People starting the New Year with a resolution to get fit are urged to pursue their chosen sport with care. Exercising inappropriately could cause damage that leads to arthritis in later life. People who severely damage the cartilage in their joints in their 20s and 30s are at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee, when they get older. The Arthritis Research Campaign says that sports injuries can lead unnecessarily to osteoarthritis, but a few simple measures could significantly reduce the risk of permanent damage.
Chief executive of the organisation Fergus Logan says this should not deter people from pursuing sporting activities. "But sport and exercise must be tailored to people's individual capacity and age. Don't overdo it now because you might regret it later," Logan says.
The charity has launched a campaign to raise £ 250,000 to fund its sports injuries-related work. The charity is currently financing work into a new type of cartilage transplant surgery aimed specifically at younger people with sports injuries. It is also funding extensive work into improving hip, knee and other joint replacements.