Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis, knee pain, sports injury

Lead applicant - Professor Mark Batt

Organisation - Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Type of grant - Centre of Excellence Full

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £1,998,626.65

Start date - 7 January 2018

Reference - 21595

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Established in 2013, Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis is Europe's first research centre bringing together experts in sports medicine and osteoarthritis to collaborate and identify the specific risk factors involved in sport and exercise injuries leading to osteoarthritis. The centre has been renewed for a further 5 years and some of their research aims are listed below. This research will have a greater emphasis on recreational athletes, as well as a focus on elite athletes as they have done in the past.

  1. Improve understanding of early osteoarthritis in athletes and exercisers, to understand who is more at risk of developing disease
  2. Develop treatments and activities for people with osteoarthritis, so they can manage their symptoms and remain active
  3. Understand the effects of sport and exercise on the quality of life for those at risk of, or currently living with, osteoarthritis
  4. Work in partnership with people with osteoarthritis to design, develop and disseminate research.

Why is this research important?

Regular exercise is vital for health and the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risk of injury. However, an injury to a joint is one of the main risk factors for osteoarthritis, along with ageing and obesity. There is currently poor understanding as to why some people recover more quickly than others following sport and exercise injuries, and why some injuries develop into debilitating osteoarthritis but others do not. This centre aims to understand the long-term consequences of sport and exercise injuries, in order to find effective treatments and advise people on the best preventative measures to keep them active for longer. The centre’s research will be of benefit for everyday exercisers, recreational sportsmen and sportswomen, and elite athletes. This centre is an international collaboration of world leading experts in the fields of sport, medicine and science and aims to improve the understanding of the relationship between exercise, sport and osteoarthritis.

How will the findings benefit the patients?

The results of this research will provide people with evidence-based advice and information about taking part in sports and exercise so they can minimise their risk of injury and development of osteoarthritis. Outcomes of the research will include screening tools for use by various groups of exercisers, including the general population, recreational athletes and elite sportspeople, which will predict their various levels of risk of developing osteoarthritis, and targeted prevention strategies to minimise the risk of injury or joint damage and deterioration, including dietary and nutritional interventions following injury.