A recent study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London has shown that degradation of cartilage caused by osteoarthritis can be prevented by exercise.
The study shows how the mechanical forces experienced by the cells in joints during exercise prevent cartilage degradation by suppressing the effect of inflammatory molecules that cause osteoarthritis. The study has been published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. It demonstrates the benefits of exercise on the tissues that form the joints of the human body.
Exercise causes the cartilage in joints to squash. The living cells detect this mechanical distortion and block the action. Thus the action of the inflammatory molecules associated with arthritis and other such conditions also get blocked.
“We have known for some time that healthy exercise is good for you — now we know the process through which exercise prevents cartilage degradation.” Says Su Fu, PhD student at Queen Mary University of London and study author.
“These findings may also explain the anti-inflammatory effects of normal blood flow in arteries which is important for preventing arterial disease such as atherosclerosis and aneurism.” Adds Prof. Martin Knight, lead researcher of the study.
It is believed that these new findings may lead to a whole new therapeutic approach called mechano-medicine in which drugs simulate the effect of mechanical forces to prevent the damaging effects of inflammation and treat arthritis and other such conditions.