according to study co-author Dr. Steven A. Mazzuca.
Mazzuca and his colleagues at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis followed 221 older adults. Fifty-seven had a diagnosis of knee arthritis and 164 were recruited from the general population.
About half were randomly assigned to strength training that emphasized the lower body, first at a fitness center and then to a home-based regimen. The other patients underwent flexibility exercises and served as a comparison group. Sixty-seven patients did not complete the trial, leaving 154 patients for evaluation.
After 30 months, study participants in the strength training group showed less narrowing in the knee joint than their counterparts who performed flexibility exercises.
Strength training slowed the rate of joint space narrowing by about one quarter, the researchers report
The benefit was observed despite the fact that the workouts did not improve strength in the quadriceps, the group of muscles at the front of the thigh. Mazzuca said the strength training group did, however, show less strength loss — which typically comes with aging.
– Arthritis & Rheumatism
Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec’s comments on strength, training stops arthritis.
What this study showed was the conclusion that strength training slowed the rate of joint space narrowing by about ¼ of the people that went through the study. It also went on to say that the benefit was observed despite the fact that the workouts did not improve the strength, although they had less strength loss which is common with aging. What we want to draw on in this study is very simply this, your body was meant to be used, that’s what your muscle’s are for, that’s what exercise is, if you don’t use you are going to lose it. So, with exercise the body as it was created by God is meant to move and when you move, as this study shows you can slow, stop or even reverse arthritis. We can look at arthritis or inflammation of joints from two perspectives. One perspective is there is the arthritis that comes from lack of motion, lack of movement. Because of the loss of motion the joint becomes solidified, the calcium mineral deposits just fill in the joint and it becomes arthritic. This is evident when a person has a cast on for periods of time, when they take the cast off how immobile the joint is. Because with the lack of motion, it becomes immobile and can even eventually fuse.
The other type of arthritis comes from excessive motion. This is repetitive motion in an incorrect way, usually when the joints are misaligned or subluxated in the wrong position. Which is common in most people due to past traumas. So, if excessive motion with the joint, subluxation, can also leads to arthritis, but exercise is critical. We were designed by God to move and use our muscles and this has been shown in many studies, not only in this study which shows slowing the narrowing space, the joint narrowing space, or the arthritic deposits, but also it’s been shown to have a wide range effects including increasing cognitive function, your mental abilities. It has the ability to boost the immune system, to fight off infection and disease. It also has the ability to increase vitality by causing the body to secrete more growth hormones, causing increased levels of health.
So what you want to take away from this study is we were designed by God to exercise, as it is one of the 7 Basic Steps to Total Health, and if we put exercise, which can be divided into four categories: cellular or lymphatic exercise, cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, strengthening exercise and stretching exercise. All these come together to keep a person as healthy as they can be from this aspect of the 7 Basic Steps of Total Health. A side note, the most important exercise to be done on a daily basis, is cellular lymphatic exercise, because it strengthens every cell in the body, every cell of every organ, gland and tissue and it also moves lymph which lymphatic fluid is where 2/3 of your white blood cells are, so this is the heart of the immune system. Also lymph is the sewer system of the body, which is where 2/3 of the toxins circulate through. So any exercise that can increase lymph flow and strengthen cells is hugely going to impact ones total health.