The last few posts have thought about how balance training can help to prevent injuries, particularly ankle injuries, but such training can also be a strategy to prevent knee injuries, as explained here.
There is a study on this here too, explaining how a neuromuscular and proprioceptive performance program was effective in decreasing the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female football players.
On the subject of knees, there was some news released this week about knee injuries following an experiment in pigs. It found that the sort of swelling that occurs when a joint is damaged by injury or degeneration is normally essential to the healing process, but when it comes to the knee, that inflammation can actually interfere with healing. Researchers identified two immune system proteins -- interleuken-1 and tumor necrosis factor -- produced by the body during swelling that blocked the healing of a damaged pig meniscus. Almost 15 percent of all athletic injuries to the knee involve the meniscus.
The researchers say that there are drugs in existence and in development that could block these two proteins and so promote healing.
However, it was interesting to me that this came back again to TNF. This protein keeps popping up in things I'm reading at the moment. For example remember the post from a few days ago about the way in which high intensity training attenuates (reduces) TNF in humans? Or this one?
I wonder if there is a connection here? Maybe you could promote healing through appropriate training that would minimise these inflammatory proteins?
Inflammation is interesting. Necessary as an immune system activity in some cases but potentially damaging too. Incidentally in the wikipedia entry about inflammation it says that it is linked to obesity:
High levels of several inflammation-related markers such as IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α are associated with obesity. During clinical studies, inflammatory-related molecule levels were reduced and increased levels of anti-inflammatory molecules were seen within four weeks after patients began a very low calorie diet. The association of systemic inflammation with insulin resistance and atherosclerosis is the subject of intense research.