photo of a woman with knee discomfort during exercise

Arthritis Centre with Loughborough expertise receives additional £2m funding

The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis has been awarded a further £2 million from Arthritis Research UK.

The Centre is a partnership between six universities across the UK: Loughborough, Oxford, Southampton, Leeds, Bath and Nottingham.

It was established in 2013 to research and understand the effects of sport and exercise on osteoarthritis (OA) and joint health. It consists of numerous researchers with different specialisms, including sport and exercise medicine, physiotherapy and rheumatology from across the university partners.

Loughborough researchers involved with the Centre include Professor Mark Lewis and Professor Jonathan Folland from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

The Centre was first established in 2013, with funding focused on research within elite sports.

The additional funding for 2018-2022 will build from this existing research to answer the following questions about recreational exercisers:

  1. Can we identify risk factors and phenotypes that predict the onset progression of symptomatic OA in athletes and exercisers?
  2. What is the effectiveness of conservative interventions for the prevention and management of OA to enable lifelong physical activity?
  3. How can we identify the effects of sport and exercise on the quality of life for those at risk of, or living with OA: physical, psychological and social wellbeing?

Professor Mark Batt, Director of the Arthritis Research UK Centre said: “The Centre has established expert teams from a wide range of disciplines who have collaborated nationally and internationally to improve our understanding of the effects of exercise and injury on musculoskeletal health, including osteoarthritis.

“Now we will be able to continue to expand our knowledge and develop the next generation of researchers in these fields, working directly with patients, communities and sports people.”