A very interesting post at the Washington Posts’s Health section on a study of some other studies on osteoarthritis of the knee and the relationship to physical activity: The Checkup - Study finds exercise is actually good for your knees. A few of the highlights:
- “…many of the studies' findings appeared to conflict with one another, some finding that exercise hurt knees, others finding just the opposite or no effect one way or another” No surprises there. It seems to me that many studies are commissioned in order to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion, in a manner similar to polling, thus it’s critical to be able to view the raw data and all information related in order to determine the veracity of the results. In other words, don’t trust without verifying, to quote a wise president.
- “…exercise does appear to promote the growth of osteophytes, or bony spurs, in the knee joint. But in the absence of accompanying cartilage damage, the researchers suggest, those spurs may simply be the body's healthy response to ongoing mechanical stimulation from physical activity, not evidence of disease.”
Their conclusion was that what’s been viewed as damage is simply adaptation, in most cases, and that the exercise is actually strengthening the knee and adapting to prevent damage (my interpretation only).
What relevance does this have for those of us who strike more than the ground with our feet? Perhaps it’s not much. My problem is that I have never seen a study which focused on the effects of martial arts training on the joints. It may be out there, but I’ve not seen it. Have you?
I will say that, in the 35 or so years (I won’t say how may the “or so” is, I’ve never sustained an injury from the training itself. It was always something like planting a foot incorrectly, poor technique, or an overzealous (or beginning) student or training partner. And my knees are great, even though most of my training has been in striking styles, I have always enjoyed kicking, a so did a lot of it.
Here’s my reader participation question:
1) What types of joint injures have you sustained?
2) Were those injuries preventable?
Please comment, or join our conversation on Facebook.
Hat tip: Guy via Twitter
Photo Credit: D.L. via Flickr
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