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Submitted by jctink on Mon, 08/22/2016 - 3:22pm

PREVENTION

There are no cures for the three most common bone and joint conditions: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoporosis (OP). McCaig Institute researchers are studying ways to prevent bone and joint diseases or injuries from occurring before irreversible, long term damage occurs.

Vitamin D and bone health

Heather Giuffre and her husband, Michael, are participants in a research study looking at the effects of calcium and Vitamin D supplements on bone health. “My mom has osteoporosis, and so do a number of our extended family members. We’ve seen first-hand the effects of poor bone health, and we want to do what we can to avoid it,” says Heather, who loves to play tennis and work-out at the gym.

Using state-of-the-art MRI and CT imaging equipment in the Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo) researchers are developing innovative ways to scan patients to detect bone conditions earlier, so that treatment or preventative measures can be started before damage is irreversible.

Getting the jump on basketball injuries

The clock is winding down and a player executes a perfect jump shot, sending the ball into the hoop and winning the game with seconds to spare. 

This familiar scene takes place in countless basketball games across North America.  But another all-too-familiar scene that spectators don’t see is the icing of knee and Achilles injuries that occurs after the game.

Two McCaig Institute researchers are looking at ways to prevent these injuries from occurring.

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Injury prevention programs in youth soccer

Sport is the leading cause of injury in youth, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all injuries. A new study by University of Calgary researchers published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that not only does a neuromuscular training warm-up program prevent injury in youth soccer, it also saves millions of dollars in health care costs.

“Injuries in youth sport and recreation are a significant public burden in Alberta,” says the paper’s senior author Carolyn Emery, PhD, a McCaig Institute member in the Faculty of Kinesiology. “There is the immediate impact of injury preventing youth from participating in the sport which they love and they are at risk of re-injury and long-term consequences of injury including early osteoarthritis, weight gain and depression.”

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The relationship between osteoarthritis and body mass

“I don’t know how to make a rat fat.”

It’s a simple admission from Walter Herzog, the University of Calgary’s recently renewed Killam Memorial Chair and world-renowned biomechanics researcher, but it lies at the heart of complex studies he’s conducting on the relationship between osteoarthritis and body mass.

To help solve his fat rat problem, Herzog assembled a team of researchers — including nutritionists — who have the expertise he doesn’t. It’s a multidisciplinary approach that has proven exceptionally fruitful for discovery and teaching throughout Herzog’s decades-long research career, and yielded interesting and sometimes surprising results.

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