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Arthritis surge from 'fanatical' exercise

Dr Alasdair Wright says GPs should be alert to the risk of arthritis in young patients who over-exercise amid the surge in gym membership.

Dr Wright, a GP in Wirral, Merseyside, who is setting up a PCT-funded intermediate orthopaedic service next month, has seen a rise in cases of arthritic foot, ankle and knee problems in patients in their 20s caused by 'fanatical' exercise. 'There's no doubt a lot of young people are coming in with arthritic problems,' he said.

'People are diving in too early ­ they're deciding to run half-marathons instead of building up gradually ­ and they are possibly initiating early arthritis.'

He added: 'You can identify 99 per cent of problems just by asking someone with a musculoskeletal injury how they got it.'

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