This is a study published in the very serious journal Clinical Rheumatology who just throw a stone into the pond of medical beliefs. If it is now assumed that the practice of sport is more than recommended for people suffering from osteoarthritis, the practice of race walking in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, in contrast, is not recommended by health professionals. And for good reason, osteoarthritis is a mechanism that leads to degradation of the articular cartilage that will gradually thinning, resulting radiologically by an approximation of parts of bone. It is common to hear that the wear and tear of the cartilage is the origin of the pain, which is false, since the articular cartilage is not innervated. The pain is more often the result of the inflammatory state of the joint, and there is often no correlation between the degree of wear of the cartilage and the level of pain experienced. It is as well that some patients have cartilage damaged and suffer no, or little, while others complain of disabling pain in spite of radiological signs of low gravity.

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A team of researchers examined a group of 1,203 individuals with knee oa of at least one knee, they have taken over quite a long period since they were part of a program, ” Osteoarthritis Initiative “, which took place between 2004 and 2014. The riders were assessed using a questionnaire, but they have also been followed on the map radiation. The average age of the members of this program was 63 years and the panel was composed of 45 % men and 55 % women. The analysis of the many data collected is surprising to say the least. In their conclusions, the researchers argue that the practice of running would not lead to increase in pain in the subjects evaluated, and it would even decrease. In addition, the practice of running would not lead to a degradation of the articular cartilage radiologically detectable, compared to the natural evolution of patients that do not run.

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Opinion of the physio

This publication opens the way for reflection on the sports that can be practiced by people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. The findings of this study must however, be handled with caution. The practice of running is not a treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, and it is necessary to respect some basic rules for not to worsen the condition of a knee already spent.

Thus, the choice of shoes, the type of terrain, the duration of the race will be the elements to be assessed according to each individual. It is more prudent not to jogging without the advice of a physiotherapist who is an interlocutor of choice for those who would like personalized advice.

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