Sydney: Muscle inflammation outside the joints is as much to blame for discomfort and poor mobility in arthritis sufferers as inflammation of the joint itself, says a new study. It potentially opens the way to better treatment.
Knee arthritis treatment has focussed on relieving knee joint inflammation. But researchers from Victoria University, La Trobe University, Warringal Hospital and St. Vincent`s Hospital found muscle inflammation outside the joint in those suffering knee osteoarthritis, meaning that treatment may need changing.
Pazit Levinger and Itamar Levinger from Victoria explained muscle inflammation was a body`s natural reaction to injury or infection but lead to muscle wastage when prolonged, the `Arthritis and Rheumatism` journal reports.
For those with knee arthritis this muscle wastage can result in less capacity to perform daily activities, according to a Victoria statement.
"With the better understanding of changes in muscle function coming out of this study we will be able to target exercise and drug therapy more effectively to keep this population active and increase their quality of life for longer," Levinger said.