It’s no secret that athletes are at a higher risk of developing joint pain and osteoarthritis. But what may come as a surprise is just how much higher that risk is for those who participate in elite-level sports. A recent study found that one in four retired Olympians reported osteoarthritis diagnoses.
Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones starts to break down. It can occur in any joint, but it most often affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis gradually worsens over time and can lead to pain and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis and becomes more common as you age, but this new study suggests it may be even more of a risk for elite athletes. As the largest international study of its kind, researchers observed the consequences of
osteoarthritis and pain in different joints from retired elite athletes across different summer and winter Olympic sports.
All 3,357 participants were quizzed about their injuries and their bones, muscles, joints, and spine health. They were also asked if they had an osteoarthritis diagnosis or were experiencing joint pain.
It was found that the knee, shoulder, and knee were the most injury-prone areas for Olympians. These were also among the most common locations for pain and osteoarthritis. After an injury, Olympians were also more likely to develop osteoarthritis than someone in the general population sustaining a similar injury.
“High-performance sport is associated with an increased risk of sports-related injury and there is emerging evidence suggesting retired elite athletes have high rates of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. This study provides new evidence for specific factors associated with pain and osteoarthritis in retired elite athletes across the knee, hip, ankle, lumbar and cervical spine, and shoulder, and identifies differences in their occurrence that are specific to Olympians,” said Dr. Debbie Palmer, Moray House School of Education and Sport.
Joint and Bone Health
Although this study focuses on elite athletes, everyone should take steps to help their joints as they age. Joints may require support throughout life to help them stay strong, flexible, and healthy. If you are concerned about spine health or suffer from lower back pain, knee pain, or even ankle pain, your joints may need some special attention.
Healthy Joints contains multiple ingredients to help support and improve joint health. The primary ingredient in Health Joints is AprèsFlex®, an extract from Boswellia, which has been found in studies to provide rapid support for joint health and mobility. This unique formula also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which contain compounds that are some of the building blocks of healthy joints.
Supporting bone health is also essential as you age. Bone Rescue can help to support the maintenance and development of bones thanks to its unique formula, including strontium. Chemically similar to calcium, strontium can provide great support for aging bones. Bone Rescue contains 680 mg of strontium along with additional ingredients to help keep bones strong and healthy.