A summary of the evidence linking exercise and osteoarthritis is given in the table. In summary, normal joints appear to tolerate prolonged vigorous low impact exercise without accelerated development of osteoarthritis. The risk of developing osteoarthritis appears to be increased in sporting activities that continually expose normal joints to high levels of impact or torsional loading and in individuals who continue sporting activities after they have injured supporting structures in the joint (like ligaments, tendons, and menisci). The hypothesis that high impact loads to joints over time will accelerate the development of osteoarthritis in exposed joints must now be examined in a longitudinal study.
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