If you take up exercise later in life, as a treatment for joint or hip pain, you should expect a small, temporary increase in pain. But if you proceed sensibly, you will be rewarded with pain relief similar to that of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, and twice that of a non-prescription painkiller, such as paracetamol. In fact, the pain relief from taking up exercise is large enough that many people put their knee or hip surgery on hold.
Although exercise is often considered a panacea for many conditions, we don’t all respond it equally. While some can hit the gym for a few weeks and see results, others might labour for years and see no results.
The study by Professor James Fries of California’s Stanford University found runners from the study (now in their 70s) found those who run consistently can expect to have less arthritis than non-runners as they age and a lower risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacements.
According to research by behavioural scientists from Australia’s CSIRO, most Australians tend to over-think, have too high expectations and are anxious about failure – all of which can derail the best intentions when it comes to shedding unwanted kilograms (or pounds if you prefer).
They found there are five behavioural “Diet Types” with the over-thinking, anxious perfectionist the predominant type.
That doesn’t mean particular breakfasts can’t help some people control their appetites, or bring other benefits like energy. Schlundt’s study was tiny. But it shows how easy it is to simplify the complexities and limitations of nutrition science and cherry-pick the findings.
The point of the article is that choosing a single study to prove a point is easy. When you’re looking at a “fact” a single data point is not enough. The reason peer review is so important in science is that being able to repeat a study is critical.
Photo provided by J. Rogers, Northwestern University
Researchers have long known that our perspiration can be used to tell us what is happening within our bodies. Now, a new skin patch under development by the Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics can measure acidity level and concentrations of chloride, glucose and lactate.
Those readings can be used to provide indications of hydration and other factors that can effect exercise performance. At the moment, the patch shows what’s going on through coloured indicators on the patch but the plan is for the data to be transmitted to smartphones where an app can show the feedback and potentially integrate into systems that assist with optimising exercise programs. Continue reading →
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, a group of researchers measured inflammation markers in the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women aged 18–35, both before and after running.
They found the GM-CSF and IL-15 markers, which indicate kneee joint inflammation in synovial fluid decreased in concentration in the research subjects after 30 minutes of running.
When the same fluids were extracted before and after a non-running condition, the inflammation markers stayed at similar levels.
The study’s lead author Robert Hyldahl said “What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health”.
You can read an abstract and access the full article here.
Body mass Index, or BMI, has been used by doctors and other health professionals as aindicator of healthiness. And Glycemic Index (GI) has been a popular tool for nutritioists to advise on the rate at which foods will release sugars into your bloodstream.
The trouble is, niether tool is perfect nor do they take into accout the differences in our indivdual body compostion or metabolism.
There are basically two types of pain you might experience as a result of exercise. one is casued by stress on the muscles and connective tissues resulting in pain that appears after exercise and typically dissipates within about 48 hours. Then there’s the more acute pain that comes as a result of an injury.
The trouble is we may not always be able to tell the difference.
Some research reveals that taking ibuprofen may result in cancelling out the muscle growth that occurs after exercise. There’s also evidence that our bodies release their own anti-inflammatory substances and this can be suppressed if we take other anti-inflammatories.
In short – injuries need to be treated but not all pain is the result an injury. Taking painkillers and anti-inflamatories may be unhelpful unless you are actually injured.
Walk into the locker room of any professional sports team and you’ll find massive baths filled with ice that players dip into after a hard game.
But do they really help recovery?
Research from the Physiological Society questions their efficacy.
You can read the full study. Although the report doesn’t completely rule out the benefits it does say:
More work remains to be done to establish whether other combinations of water temperature or duration of immersion produce different physiological effects in skeletal muscle and other soft tissues after muscle-damaging exercise”