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Strength training and knee osteoarthritis

A kettlebell standing on the ground, two hands holding on to it and feet in the background

In a study conducted in the United States, researchers investigated whether strength training is beneficial for individuals with knee osteoarthritis. There has been a historical belief that strength training might be detrimental to knee joints, even though it has been known for many years that strength training can be beneficial. The article in question examines whether and how strength training can actually benefit the knees.

The researchers collected data from a previous study called “the Osteoarthritis Initiative” (OAI) to analyze and understand the relationship between strength training and knee osteoarthritis. The OAI study was extensive, following participants over several years with the aim of mapping the development of osteoarthritis.

The results indicate that individuals who engaged in strength training throughout their lives had a lower incidence of knee pain, X-ray-verified osteoarthritis, and symptomatic osteoarthritis. These findings applied to both men and women across various age groups. According to the results, strength training appears advantageous for knee joints, both in terms of reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and alleviating symptoms for those affected. The researchers studied the lifestyle habits of OAI participants, including their reported exercise routines during different life periods, and based their analysis on this information.

Through strength training, not only are the muscles around the knee strengthened, but tendons and ligaments are also reinforced. This provides stability and can reduce the load on the knee joint itself. Importantly, strength training can be beneficial for your knees even before osteoarthritis develops.

Artrosportalen discusses various exercise forms that can be helpful for osteoarthritis, including strength training. You can read more about it here.

However, as with any exercise, it is essential to consider your individual circumstances. To ensure that strength training, as well as other forms of exercise, has a positive impact, it must be performed correctly. If you are unsure, I recommend consulting a physiotherapist to receive guidance on effective and safe training tailored to your needs.

The complete study is available on the ACR’s website, and you can access it in a new tab here. 🏋️‍♀️🦵