Research published in May 2016 and July 2017 by lead author Adam Culvenor shows thigh muscle strength “predicts” the risk for both knee osteoarthritis (KOA) and knee replacement (KR) in women. The relationship between weak thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings muscles) and KOA and KR is likely that if the muscles are weak, more stress is placed on the joint during exercise and daily activities. Eventually the cartilage wears down, and ultimately the person develops Osteoarthritis, Culvenor told Reuters.
The quads and hamstrings extend and flex the knee joint, respectively, meaning they play a role in walking, climbing, running, jumping, sitting, standing, pretty much everything.
The studies show the importance of strengthening the thigh muscles to reduce the risk of developing OA. And to reduce the risk of KR for those already with OA.
Examples of thigh strengthening exercises include:
Culvenor noted that strong thighs would not completely eliminate the risks of KOA and KR, since there are many factors that go into the disease. But it will help reduce the risk, he said.