A new study finds that stronger quadriceps muscles may protect women, but not necessarily men, from the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis in their knees.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 26.9 million adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the knee is the joint most commonly affected by it. More women get knee OA than men.
In this new study, researchers from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics followed 3,026 men and women between the ages of 50 and 79 for 30 months…
Experts said the study should send a strong message to women.
“The reason why this study is important is because it shows if you try to maintain good muscle strength, your risk of your knee hurting because of osteoarthritis, is less,” says Mary O’Connor, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
Dr. O’Connor says this research supports her long-standing belief that patients, especially women, not only need to be more active, but need to do weight lifting exercises too.
“They shouldn’t feel intimidated, because they may be older, about learning how to use the equipment and working on building their muscle strength,” she says.
Dr. O’Connor also says, while this study talks about warding off osteoarthritis, those who already have the condition can also benefit from the message about keeping your muscles strong.
Arthritis Today By Jennifer Davis, 8/27/2009