Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Cyclists Have Lower Risk Of Symptomatic Knee Arthritis

May 22, 2024

Research continues to be published highlighting the importance of exercise for the treatment and prevention of knee arthritis.  Our previous blogs have described active participants in weekly exercise have a lower risk of knee arthritis compared to their sedentary peers.  This latter group has the greatest risk of symptomatic knee arthritis due in part to the lack of nutrition, lubrication, and circulation occurring in the knee joint without exercise.  A recent study documents how a lifetime of cycling is associated with a decreased risk of knee arthritis.

The journal Medicine And Science In Sports And Exercise published their research on the association between both the development of osteoarthritis and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (Lo et al. 2024).  Authors performed a retrospective analysis of over 2600 participants (44% male, mean age 64 years) within the Osteoarthritis Initiative.  Authors gathered data throughout a participants lifespan to determine the association between cycling and the development of knee arthritis, as well as, the incidence of symptomatic knee arthritis.  They found a decreased risk of knee arthritis on x ray, symptomatic knee arthritis, and knee pain among the group who cycled.  Interestingly, these positive results seem to be cumulative in nature with a greater effect among the participants with more years of cycling.  Authors concluded “bicycling may be favorable to knee health and should be encouraged.”

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