Nav: Home

Study: Running actually lowers inflammation in knee joints

December 08, 2016

We all know that running causes a bit of inflammation and soreness, and that's just the price you pay for cardiovascular health. You know; no pain, no gain.

Well, maybe not. New research from BYU exercise science professors finds that pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.

In other words, it appears running can reduce joint inflammation.

"It flies in the face of intuition," said study coauthor Matt Seeley, associate professor of exercise science at BYU. "This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth."

In a study recently published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, Seeley and a group of BYU colleagues, as well as Dr. Eric Robinson from Intermountain Healthcare, measured inflammation markers in the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women aged 18-35, both before and after running.

The researchers found that the specific markers they were looking for in the extracted synovial fluid--two cytokines named GM-CSF and IL-15--decreased in concentration in the subjects after 30 minutes of running. When the same fluids were extracted before and after a non-running condition, the inflammation markers stayed at similar levels.

"What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health," said study lead author Robert Hyldahl, BYU assistant professor of exercise science.

Hyldahl said the study results indicate running is chondroprotective, which means exercise may help delay the onset of joint degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.

This is potentially great news, since osteoarthritis--the painful disease where cartilage at the end of bones wears down and gradually worsens over time--affects about 27 million people in the United States.

"This study does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis than any other person," Seeley said. "Instead, this study suggests exercise can be a type of medicine."

Researchers, which included then undergraduate (and now grad student) Alyssa Evans and PhD student Sunku Kwon, now plan to turn their attention to study subjects with previous knee injuries. Specifically, they're looking to do similar tests on people who have suffered ACL injuries.

BYU professors Sarah Ridge and Ty Hopkins were also coauthors on the study.
-end-


Brigham Young University

Related Osteoarthritis Articles:

App helps reduce osteoarthritis pain
By performing a few simple physical exercises daily, and receiving information about their disease regularly, 500 osteoarthritis patients were able to on average halve their pain in 6 months -- and improve their physical function.
Osteoarthritis can increase your risk for social isolation
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined information from the European Project on OSteoArthritis (EPOSA) study.
High rates of opioid prescriptions for osteoarthritis
Opioids work against severe pain but the risks of side effects and addiction are high.
Disease burden in osteoarthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been viewed as a highly prevalent but milder condition when compared with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some may believe that it is part of a normal aging process requiring acceptance, not treatment.
3D printing may help treat osteoarthritis
In a Journal of Orthopaedic Research study, scientists used 3D printing to repair bone in the joints of mini-pigs, an advance that may help to treat osteoarthritis in humans.
Finger joint enlargements may be linked to knee osteoarthritis
Heberden's nodes (HNs) are bony enlargements of the finger joints that are readily detectable in a routine physical exam and are considered hallmarks of osteoarthritis.
Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis
There is an ongoing debate regarding the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and hormone therapy (HT), with small-scale studies providing mixed results.
Going from negative to positive in the treatment of osteoarthritis
A scientific team has designed a charged molecule that improved the delivery of osteoarthritis drugs to knee joint cartilage in rodent models of the debilitating joint disorder.
Antioxidant defender protects against osteoarthritis
A protein involved in multiple cellular processes called ANP32A protects cartilage in the joints against degradation by damaging oxidation, preventing the development and progression of osteoarthritis, according to a new study by Frederique Cornelis and colleagues.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis lessened with simple changes to the diet
One gram of fish oil a day could help reduce the pain of patients with osteoarthritis, a new study in Rheumatology reports.
More Osteoarthritis News and Osteoarthritis Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Graham
If former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's case for the death of George Floyd goes to trial, there will be this one, controversial legal principle looming over the proceedings: The reasonable officer. In this episode, we explore the origin of the reasonable officer standard, with the case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty with help from Kelly Prime and Annie McEwen. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.