Jog On: Exercise Won’t Raise Your Odds for Arthritic Knees

Article featured on MedicineNet

Dr. Kim Huffman, an avid runner, gets a fair amount of guff from friends about the impact that her favorite exercise has on her body.

“People all the time tell me, ‘Oh, you wait until you’re 60. Your knees are going to hate you for it’,” Huffman said. “And I’m like, ‘That’s ridiculous’.”

Next time the topic comes up, Huffman is well-armed: An extensive British analysis of prior study data has found no link between a person’s amount of exercise and their risk for knee arthritis.

The research team combined the results of six clinical trials conducted at different places around the globe, creating a pool of more than 5,000 people who were followed for 5 to 12 years for signs of knee arthritis.

In each clinical trial, researchers tracked participants’ daily activities and estimated the amount of energy they expended in physical exertion.

Neither the amount of energy burned during exercise nor the amount of time spent in physical activity had anything to do with knee pain or arthritis symptoms, the researchers concluded.

“This helps dispel a myth that I’ve been trying to dispel for quite a while,” said Huffman, an associate professor at the Duke University Medical Center’s division of rheumatology.

“If you add up the amounts of activity that people do and also the duration of activity, neither of those is associated with knee arthritis,” added Huffman, who wasn’t involved in the analysis.

Dr. Bert Mandelbaum is chief medical officer of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer club and team physician for the U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team.

He agreed the study “further corroborates the fact that levels of exercise in one’s personal life do not increase the risk, the onset or progression of osteoarthritis.”

So where did this misconception come from?

Huffman thinks it’s because people mistake exercise-related injuries for the effect that exercise itself has on your joints.

“Right now, the clear risks for knee arthritis are genetics, injuries and female sex,” Huffman said. “People who exercise more may be more likely to injure their knee. That’s where I think the myth comes from.”

In fact, exercise can help ward off knee arthritis in several ways, Huffman said:

  • Flexing and extending the knee during exercise promotes the diffusion of fluid into the joint, promoting better nutrition.
  • An elevated metabolism created by exercise helps control inflammation in the knee joint.
  • Weight loss reduces the amount of load placed on the knee.
  • Exercise strengthens the muscles surrounding the knee, stabilizing it and reducing the risk of injury.

“I don’t think we’re finding that simple overuse or using your joint is a problem. It’s more an association with injuries and perhaps in the setting of obesity or high genetic risk,” Huffman said.

Your best bet is to choose an exercise that poses the least risk of a knee injury, Huffman said.

“If you want to go snow skiing, I don’t think that’s a huge problem but you’re probably going to be more likely to injure yourself downhill skiing than, say, walking in your neighborhood or training for a marathon,” Huffman said. “It’s not soccer or football or skiing itself. It’s just the risk for injury during those activities.”

On the other hand, exercise provides benefits that go far beyond healthy joints, said Mandelbaum, co-chair of medical affairs at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute at Santa Monica, Calif. He played no role in the research review.

“Physical activity is essential to optimize both physical and mental health and plays a central role in facilitating life’s quality and quantity,” Mandelbaum said. “The list of benefits includes decreased anxiety, better mood, decreased levels of coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, and therefore a longer life.”


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

14 Benefits of Strength Training

Article featured on Healthline

If you could do one thing to improve your health, strength training should be at the top of your list. It involves using one or more muscle groups to perform a specific task, such as lifting a weight or squatting.

Due to the growing body of evidence supporting its many benefits, strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs. If you’ve ever considered strength training, you may wonder how it will benefit your life.

This article shares 14 benefits of strength training.

What is strength training?

Strength training is also known as weight training, resistance training, and muscular training.

The general definition of strength training is any physical movement in which you use your body weight or equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance.

