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Thigh Weakness Can Predict Arthritis in Women

Evidence based practice

In a recent study in the September issue of Arthritis Care and Research, the authors studied quadriceps (the 4 muscles on the front of the thigh) and its associate with knee osteoarthritis. The studied aimed to determine if people with quadriceps weakness presently have osteoarthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include knee pain, stiffness, swelling, limited function, and findings of the disease on x-ray.

What the researchers determined is that quadriceps weakness was not a good predictor of x-ray findings of osteoarthritis in men or women. More importantly, the others did uncover that quadriceps muscle strength was a good predictor of future development of osteoarthritis symptoms in both men and women.

The take home message is that both men and women are likely to decrease the risk of developing knee pain, stiffness and loss of function if they keep their thigh muscles strong.

Fortunately, your physical therapist is the expert at developing a properly thigh strengthening program so if you are interested in preventing knee arthritis symptoms, the research suggests you should consult with us about a thigh strengthening program.

Reference: Segal NA, et. al. Effect of thigh strength on incident radiographic and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in a longitudinal cohort. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Sep 15;61(9):1210-7.

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