Thoughts on Joint Loading

Writen by Dr. Paul Ochoa


I decided to try reading another article from another favorite podcast of mine, Running Medicine with Bryan Heiderscheit. The topic is pretty self explanatory. Here are some main points:
Although peak force in the knee is higher in running the total accumulated load of walking and daily activities may play more of a part in OA development especially since cartilage stiffness is greater with higher load forces versus lower rates as seen in normal gait.
Example: “An individual can accumulate more total strain by standing for 30 min than by running for 30 min.”
Cartilage conditioning- the more stress the cartilage is able to sustain, the stronger it gets:
* The ankle experiences greater localized joint stresses than the knee, and ankle OA is much less common than knee OA.
* Healthy knee cartilage tends to be thicker in weight-bearing regions of the joint. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
* Knee cartilage glycosaminoglycan content, which affects lubrication and shock absorption, was greater in recreationally active individuals than in sedentary individuals, and greater in high-volume runners than in recreationally active individuals.
* Running training reduced the response of serum cartilage oligomeric protein, a biomarker for collagen network stability and the incidence and progression of OA, to a bout of walking. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
* Long-term joint immobilization in individuals with leg bone fractures reduced imaging-based indices of knee cartilage quality.
Other populations with other factors may not have the healthy response to the mechanical loading of running (ie people who are obese, post ACLR, running over 100 miles a week.

Read more here.