A study into early onset osteoarthritis among younger people has shown that daily exercise routines could be doing more harm than good.
The Medibank Better Health Index revealed that the number of people aged 25-39 diagnosed with osteoarthritis has doubled over the past seven years. The prevalence of the degenerative joint disease had a more than 20 per cent increase in cases of people who regularly jog for exercise over that same period.
While the study also cites increased obesity levels putting extra strain on the body’s joints, poor technique while running is also a major contributing factor to joint stress and strain.
Keith Bateman, a Sydney running coach, says the findings of the study come as no surprise and believes that not enough people understand the risk of injury when they start running.
“Poor technique is the main reason people suffer problems while running. You want your foot to land underneath you so that it is vertically aligned underneath your body,” Bateman said.
“In terms of shoes, you need something that’s flat to the ground, as near to your foot as possible so that it doesn’t wobble around and provides support while you’re running.
“One of the worst things a new runner can do is go to a running store, buy a pair of running shoes and wear headphones while they run. They should be able to hear the sound their foot makes as it hits the ground.”
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis will depend on the joints that are affected. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness around joints.
For more information of osteoarthritis visit the Arthritis and Osteoporosis NSW Website. – Luke Cullen
Photo by James Mott