One of the biggest problems that plague all athletes is the wear and tear of cartilage in joints that cause them to develop Osteoarthritis. No other sport comes close to MMA as far as the unique and dynamic demands and tolls it can take on the human body. Even the earliest symptoms can wreak havoc on a fighters career but now there’s hope. Scientists may be on to a new strategy to prevent and treat the career afflicting ailment,by adding lubricin (a protein that the human body naturally excretes) to synovial fluid in the joints. The treatment has been proven effective in a study on mice at Rhode Island Hospital. We have already seen how far fighters can take their careers, just through sheer grit some make it into their mid to late 30’s. With new treatments like these coming out who knows how long the fighters of tomorrow will fight for?
OA can be brought on by aging, obesity, and a history of trauma to the joint. This isn’t just great news for elite athletes but for average Joe’s since OA is the most common form of arthritis. Now that people are living longer and longer it’s important we continue to find new solutions to not just increase longevity but quality of life as well.
Gregory D. Jay, MD, PhD, states “We are working to create a replacement for natural lubricin that we hope will significantly improve the treatment options, and ultimately prevention measures, for those with early osteoarthritis, or those with joint injuries.”
This could mean good news for the 27 million people in the U.S. alone who suffer from OA. It’s developments like these that highlight how important it is for money to be allocated to scientific research. This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.