"Progressive walking" combined with glucosamine sulphate supplementation has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open-access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy found that patients who walked at least two bouts of 1500 steps each on three days of the week reported significantly less arthritis pain, and significantly improved physical function. Dr Kristiann Heesch worked with a team of researchers from The University of Queensland, Australia, to carry out the trial in 36 osteoarthritis patients (aged 42 - 73 years). All patients received the dietary supplement for six weeks, after which they continued to take the supplement during a 12-week progressive walking program.
Injuries to joints and cartilage can have serious consequences, including osteoarthritis. Cartilage degeneration in joints is a widespread disease in Germany and worldwide. Prof. Dr. Prasad Shastri is an expert in tissue engineering (TE), tissue construction and tissue cultivation using the body's own cells. He is Professor of Biofunctional Macromolecular Chemistry at the Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS), a Cluster of Excellence at the University of Freiburg, where he has been researching for the last year. Together with peers from Maastricht and Nashville, he has developed a fast and cost-efficient method for producing sufficient amounts of bone and cartilage tissue using the body's own cells.
An international team of researchers suggests that running barefoot may be better for the feet and joints of the lower limbs because they found people who run barefoot or in minimal shoes strike their foot on the ground in such a way that they have almost no impact collision due to "heel-strike", unlike people who run in modern running shoes where the impact of the more prevalent heel-strike can be the equivalent of landing with two to three times of one's body weight. Dr Daniel E. Lieberman, a professor in Harvard University's new department of human evolutionary biology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, and colleagues, have written a paper about their findings the 28 January online issue of Nature.
If your grandfather has had a hip fracture, you too could be at risk. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have been able to show, for the first time, a link between hip fractures in elderly men and impaired bone health in their grandsons. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, shows that hip fractures in grandfathers are linked to low bone density and reduced bone size in their grandsons. "This is the first time this risk factor for low bone mass has been demonstrated across two generations, " says associate professor Mattias Lorentzon, who led the research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
As Olympians push their bodies to the extreme during the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver, professional and amateur sports enthusiasts alike will be watching their favorite televised sports. Olympic athletes train year round for these Games, and have to balance strength, endurance and stamina throughout the duration of their featured games, while recreational athletes among us may be pushing their body to the limits while skiing, sledding and snowboarding. Hockey, ice skating, sledding, skiing, snowboarding and other cold-weather activities are a great way to get some fresh air and exercise during these long chilly months. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has some helpful hints to avoid injury on the slopes, rinks and snowy trails.
Clinical testing and development of novel therapies based on advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that will one day enable the repair and replacement of diseased or damaged human muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments depends on the availability of good animal models. The highlights of a recent workshop that explored the need for and current status of animal models for musculoskeletal regenerative medicine are presented in a special issue of Tissue Engineering, Part B: Reviews, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The issue is available free online (http://www.liebertpub.com/ten). The production of specially engineered tissues to restore the function and viability of cartilage or meniscus in the knee, for example, or of degenerating intervertebral discs in the spine, will likely one day be commonplace.