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The University of Sydney and the University of British Columbia found that people whose walking style puts more pressure on the knees and hips are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

The researchers looked into previous studies that correlated walking styles with developing or worsening osteoporosis. They concluded that some walking styles increased the likelihood of osteoporosis in the knees and hips.

According to Miss Nicole D’Souza, the study is the first that shows how movement can have an impact on developing or worsening the disease. These findings are crucial as the disease isn’t curable. Moreover, it is one of the most common reasons for chronic pain and disability in Australia.

In addition, scientists can scan for the risk factors identified in this study in a biomechanics lab. Fortunately, walking styles can be modified to help patients reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers analyzed more than 4000 volunteers from 23 papers. They examined the joints participants used when walking and their relation to osteoporosis.

D’Souza adds that it can be challenging working out the joints to evaluate when walking. The reason is that various joints move at a time. She adds that how people load and move their joints could eventually affect healthy people and those with the disease.

 The researchers managed to identify specific walking styles that made people more susceptible to osteoporotic. One such pattern involved an individual moving their knee slightly outward then back in when walking. This walking style doubles the risk of osteoporosis.

The way people walk often develops unconsciously. Factors like walking speed, weight, height can determine how people walk.

The researchers could develop techniques to modify walking

Observing the motions that could cause osteoporosis can be difficult. However, they can be detected by a trained professional who knows what to look for.

Unfortunately, while physiotherapists could help you manage osteoporosis, they have not established interventions that alter your walking style.

 The researchers hope to scan for the markers and find ways to lower pressure on people’s joints to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. They are also conducting clinical trials to study various walking patterns on people.