Joint inflammation can be reduced efficiently by running exercise

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Joint inflammation can be reduced efficiently by running exercise

Running causes inflammation and soreness in joints, and it is the price one pay for cardiovascular health. Many studies are conducted to assess whether running leads to inflammation in joints or reduces it. Brigham Young University exercise science professors conducted a study which explains that running exercise lowers the joint inflammation as pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.

Matt Seeley, an associate professor of exercise science at BYU and co-author of this study proclaimed that "It flies in the face of intuition. This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth. This study does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis (OA) than any other person”.

The above study was recently published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Dr. Eric Robinson from Inter Mountain Healthcare, Seeley and a group of BYU colleagues, measurement of inflammation markers in the synovial fluid of joints in various healthy men and women with age group of 18-35 was before and after running. Researchers found that the specific cytokine markers named GM-CSF and IL-4 extracted in the synovial fluid were found to decrease in concentration after 30 minutes of running. When the same fluids were extracted before and after in a non-running condition, the inflammation markers were present in a similar concentration.

According to Robert Hyldahl, an assistant professor of exercise science at BYU and lead author of the study, "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. Instead, this study suggests exercise can be a type of medicine". Hyldahl explains that running protects chondrocytes, meaning, exercise may help to delay the onset of degenerative joint diseases like OA. This is potentially great news since OA is the most painful disease in which cartilage present at the end of bones wears down and slowly worsens over time. It affects about 27 million people in the United States.

In future, researchers including undergraduate student Alyssa Evans and Ph.D. student Sunku Kwon, planned to turn their attention towards previous knee injuries. Specifically, they are looking to do similar tests on people who are suffering from ACL injuries.


Brigham Young University

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The original title of the article:

Running can reduce joint inflammation, study finds


 Robert Hyldahl et al.

Exploratory, Joint inflammation, Knees, Bones
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