Running may be useful for your knees, study finds

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Running may be useful for your knees, study finds

According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, running decreases not only knee intra-articular pro-inflammatory cytokine concentration but also facilitates the movement of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein from the joint space to the serum.

Researchers at Brigham Young University Department of Exercise Science studied the impact of running on the knees of runners and athletes to better understand the importance of exercise in preventing degenerative joint disorders. The study aimed to examine the effect of running on the knee intra-articular,  circulating markers of inflammation and cartilage turnover in healthy adults.

Researchers collected the samples of synovial fluid (SF) and serum from 6 healthy recreational runners before and after a 30-minute session of non-running and a 30-minute session of running to measure the concentration of cytokine. There were no changes in the serum or SF cytokine concentration in the control condition.

It was found that there was a decrease in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and a trend for decreasing interleukin (IL)-15 concentration from pre- to post-run. The mean number of foot strikes during the run had a negative correlation with changes in IL-15 concentration.

Serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) was reported to be decreased and synovial fluid COMP increased in the control group, while serum COMP was increased and synovial fluid COMP decreased in the running group. Researchers noted an inverse correlation between changes in the serum COMP and the synovial fluid COMP from pre- to post-intervention.

According to their findings, running does decreases inflammation causing cytokine in the joints, which can help protect individuals from degenerative joint disorders. Further research is needed to determine if individuals with knees injuries also receive the same benefits from running as those without knee injuries. In addition, the benefits of running need to be examined in a larger population and should include those who rarely or never run.


European Journal of Applied Physiology

Link to the source:

Original title of the article:

Running decreases knee intra-articular cytokine and cartilage oligomeric matrix concentrations: a pilot study

Exploratory, Knee Osteoarthritis, Knee, Cartilage, Pilot Study, Synovial fluid (SF), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP)
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