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Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:01 pm

Master Masters Athlete
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:01 pm
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Location: Chico, CA

From Fahey's Health Research column in Muscular Development magazine:

Strong Legs Prevent Knee Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a painful joint disease that destroys cartilage and affects its capacity to cushion, protect, and maintain joint lubrication. Cartilage covers and protects the bones in major joints such as the knees. Many athletes develop arthritis in their knee joints as they age. Mayo Clinic researchers — in a 30-month study—found that strong, balanced leg muscles can prevent knee pain and arthritis. They studied 265 men and women who had knee arthritis and found that cartilage thickness under the kneecap and the tibiofemoral joint (shin and thigh bones) was greater in people who had larger, stronger thigh muscles. Weak muscles cause instability and poor tracking of the kneecap, which stresses the cartilage and triggers arthritis and pain in the knee. Many athletes use improper form during squats and knee extensions, which can damage sensitive cartilage in the knee and set the stage for arthritis. Also, many use too much weight when learning these lifts, so they cheat during the exercise and never develop strong muscles that will allow them to squat large weights without damaging the knees.
(Paper presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, November 15, 2006)

Thomas Fahey
Dept Kinesiology
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0330

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