Exercise alone relieves arthritis symptoms

Milorad Dimic MD [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

The links between diet, obesity, exercise and arthritis have been the focus of much research attention, partly because arthritis is estimated to affect as many as 20% of adults in the US. One form of arthritis, called osteoarthritis, is characterized by inflammation, joint degeneration and development of osteophytes (bony outgrowths around joints), resulting in pain. Conventional wisdom may lead arthritis sufferers to avoid activity in order to minimize joint pain. But many cases of arthritis are associated with obesity and inactivity. To address this conundrum, researchers from Duke University (Durham, NC) led by Farshid Guilak designed a study to test two hypotheses: first, that obesity resulting from consumption of a high-fat diet would encourage development of osteoarthritis in mice and second, that running-wheel activity would inhibit this development.

Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 331 (2011).
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