Another Reason To Strengthen Your Quads
Here's another reason to add cycling, squats or lunges to your exercise routine. A new study by researchers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics found that women with the strongest quads appear to be more protected against the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee than women with weaker quadriceps, or knee extensor muscles. However, men with stronger quadriceps were only slightly more protected from developing symptomatic OA than those with weaker muscles.
Interestingly, quad strength wasn't found to predict the occurrence of OA of the knee as shown in x-rays in men or women, but it did predict the incidence of pain or stiffness in the knee--in women. The findings of the study were published in a recent issue of the journal, Arthritis Care & Research.
The knee is the most common weight-bearing joint affected by osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, a major cause of disability in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 26.9 million U.S. adults are affected by OA. A Medical Expenditure Panel Survey estimates that total out-of-pocket expenditures for treatment of arthritis was $32 billion in 2005.
Neil Segal, M.D., M.S., and colleagues followed 3,026 men and women ages 50 to 79 over a 30-month period in to assess whether knee extensor strength would predict the detection of OA on an X-ray, or symptomatic knee OA. Of those enrolled, a total of 2,519 knees were included in the study of radiographic knee OA and 3,392 knees were evaluated for the combination of radiographic OA and symptoms of OA that include pain, aching or stiffness on most days of the month. the Multicenter Knee Osteoarthritis Study (MOST)