The main types of strength training include:

  • Muscular hypertrophy. Also known as muscle building, this type of strength training uses moderate-to-heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth.
  • Muscular endurance. This refers to your muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period of time. Training to increase muscular endurance usually involves high reps using light weights or body weight.
  • Circuit training. During this form of full-body conditioning, you cycle through various exercises with little to no rest between them.
  • Maximum muscular strength. This type of exercise involves low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights to improve your overall strength. It’s best reserved for experienced exercisers who have mastered their form.
  • Explosive power. This training combines power and speed to improve your power output. It’s usually employed among trained athletes to improve their ability to perform explosive movements in their sport.

Most people focus on muscular endurance, circuit training, and muscular hypertrophy as part of their strength-training routine, while strength and power training are usually reserved for experienced athletes.

Depending on the type of strength training you choose to reach your goals, you can use various equipment (or none at all), such as:

  • Body weight: using your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform various movements (e.g., pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges)
  • Free weights: equipment not bound to the floor or a machine, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or objects around the house
  • Resistance bands/loop bands: rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched
  • Weight machines: machines with adjustable weights or hydraulics attached to provide resistance and stress to the muscles
  • Suspension equipment: consists of ropes or straps that are anchored to a sturdy point in which a person uses their body weight and gravity to perform various exercises

Regardless of the type of strength training you perform, the goal is to put your muscles under tension to allow neuromuscular adaptations and stimulate muscle growth. With regular practice, your muscles will become stronger.

SUMMARY

Strength training is any type of exercise that involves your own body weight or equipment to build muscle mass, endurance, and strength. There are many types of strength training, such as bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, or circuit training.

14 benefits of strength training backed by science

There are many benefits to strength training that can improve your health.

1. Makes you stronger

Strength training helps you become stronger.

Gaining strength allows you to perform daily tasks much easier, such as carrying heavy groceries or running around with your kids.

Furthermore, it helps improve athletic performance in sports that require speed, power, and strength, and it may even support endurance athletes by preserving lean muscle mass.

2. Burns calories efficiently

Strength training helps boost your metabolism in two ways.

First, building muscle increases your metabolic rate. Muscles are more metabolically efficient than fat mass, allowing you to burn more calories at rest.

Second, research shows that your metabolic rate is increased up to 72 hours after strength-training exercise. This means that you’re still burning additional calories hours and even days after your workout.

3. Decreases abdominal fat

Fat stored around the abdomen, especially visceral fat, is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Multiple studies have shown the benefit of strength-training exercises for reducing abdominal and total body fat.

4. Can help you appear leaner

As you build more muscle and lose fat, you will appear leaner.

This is because muscle is more dense than fat, meaning it takes up less space on your body pound for pound. Therefore, you may lose inches off of your waist even if you don’t see a change in the number on the scale.

Also, losing body fat and building stronger and larger muscles showcases more muscle definition, creating a stronger and leaner appearance.

5. Decreases your risk of falls

Strength training lowers your risk of falls, as you’re better able to support your body.

In fact, one review including 23,407 adults over the age of 60 showed a 34% reduction in falls among those who participated in a well-rounded exercise program that included balance exercises and resistance and functional training.

Fortunately, many forms of strength training have been shown to be effective, such as tai chi, weight training, and resistance band and bodyweight exercises.

6. Lowers your risk of injury

Including strength training in your exercise routine may reduce your risk of injury.

Strength training helps improve the strength, range of motion, and mobility of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can reinforce strength around major joints like your knees, hips, and ankles to provide additional protection against injury.

What’s more, strength training can help correct muscular imbalances. For example, having a stronger core, hamstrings, and glutes takes the load off of your lower back during lifting, decreasing your risk of lower-back injuries.

Finally, adult and teenage athletes that engage in strength training have a lower likelihood of injury.

In fact, one review including 7,738 athletes found strength-training programs reduced the risk of injury by 33%. It was found to lower the risk of injury in a dose-dependent manner, meaning for every 10% increase in strength-training volume, there was a 4% reduced risk of injury.

7. Improves heart health

Multiple studies have shown that regular strength-training exercise can decrease blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels.

Strength training also can help you maintain a healthy body weight and manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.

8. Helps manage your blood sugar levels

Strength training may lower your risk of developing diabetes and can help those with the condition manage it better.

