The one exercise bicyling or cycling that protects against arthritis with knee pain: Study

People with arthritis can often experience knee pain regularly. This is because the condition, particularly osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, causes inflammation in the knee joint.

This inflammation can lead to swelling, warmth, and pain as the body’s immune response is activated to fight what it perceives as an injury or infection.

A new study has found that doing one particular exercise can help relieve pain and make the knees stronger.

The study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, analysed data from over 2,600 individuals in their 60s and found that those who biked or cycled at any point in their lives were 17% less likely to develop knee pain and 21% less likely to develop arthritis with knee pain.

Engaging in bicycling, whether outdoors or in spinning classes, may help prevent knee arthritis and associated pain, the researchers mentioned.

“Bicycling over a lifetime is associated with better knee health, including less knee pain and less damage to the joint,” said Dr Grace Lo, chief of rheumatology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

Lo emphasised that the more periods in life a person spent cycling, the less likely they were to experience knee pain and signs of osteoarthritis.

As per the study, the more periods in life a person spent cycling, the less likely they were to experience knee pain and signs of osteoarthritis. (Photo: Getty Images)

The study involved participants from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a larger investigation focused on knee arthritis.

Eight years into the original study, participants completed a questionnaire about their leisure physical activity during four life stages: ages 12 to 18, 19 to 34, 35 to 49, and 50 and older. More than half had cycled regularly at some point.

The protective effects of biking may stem from its low-impact nature, which builds muscles around the knees without causing the joint jarring seen in activities like running.

“We do know that activities that are non-weight bearing are less likely to cause pain,” Lo noted. “That’s probably a reason why people have less pain when bicycling as compared to other activities.”

The protective effects of biking may stem from its low-impact nature, which builds muscles around the knees without causing the joint jarring seen in activities like running. (Photo: Getty Images)

The study doesn’t specify whether outdoor or indoor cycling is superior – both appear beneficial.

Dr Andrew Gregory of Vanderbilt, University Medical Centre, highlighted the importance of joint movement for cartilage health, noting that biking strengthens muscles supporting the knees without impact stress.

While the study shows an association between cycling and reduced knee pain, it does not prove causation.

“When a study is retrospective, you can never talk about causality,” said Dr Scott Barbuto of Columbia University.

Despite this limitation, the findings suggest that incorporating cycling into a regular exercise routine could be beneficial for knee health.

For those new to biking, one can start cycling two to three times a week at low intensity, gradually increasing intensity over time.

Published By:

Daphne Clarance

Published On:

May 21, 2024

link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *