NPR Osteoarthritis Health Story Features UNC's Dr. Richard Loeser

Dr. Richard Loeser was recently interviewed for an NPR health story about the increase in osteoarthritis of the knee. The story "6,000-Year-Old Knee Joints Suggest Osteoarthritis Isn't Just Wear And Tear" aired on NPR's Morning Edition, August 15, 2017.

NPR Osteoarthritis Health Story Features UNC's Dr. Richard Loeser click to enlarge Dr. Richard Loeser

"Your joints aren't just like your automobile tires that wear out as you use them," says Dr. Richard Loeser in a recent NPR interview.  

Dr. Loeser is the director of the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Herman and Louise Smith Distinguished Professor in the division of rheumatology, allergy and immunology. Dr. Loeser recognizes that osteoarthritis is the number one cause of disability among older adults. He was recently awarded grants totaling $4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for two osteoarthritis projects focused on understanding of the basic mechanisms responsible for cartilage destruction in people with osteoarthritis.

If cartilage "is formed and more healthy when you're younger, then your joints are more likely to be functioning better and have less osteoarthritis when you get older," says Dr. Loeser in the interview. He emphasizes that exercise also helps fully grown people. "Exercise helps nutrients diffuse into cartilage in the knee and keep it strong and healthy," he says.

Dr. Loeser also recognizes that "by strengthening your muscles and by stimulating your cartilage you can still improve the health of your joint." 

To listen to the full interview, visit NPR.