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Events at the IBJR

Week 2 update from Professor Hunter and he's still going strong!

2 weeks into the Stepping UP for September and I am starting to reap the benefits of increased activity- a bit more focused than normal and sleeping better at night (with the exception of the late night calls last week from the hospital).
A couple of lazy days there last week were just over the 10,000 steps a day threshold but I am averaging about 12,000-thus more than meeting the benchmark I set.
For those of you questioning my judgment and my capacity to maintain this look forward to Thursday this coming week as the day I might buckle. The day starts at about 5am and then is fully loaded with different appointments and as it is our oldest son’s last day at school, social functions into the wee small hours of Friday morning.
For all of you out there increasing your physical activity-keep it UP.

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A week 1 update from Professor Hunter about Steptember!

One week in and still going strong-was a little harder on the weekend than what I envisaged but still cracking the 10,000 steps a day barrier.
Couple of thoughts for the day:
Conditions are never just right. People who put off doing things until all factors are favourable, achieve nothing.
Force yourself outside the door, once your out, that’s the hardest bit of the workout over and done with.

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Today we have another guest blogger who is definitely a familiar face around the IBJR: Professor David Hunter, our Chairman. You will be hearing more from David in the coming month on All Over the Joint while he is taking a step for he is passionate about : Bone and Joint Health.
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For years I have been telling my patients they need to change their behaviour to help their joints. One major piece of advice I frequently give is to increase their physical activity. Needless to say sometimes their behaviour changes and sometimes it doesn’t. Not infrequently my patients will come back to me and say “I found it hard to increase my physical activity”, “I didn’t have time” or they call my bluff and say “how much activity do YOU do”?

Well as we step into September it is time for me to “put up or shut up”. In an effort to raise awareness about the role of physical activity in arthritis and to raise funds for research into bone and joint diseases (http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/ibjr/index.php) I have set myself a goal.

I regularly tell others to walk 10,000 steps a day so I commit to walk at least 300,000 steps in September i.e. 10,000 steps a day. Like you I am time poor but the burden of disability from bone and joint diseases is pressing so it is time for me to mobilize.

How can you help?

Go to the fundraising link on donate planet and commit some funds (all donations over $2 are tax deductible (Au)). For those challenging my ability to do this who want to see my progress I will post a weekly update on this blog of my step count from my Jawbone UP (an activity monitor I wear) and tweet about my activity regularly. You can make a commitment per step (yes if you want to pay me a $1 per step that will be gratefully received) or just contribute to the grand total. Either way the intent is to draw awareness to the role of physical activity in arthritis and raise some much needed research funds for bone and joint research.

Join me in Stepping UP in September for Bone and Joint Research. Make a donation at: https://donateplanet.com/charities/read/institute-of-bone-and-joint-research/

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Last week at the IBJR, we had a very interesting community seminar planned for everyone; Sporting Injuries and Osteoarthritis. Our speakers were our very own Professor David Hunter, who ExpertScape ( http://expertscape.com/ex/osteoarthritis) has listed as the world’s leading specialist in Osteoarthritis for June 2014, and Professor Chris Little, Director of the Raymond Purves Laboratory in IBJR. Together they delivered our audience with information about research that’s done in clinics and in a laboratory.

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Here are some key messages from both the talks!

Key messages from Professor Hunter’s talk:
1. ACL reconstructions are most common in young people in the 15-34 age group, and more common in males
2. Regardless of surgical invention or non-surgical methods, large proportions (~70%) of people with ACL injuries tend to develop Osteoarthritis within 5-10 years.
3. The two largest risk factors for OA are Injury and Obesity
4. Prevention is important and one way is to engage in neuromuscular training. This is essentially a series of exercises to train athletes in the right way to move without injuring themselves (e.g. http://f-marc.com/11plus/exercises/). This is also helpful after injury to prevent re-injury.
5. While the pains of OA can be inconsistent and unstable, the management of activities that can cause an increase in pain such as proper footwear, pain relieving medications and physical activity can improve life with OA.

Key messages from Professor Little’s talk:
1. There are many elements to the development of OA after an injury. Experiments have shown that if mechanisms that cause inflammation in the joint are prevented, OA may not develop.
2. The cause of OA, be it age or injury, affects the outcome and what treatments may work.
3. The timing of treatment will matter. This is because different things happen in joint at different stages of the injury.
4. The joint may not be the only target to treat OA. When happens outside the joint such as muscle strength, obesity and hormonal status can affect what goes on in the joint. Hence the need to “think outside the joint”.
5. While we have brilliant laboratory research now, it will take 10 – 15 years for it to actually affect OA treatment.

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