Here's bad news for fitness
freaks as well as couch potatoes - both rare and frequent exercising are likely
to cause degeneration of the knee cartilage!
to the results of a new study carried out by scientists at the University of
San Francisco (UCSF) and presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological
Society of North America (RSNA) both the 'hare' and the 'tortoise' are in
trouble, as rare and frequent exercising is likely to trigger knee
osteoarthritis in middle aged adults.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in two
people develop osteoarthritis by the age of 85 years.
The study analyzed the exercise
habits of 205 patients between the ages of 45 and 60 for about four years by
using questionnaires. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to measure T2,
a specific biomarker that monitors the
correlation between the exercise habits
of individuals and knee
cartilage degeneration. By gauging the "relaxation times" on the bio-marker,
data on the water content in the cartilage and collagen structure was
collected. This helps to gauge cartilage degeneration.
It was found that those
participants who exercised vigorously for one hour a day for three or more days
per week, had increased T2 measurements, which suggested "poor cartilage
health". This was also the case in those who barely exercised.
Researchers are still unsure
about the optimum level of exercise that can be recommended. However, they
believe that "moderate exercises such as walking, playing golf, etc for less than two hours per day, for three or
more days per week ,was associated with the best cartilage health as measured
with cartilage T2."
The results of this study might dampen the
spirits of the fitness freaks and fanatics, however it is hoped that T2
relaxation time will, perhaps, make it possible to detect cartilage damage when
it is still reversible.