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Medical Minute SSM Santé: Examination of the link between physical activity and osteoarthritis

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — An estimated 50 million adults in the United States suffer from osteoarthritis. Hip and knee osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that protects the ends of bones wears down over time. New research indicates that the amount of physical activity is not related to the development of knee osteoarthritis.

Dr. David Shervin, an orthopedic surgeon at SSM Health St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Charles, says researchers have found that moderate full-body physical activity in sports, walking or bicycling is not associated with knee osteoarthritis. He says exercise can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis because improving the musculature around a joint and controlling movement can more evenly distribute stress on the joint.

Dr. Shervin also says physical movement and weight loss can go a long way in reducing the pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, which typically develops due to risk factors associated with age, gender, obesity and genetics.

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The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.