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Runner’s knee mystery unravelled

Researchers have found what causes ‘runner’s knee’ or patellofemoral pain syndrome among athletes.

The debilitating injury apparently affects one in four physically active people.
Darin Padua, UNC College of Arts and Sciences, said: “Earlier studies have usually looked at people after the problem sets in.”

“That means that while previous research has identified possible risk factors related to strength and biomechanics, it’s been unclear whether those caused the injury, or whether people’s muscles and the way they moved changed in response to their injury.”

The researcher noted participants with weaker hamstring muscles were 2.9 times more likely to develop the syndrome that those with the strongest hamstrings, while those with weaker quadriceps muscles were 5.5 times more likely.

Chronic pain increases risk of falls in older adults

Chronic pain can be more dangerous than previously thought, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Division of Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) have found that people with chronic pain have greater chances of suffering a fall.

Suzanne Leveille, who conducted the research, said: “It’s clear that pain is not just a normal part of aging and that pain is often undertreated in older adults.”

“Our findings showed that older adults who reported chronic musculoskeletal pain in two or more locations — mainly in the joints of the arms and legs — as well as individuals who reported more severe pain or pain that interfered with daily activities were more likely to experience a fall than other individuals.”

How air pollution, cigarette smoke trigger coughing

Researchers have found how environmental irritants, such as air pollution and cigarette smoke, trigger coughing.

In a study conducted by experts from Imperial College London and the University of Hull, it was found that irritants activate receptor proteins called TRPA1 on the surface of nerve endings in the lungs. Subsequently, sensory nerves trigger a cough reflex.

The researchers insisted that blocking TRPA1 receptors could treat coughing.
Maria Belvisi, co-author of the study, Imperial College, said: “For some people, chronic coughing can be annoying and uncomfortable, but for others it can be distressing and can have a severe impact on their quality of life”.

‘Many people say that certain things in the air can make them cough and we are very excited that we have shown, for the first time, exactly what is probably happening inside the lungs.”

Suppressing anger ups heart attack risk

A new Swedish research suggests that men who do not vent out their anger on being treated unfairly at workplace are likely to double their chances of having a heart attack.

For the study, researchers assessed 2,755 male employees in Stockholm who had not had a single heart attack.

These workers were asked how they coped up with work related conflicts: whether they expressed their anger or just kept mum, whether they developed headache or stomach ache or took all of it out at home.

These workers were also examined for smoking, drinking, physical activity, education, diabetes, job demands and their free choice to take decisions.

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