How doing your SQUATS could avoid you needing a knee replacement

Research shows that doing squats can keep you out of the operating room later in life.

US experts found that arthritis patients who regularly did squats and lunge exercises were less likely to need a knee replacement in old age.

The study specifically looked at adults diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, also known as the ‘wear and tear type’.

It occurs when the protective cartilage in the joint breaks down over time, causing it to become painful and stiff.

About 5 million British people have osteoarthritis of the knee. In the most severe cases, surgery is needed to support or replace the joint.

Squats and lunges are exercises that help strengthen the quads and can easily be done at home without equipment

But scientists found that those who did exercises to strengthen their quads, the muscles in the front of the thighs, were less likely to need knee surgery than those who did not.

Researchers presented their study, which examined 134 patients with knee arthritis, at the Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicago.

Of these patients, half had undergone total knee replacement.

Researchers compared scans of all patients’ legs to see what factors could have helped some of them avoid the need for surgery.

They found that having strong quads was the most important factor in reducing the risk of surgery.

Experts say the quads play a crucial role in everyday movements like walking and people with weak knees should focus on strengthening them.

Strong quads help reduce stress on the knee joint from movement and improve the stability of the kneecaps, stopping the progression of arthritis.

Squats and lunges are exercises that help strengthen the quads and can easily be done at home without equipment.

Dr. Upadhyay Bharadwaj, from the University of California, author of the study, said The times that the study showed the importance of the quads in maintaining good knee health.

“Our research shows that in addition to strong individual muscles, larger (quadriceps) muscle groups – compared to hamstring muscle groups – are significantly associated with a lower likelihood of total knee replacement surgery in two to four years,” she said.

She added that although the study had looked at people who were already suffering from knee problems, there were also classes for younger adults.

“While these results are essential for targeted therapy in a population at risk for osteoarthritis, even the general public can benefit from our results by preventively incorporating appropriate strengthening exercises,” she said.

More than 120,000 knee replacements are carried out in the UK every year, with osteoarthritis being the main reason for 90 per cent of these procedures.

Experts predict that demand for such surgeries will increase dramatically in the coming years, due to a combination of an aging population and rising obesity levels, with extra fat putting even more pressure on the joint.

Last year, researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Southampton calculated that demand for knee replacements will increase by 40 percent by 2060 if current trends continue.

They published their findings in The Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Although age is a major cause of osteoarthritis, people’s risk of developing it can be increased by other joint conditions such as gout, as well as by factors that put more pressure on the joint, such as obesity.

It is also believed that women are at greater risk of developing the condition than men.

Surgery is considered a last resort for knee osteoarthritis and is usually only considered in severe cases or if treatments such as lifestyle changes and devices such as special shoes have not worked.