by David Greenwalt
Strong quadriceps help with knee osteoarthritis pain. Proper vitamin D status helps with quadriceps strength. Make sure your “D” status is good and strength train those legs to reduce knee osteoarthritis pain.
Osteoarthritis (OA) refers to a clinical syndrome of joint pain accompanied by varying degrees of functional limitation and reduced quality of life. The knee joint is one of most commonly affected.
The strength of the quadriceps muscles (a group of large fleshy muscles covering the front and sides of the thighs) has been shown to have a close association with knee OA. The weaker the quadriceps the more likely knee OA will result.
Vitamin D is the main nutrient crucial for keeping our bones healthy, because it is essential for calcium to be absorbed from our gut to make it a part of our bones and skeleton.
Yahya Davidian and his colleagues found, in earlier research, that low vitamin D levels were associated with the development of knee arthritis. Now they postulate that a primary reason for that association is low vitamin D is associated with weaker quadriceps
To study the relationship of vitamin D levels and quadriceps muscle strength in knee OA, researchers recruited 100 patients with knee OA. Blood levels of vitamin D were measured. Quadriceps muscle strength in both legs was also measured.
Results showed that 69.5% of the patients had vitamin D deficiency with the ratio between women and men being 75% and 50% respectively.
Findings further revealed a positive relationship between vitamin D levels and quadriceps muscles strength (more vitamin D = more muscle strength and vice versa). Quadriceps muscle strength was negatively correlated with knee pain (less muscle strength – more knee pain). No direct relationship between the serum vitamin D levels and knee pain could be seen.
These findings are interesting because it helps in understanding how vitamin D levels, quadriceps muscle strength and knee OA are interconnected.
The quadriceps muscle strength acts as the link between vitamin D levels and knee OA. Low vitamin D levels cause weakening and inflammation of quadriceps muscle resulting in knee pain.
This study provides yet another reason to strength train but it also draws in another important component by making the correlation between a proper vitamin D status and quadriceps strength. Rather than living with knee OA as a part of the normal aging process supplement with vitamin D and strength train the whole body including the quadriceps muscles.
Javadian, Y., Adabi, M., Heidari, B., Babaei, M., Firouzjahi, A., Ghahhari, B. Y., & Hajian-Tilaki, K. (2016). Quadriceps Muscle Strength Correlates With Serum Vitamin D and Knee Pain in Knee Osteoarthritis. The Clinical journal of pain.