Skeletal muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity. It also reduces blood sugar levels by removing glucose from the blood and sending it to muscle cells. As a result, greater muscle mass can help improve blood sugar management.

Strength training may also reduce your risk of developing diabetes. One study following 35,754 women for an average of 10 years showed a 30% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes among those who engaged in strength training compared with those who did not.

9. Promotes greater mobility and flexibility

Contrary to popular belief, strength training can make you more flexible.

Strength training increases joint range of motion (ROM), allowing for greater mobility and flexibility. Plus, those with weaker muscles tend to have lower ROM and flexibility.

In fact, a recent review comparing stretching with strength training found they were equally effective at increasing ROM.

For best results, ensure you’re completing the full ROM of an exercise — in other words, utilize your full movement potential around a joint. For example, lower yourself into a squat as far as you’re able to go without compromising your form.

10. Boosts your self-esteem

Strength training can add a major boost to your self-confidence.

It helps you overcome challenges, work toward a goal, and appreciate your body’s strength. In particular, it can increase your self-efficacy — the belief that you’re able to succeed at or perform a task — which can greatly improve your confidence.

In fact, one review of 7 studies in youth ages 10–16 years observed a significant association between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength, and physical self-worth.

Additionally, a systematic review that studied 754 adults showed a significant link between strength training and positive body image, including body satisfaction, appearance, and social physique anxiety (the perception of judgment from others).

11. Makes your bones stronger

Strength training is crucial for bone development.

Weight-bearing exercises put temporary stress on your bones, sending a message to bone-building cells to take action and rebuild bones stronger. Having strong bones reduces your risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, especially as you age.

Fortunately, you can reap the bone-strengthening benefits of strength training at any age.

12. Boosts your mood

Regular weight training may boost your mood and improve your mental health.

Multiple studies have shown that strength training may reduce anxiety and boost your mood.

Strength training confers multiple benefits to mood regulation, such as increased self-esteem and self-efficacy. What’s more, exercise promotes the release of mood-boosting endorphins, which can play a role in a positive mood.

13. Improves brain health

Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline.

Multiple studies in older adults have pointed to significant improvements in cognitive function (e.g., processing speed, memory, and executive function) after participating in strength training, compared with those who did not participate in it.

It’s thought that resistance training has many neuroprotective effects, such as improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and an increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to memory and learning.

14. Promotes a better quality of life

Strength training may increase your quality of life, especially as you age.

Numerous studies have linked strength training to increased health-related quality of life, defined as a person’s perceived physical and mental well-being.

In fact, one review of 16 studies including adults ages 50 years and older showed a significant correlation between resistance training and better mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality.

What’s more, strength training may improve quality of life in those with arthritis. One review of 32 studies showed strength training significantly improved scores in pain and physical functioning.

SUMMARY

Strength training provides many benefits, such as a lower risk of chronic disease, better self-esteem, and a reduced risk of injury and falls.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday

What Is Spinal Fusion?

From WebMD

 

Spinal fusion is surgery to join two or more vertebrae into one single structure. The goal is to stop movement between the two bones and prevent back pain. Once they’re fused, they no longer move like they used to. This keeps you from stretching nearby nerves, ligaments, and muscles that may have caused discomfort.

Spinal fusion involves techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. During spinal fusion, your surgeon places bone or a bonelike material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit. Read more

The Best Time of Year to Have Knee Replacement Surgery

Featured on mykneereplacementrecovery.com

You may be wondering when is the best time of year to have knee replacement surgery. Many patients ask this question when considering TKR and the consensus is that the spring and early fall are the best seasons. Read more

How To Diagnose & Treat Osteoarthritis

Desciption

Arthritis— which literally means “inflamed joint” — can affect any joint in the body, including the joints between the 29 bones of the wrist, hand, and fingers.   Arthritis of the hand can hurt and keep you from being able to do what you want or need to do. The most common forms of arthritis in the hand are osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis (after an injury), and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the smooth cartilage that covers the bone surfaces at the joints either is injured or wears over time.

Read more