Former rugby union players are at greater risk of arthritis and other joint problems

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arthritis in sport, rugby, arthritis digest, arthritis research uk, arthritis magazineFormer rugby union players seem to have a higher risk of developing arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems than the general population, says new research in Scientific Reports.

A research team looked at morbidity and health-related quality of life trends in 259 former elite-level rugby players compared to the general population.

They discovered that the rates of osteoarthritis, joint replacement and osteoporosis were all much higher in ex-rugby players. Quality of life of former players was impacted by mobility and pain or discomfort that affected their ability to take part in usual activities. On the positive side, the rugby players were less likely to develop diabetes than the general population.

“The magnitude of musculoskeletal morbidity in this population warrants proactive education and management within this at-risk sporting population,” the researchers say.

“Further research in other sports may encourage the adoption of a more proactive approach to long-term health within elite and recreational sports, encouraging healthy sporting activity for all participants.”

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