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Exercise produces positive effects on the intervertebral discs

Date:
June 28, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Physical exercise has a positive effect on the formation of cells in the intervertebral discs.

Physical exercise has a positive effect on the formation of cells in the intervertebral discs. This is shown by a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS), which is currently taking place in Gothenburg.

The study from the Sahlgrenska Academy shows that physical activity has a positive effect on cells in the intervertebral discs. The result is based on rats undergoing treadmill exercise. It was subsequently studied how many new cells in the intervertebral discs were formed in rats that had run on a treadmill for about one hour a day compared with animals that had only moved around freely in a cage. "This is new knowledge showing that the intervertebral discs can be positively affected by physical activity," says Helena Brisby, an associate professor at the Department of Orthopaedics at Sahlgrenska Academy and spine surgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Pain in the lumbar spine is common and may be due to disc degeneration, which means that the disc cells no longer have normal functions. Based on the results of the study, the research team led by Helena Brisby and Björn Rydevik intends to go on to study whether the cells in degenerated discs respond as positively to exercise as they have now shown to do in normal discs.

"Physical exercise is already an important part of the treatment for back pain today, but there is limited knowledge about the specific effect that exercise has on the discs and what the optimal dose of exercise is," says Björn Rydevik, a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at Sahlgrenska Academy.

The research team plan for continued studies with this animal model, which hopefully will establish whether exercise can prevent disc degeneration and could consequently prevent back pain, but also aims to study the effect of exercise when back problems have already arisen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Lena Mattsson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Exercise produces positive effects on the intervertebral discs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111844.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, June 28). Exercise produces positive effects on the intervertebral discs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111844.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Exercise produces positive effects on the intervertebral discs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628111844.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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