Does strenuous exercise boost your risk of knee osteoarthritis?

Researchers followed nearly 1,200 middle-​aged and older people at high risk for knee arthritis—that is, they had symptoms (like pain or stiffness) or other risk factors (like excess weight, family history, or knee injury)​—but with no sign of arthritis on x-rays.

After 10 years, those who did strenuous activities—like jogging, swimming, cycling, singles tennis, aerobic dance, or skiing—were no more likely to be diagnosed with arthritis on x-rays than those who did none.

And in a one-year study of 156 people with knee arthritis, those who were randomly assigned to get physical therapy had less pain, stiffness, and impaired function than those who got glucocorticoid injections.

What to do

Keep moving! And consider physical therapy if you have knee arthritis.