Some exciting news out of Queen Mary University in London.
In a new study, researchers show for the first time how cells in joints react to mechanical forces and prevent the degradation of cartilage by suppressing inflammatory molecules that cause osteoarthritis.
Essentially, during exercise, the cartilage in joints is "smashed." This distortion is detected by the living cells in that cartilage which then block the action of the inflammatory molecules. The anti-inflammatory effect is caused by the activation of the HDAC6 protein.
"We have known for some time that healthy exercise is good for you -- now we know the process through which exercise prevents cartilage degradation." -Dr. Su Fu, PhD student and study author
There are two key take aways here.
First, if you have arthritis, it is absolutely OK to exercise. Of course do it properly and under control. If you have never exercised and this is a condition you have, it is especially important to start slow and scale down to your level.
The second thing to be excited about here is the advancement of a class of treatment called "mechano-medicine" in which drugs attempt to simulate the effect of real world mechanical forces.
Both conclusions bode well for the future of those who have arthritis.