Strength Training Makes Your Knees Feel Better. Also, Water is Wet.
From Reuters Health:
Strength training can help ease pain and improve physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, a new review of current data confirms. In most of the studies, the researchers found, people showed improvements in pain, physical function, walking speed, and balance after undergoing strength training. The majority of studies used a progressive approach, meaning patients were required to increase the intensity of their exercise as time went on (for example, lifting heavier weights). Three of the four studies that showed no significant effect for strength training did not use this progressive approach.
Ah-HA! So this basically flies in the face of every doctor or physical therapist that like to inform their patients not to squat because it’s bad for their knees. I love it. Nothing drives me more bat shit crazy than when I hear health professionals give this advice. Well, that and guys who wear their collars up (which I saw a lot of while in NYC this past weekend).
Seriously, if anyone ever deserves to have their penis catch on fire, it’s any douchebag who thinks this is cool. Stop it. NOW!
Anyways, back on topic. It’s nice to see some mainstream media getting the word out there that strength training can help with quality of life; particularly with osteoarthritis. In all honesty though, is this really a newsflash for anyone? I mean, wow…..the researchers in the article make it seem like this is big news. Um, not really. I’ve seen it time and time again. Someone comes in with knee pain:
1. We get them to start working on tissue quality (foam rolling, soft tissue work, etc).
2. Incorporate various hip mobility drills (video shows one of my favorites….kneeling rockbacks).
3. Replace high impact, low amplitude exercises (treadmill) with low impact, high(er) amplitude exercise (Arc Trainer, Elliptical, high knee skips, various movement training drills).
4. Get them stronger. Certainly this is a blanket statement, but myself, as well as many of my colleagues have always stated that strength training can be corrective in nature. At CP, we go out of our way to explain to clients the difference between active and passive restraints. When referring to stress on our bodies, both active and passive restraints share the burden, and work together to keep the body functioning properly. Active restraints refer to muscle and tendon. Passive restraints entail bone, labrum, meniscus, and ligament.
As Eric Cressey has noted on several occasions, if the stress is shared between active and passive restraints, wouldn’t it make sense that strong active restraints with good tissue quality and length would protect ligaments, menisci, and labra (and do so through a full ROM)? Hint: yes, it would.
While the phrase “just get strong” can mean different things to different people, it’s important for trainees to realize that it’s an integral aspect of corrective exercise that many fail to utilize. This is why I find it absolutely asinine whenever a doctor tells someone to do nothing but take some ibuprofen and lay low for a few weeks.
Needless to say, this “study” was a breath of fresh air. But I don’t see why they need to do more research to see whether or not strength training has any efficacy towards said population long-term. Seems like a waste of money in my opinion. If we’re going to be funding any research it should be used solely to answer one question: how hot is Mila Kunis? This hot!*
* and this hot