Although distance running is often associated with numerous health benefits, the impact on hip and knee joint health has been inconclusive up to this point. Long-distance running has been linked with an increased prevalence of arthritis in some studies, but others have shown an inverse association or no association at all.
In a recent study published by Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, authors Ponzio et al. investigate hip and knee health in active marathon runners, including the prevalence of pain, arthritis and arthroplasty and associated risk factors.
To conduct their research, Ponzio et al. distributed a hip and knee health survey internationally to marathon runners from 18-79 years old, divided into subgroups by age, sex BMI and physical activity level. The survey questions assessed pain, personal and family history of arthritis, surgical history, running volume, personal record time, risk factors and current running status. The results were then compared with National Center for Health Statistics’ information for a matched group of the US population who were not marathon runners.
What the authors of the study found is that while age, family history and surgical history independently predicted an increased risk for hip and knee arthritis in active marathoners, there was no correlation with running history. In the researcher’s cohort study, the arthritis rate of active marathoners was below that of the general US population.
While the authors conclude that longitudinal follow-up is needed to determine the effects of marathon running on developing future knee and hip arthritis, it’s a hopeful and encouraging finding for long-distance runners.
Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in joint replacement surgery, sports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!
Osteoarthritis of the hip, which causes the cartilage that cushions your joints to be lost, can be extremely painful and negatively affect one’s quality of life. Could your job be putting you at risk for hip osteoarthritis (HOA) and if so, what can you do about it? A new study takes a closer look.
In the last decade, there has been an influx of studies searching for an association between occupational strain and the risk of developing hip osteoarthritis. The published studies conclude that there is a basic link between occupations involving physically demanding work and the development of HOA. A new study, published by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, explores a new systematic survey of the previous literature. The goal? To identify ways of preventing occupational HOA if the link between physically demanding work and HOA was indeed present.
The study takes a look at five cohort studies along with 18 case-control studies that were found suitable for inclusion. The researchers found that years of physically demanding work consisting of activities such as dealing with heavy loads, heavy manual work or prolonged walking and standing increases the risk of HOA (and eventually total hip replacement) by 150% in men and 40% in women. The new study found that even though the evidence base for risk assessment in women is currently inadequate (most previous studies didn’t explore occupations where women predominate, such as nursing), the greater the exposure to physically demanding work, the greater the risk for HOA.
The study explored recommendations for preventive measures and further research that should be conducted in the future:
- Loads of 45lbs or more should NOT be lifted without mechanical assistance.
- With the goal of detecting signs of HOA as early as possible, preventive occupational medicine should include examination of the hip after no more than 15-20 years in a relevant occupation.
- Since the limited available data do not show any meaningful effect of training and exercise on the progression of HOA in the occupational content, any measure taken should aim at reducing the amount of strain.
- Workers who need to change their job should take advantage of the occupational rehabilitation programs offered by health insurance providers and pension insurance funds.
Questions about HOA or joint replacement surgery? Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in hip replacement surgery, sports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!