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Knee pain: practicing this activity regularly could reduce it years later

  • May 14, 2024
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It is a pain that affects a quarter of women and 22% of men, according to figures from the High Authority of Health (HAS): knee pain. Also called knee pain, the latter can be very disabling. They “can occur following a shock or trauma to the knee (car accident, during a sporting activity, etc.) or outside of any trauma (osteoarthritis is a common cause over the age of 40)”, continue the HAS.

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in the United States looked for the most effective sport for preventing knee pain. According to them, people who had cycled more regularly in their lives had less knee pain andosteoarthritis of the knee. Their results are published in the magazine Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Cycling would reduce the risk of frequent knee pain in the future by 17%

To arrive at these results, the researchers based themselves on data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative study. It brought together more than 2,000 participants, all of whom suffered from knee osteoarthritis. Volunteers aged 45 to 79 were asked to complete a questionnaire with their physical activity habits throughout their lives. Four periods were targeted: from 12 to 18 years old, from 19 to 34, from 35 to 49, and from 50 years old.

In addition, the researchers focused on the knee pain experienced as well as two pathologies: radiographic osteoarthritis and symptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis. Radiographic osteoarthritis affects people who only have signs of osteoarthritis visible on an x-ray. Symptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis manifests itself as pain, stiffness and signs of osteoarthritis visible on an x-ray.

The researchers noted that participants who cycled more often had less radiographic osteoarthritis and symptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis. In their conclusions, the researchers note that “people who cycled had a lower prevalence of frequent knee pain, radiographic osteoarthritis, and symptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis.”

Knee pain: researchers encourage cycling to limit its appearance

In a press release, Grace Lo, professor of medicine specializing in rheumatology at Baylor University, explains: “Compared to non-cyclists, cyclists were 17% less likely to have frequent knee pain, 9% less likely to have radiographic osteoarthritis, and 21% less likely to have symptomatic radiographic osteoarthritis compared to non-cyclists. -cyclists”.

According to the researchers, if patients are concerned about suffering from knee pain or osteoarthritis, they believe that cycling can help maintain good knee health as well as reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

However, the researchers recognize some limitations to their study, such as the fact that physical activity habits were collected retrospectively.

Sources :

  • Bicycling over a Lifetime Is Associated with Less Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
  • Biking revealed to be associated with less knee pain later in life – Baylor College of Medicine (communiqué)
  • Knee pain: which imaging test to perform – Haute Autorité de Santé (2022)
author avatar
Louis Tardy