People with strong thigh muscles will experience less pain in arthritic knees, find researchers from the Mayo Clinic.
Scientists from the Mayo Clinic have uncovered a new physiological reason why for some sufferers, arthritic knee pain might not be so bad.
Dr Shreyasee Amin and her team followed 265 arthritis sufferers for 30 months, and monitored their quad strength against cartilage loss.
Of the group, the top third (in terms of quad strength) showed a 60 per cent lower risk of losing cartilage, as well as better physical function, and less knee pain.
"Strong quadricep muscles are, overall, good for the knees," Dr. Amin, told Reuters Health. "Having a qualified physician or therapist work with you is important for you to do the exercises correctly and so you don't injure yourself in other ways."
Easing pain in arthritic knees
According to Arthritis Australia, pain cannot be entirely eliminated, but can be better managed. Strategies the association believes work include:
- Exercise. Research has shown that regular appropriate exercise can help reduce pain. It also keeps your joints moving, strengthens muscles to support your joints, reduces stress and improves sleep.
- Use heat and cold. The benefits of heat and cold for arthritis are yet to be proven by research. However, these treatments are soothing and safe when used carefully. Heat relaxes your muscles and stimulates blood circulation. Cold numbs the painful area and reduces swelling. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist whether heat or cold is best for you.
- Take care of your joints and save energy. Looking after your joints during your daily activities can help reduce pain, stress and tiredness. It involves simple habits such as avoiding activities that cause pain, asking for help when you need it, and using special aids to make tasks easier.
- Massage. There are limited scientific studies that show massage reduces arthritis pain. However many people with arthritis find it a useful way to relax and reduce muscle tension. Make sure the massage therapist has experience working with people who have arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are both natural ingredients clinically shown to relieve joint pain.
Blackmores has developed a new product, Joint Formula Advanced. It combines glucosamine and a high-strength dose of chondroitin which helps to reduce cartilage wear and improve joint mobility with long-term use. This extra-strength formula can help to relieve joint pain associated with arthritis in an easy-to-swallow vanilla flavoured.
References available on request