Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Exercise and Arthritis

Contrary to popular belief exercise is likely to benefit the joints rather than harm them.

Have you ever come from a harder-than-usual workout, felt some soreness in your muscles and stiffness in your joints, and wondered if all this exercise is as good for you as it's supposed to be?

One fairly common worry among women exercisers is that working out will result in crippling arthritis in their older years. Not to worry.

Studies done at Stanford University indicate that runners over the age of 50 actually develop fewer musculoskeletal disabilities than nonrunners the same age. The runners studied in that age group also had better cardiovascular fitness weighed less, took fewer medications, had fewer sick days and visited their doctors less frequently.

Researchers found no convincing evidence that running accelerates the development of arthritis in normal, uninjured knees. A retrospective study in Finland followed competitive runners for 21 years and found less arthritis of the hip in runners (four percent) compared to nonrunners (eight percent).


Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the joints. There are two main types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the cartilage that acts as a padding between the bones of such joints as the ankle, knee and hip, as well as those in the fingers. When athletes worry about whether their exercising will lead to arthritis, this is the type they have in mind.

As we age, the cartilage becomes thinner, loses its elasticity and may become frayed. If the cartilage is damaged enough it loses its cushioning and protective functions. It may be lost entirely and bone may rub on bone, causing spinelike outgrowths of bone called spurs.

We don't know why some people are more prone to developing osteoarthritis as they get older; but we do know that injury and trauma to cartilage increases the likelihood of developing arthritis in the joint, particularly if surgical repair is needed.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.