What does the strength of quadriceps have to do with knee osteoarthritis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Strong quadriceps muscles can help both prevent and treat knee osteoarthritis (OA). Your quadriceps muscle is the large muscle at the front of your thigh. It's the strongest muscle in your body and it's the muscle that moves your knee joint.

Research shows that women with strong quadriceps muscles are less likely to develop knee OA than women with weaker quadriceps. Strong quads benefit men as well, but the impact on OA isn't as dramatic. If you already have knee OA, strengthening your quadriceps even a little may help reduce pain and keep your knees from getting worse.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Strong quadriceps help ease the pain of knee-joint osteoarthritis (OA).

The quadricep muscles help support and stabilize the knee. Strengthening these muscles may also reduce the stiffness of knee osteoarthritis. One study found that strengthening quadriceps, located in the front of the thigh, was particularly helpful at reducing the burden of disability, dependency and cost of osteoporosis in the elderly. Physical therapy can help strengthen quadriceps muscles. 

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner
Strong quadriceps, or the thigh muscles that put the knee joint into motion, have been linked to lower rates of stiff or painful knee osteoarthritis in women. Research suggests the stronger the quadriceps muscle, the better at preventing knee problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.