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About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 30 March 2023

By 2050, the number of individuals over 60 is projected to nearly treble globally, with the "oldest old" group (those over 85) experiencing the fastest growth. Maintaining old people's functional independence is a developing challenge to reduce the individual and social burden, especially for those with musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal aging show increased bone fragility, loss of cartilage resilience, reduced ligament elasticity, loss of muscular strength, and fat redistribution, and is therefore detrimental to multiple body functions. and these changes are prevalent. For example, sarcopenia affects 5%-13% of people aged 60-70 years and 11%-50% of people aged 80 years. It is therefore of paramount importance to attenuate such age-related declines. The progressive loss of musculoskeletal function highlights the importance of preventative lifestyle behaviors, such as regular exercise, to play a critical role in attenuating these age-related changes.

It is widely accepted that exercise can promote musculoskeletal health by reducing inflammation, promoting vascularization, enhancing tissue metabolism, and improving immune function. Regular exercise has multi-system anti-aging effects, as it could attenuate those major aging-related hallmarks and regulate several important physiological adaptations through signaling pathways. These exercise-induced adaptations reduce the subsequent physiological stress incurred from aging and could protect against age-related musculoskeletal disorders. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a multi-component (strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance) exercise program should be recommended to maintain physical fitness in older adults. The study of musculoskeletal aging needs to establish a connection between exercise's positive effects and the body's physiological responses. However, the underlying physiology and potential molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for its contributing role to musculoskeletal health are not fully understood. The age-related differences in specific exercise responses, the underlying process through which aging may alter both acute and chronic responses, and individual response variability are few discussed. These gaps may hinder healthcare professionals from understanding the effective prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders, reducing public health expenditure, and improving the quality of life of the elderly. The fields of musculoskeletal aging and exercise physiology should be synergized to provide crucial insights into the main impacts of aging on muscle, and which age-related changes can be attenuated or prevented by exercise.

The goal of this special issue is therefore to gain a better understanding of the stimulus for adaptation and the mechanisms that govern exercise adaptations, as well as to prevent age-related musculoskeletal disorders. To more accurately predict the ensuing adaptation and prevention with exercise management in those at-risk groups, research should more carefully define the physiological signature of various types/intensities of exercise and the adaptive changes incurred by the exercise-induced aging stimuli. We provide a platform for original research and review articles that shed more light on the potential mechanisms and pathways for the prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders at the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels.

This Research Topic encourages the submission of manuscripts on the following topics but is not limited to:

 Physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal aging.

 Approaches and technologies for understanding the factors that contribute to the onset and progression of musculoskeletal diseases, as well as how they are affected by aging.

 Physiological and the molecular/cellular mechanisms that underscore preventive management and exercise treatments in age-related musculoskeletal deterioration

 Physiological signature of various exercises and the adaptive changes in musculoskeletal disorders, such as sarcopenia, osteoporosis, tendinopathies, and arthritis.

The Research Topic is part of the Frontiers in Physiology Healthy Aging series. The Research Topic will support #SDG3 Good Health and Well Being, #SDG10 Reduced Inequalities as well as #SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities.

Keywords: musculoskeletal aging, musculoskeletal disorders, aging, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, tendinopathies, arthritis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

By 2050, the number of individuals over 60 is projected to nearly treble globally, with the "oldest old" group (those over 85) experiencing the fastest growth. Maintaining old people's functional independence is a developing challenge to reduce the individual and social burden, especially for those with musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal aging show increased bone fragility, loss of cartilage resilience, reduced ligament elasticity, loss of muscular strength, and fat redistribution, and is therefore detrimental to multiple body functions. and these changes are prevalent. For example, sarcopenia affects 5%-13% of people aged 60-70 years and 11%-50% of people aged 80 years. It is therefore of paramount importance to attenuate such age-related declines. The progressive loss of musculoskeletal function highlights the importance of preventative lifestyle behaviors, such as regular exercise, to play a critical role in attenuating these age-related changes.

It is widely accepted that exercise can promote musculoskeletal health by reducing inflammation, promoting vascularization, enhancing tissue metabolism, and improving immune function. Regular exercise has multi-system anti-aging effects, as it could attenuate those major aging-related hallmarks and regulate several important physiological adaptations through signaling pathways. These exercise-induced adaptations reduce the subsequent physiological stress incurred from aging and could protect against age-related musculoskeletal disorders. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a multi-component (strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance) exercise program should be recommended to maintain physical fitness in older adults. The study of musculoskeletal aging needs to establish a connection between exercise's positive effects and the body's physiological responses. However, the underlying physiology and potential molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for its contributing role to musculoskeletal health are not fully understood. The age-related differences in specific exercise responses, the underlying process through which aging may alter both acute and chronic responses, and individual response variability are few discussed. These gaps may hinder healthcare professionals from understanding the effective prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders, reducing public health expenditure, and improving the quality of life of the elderly. The fields of musculoskeletal aging and exercise physiology should be synergized to provide crucial insights into the main impacts of aging on muscle, and which age-related changes can be attenuated or prevented by exercise.

The goal of this special issue is therefore to gain a better understanding of the stimulus for adaptation and the mechanisms that govern exercise adaptations, as well as to prevent age-related musculoskeletal disorders. To more accurately predict the ensuing adaptation and prevention with exercise management in those at-risk groups, research should more carefully define the physiological signature of various types/intensities of exercise and the adaptive changes incurred by the exercise-induced aging stimuli. We provide a platform for original research and review articles that shed more light on the potential mechanisms and pathways for the prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders at the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels.

This Research Topic encourages the submission of manuscripts on the following topics but is not limited to:

 Physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal aging.

 Approaches and technologies for understanding the factors that contribute to the onset and progression of musculoskeletal diseases, as well as how they are affected by aging.

 Physiological and the molecular/cellular mechanisms that underscore preventive management and exercise treatments in age-related musculoskeletal deterioration

 Physiological signature of various exercises and the adaptive changes in musculoskeletal disorders, such as sarcopenia, osteoporosis, tendinopathies, and arthritis.

The Research Topic is part of the Frontiers in Physiology Healthy Aging series. The Research Topic will support #SDG3 Good Health and Well Being, #SDG10 Reduced Inequalities as well as #SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities.

Keywords: musculoskeletal aging, musculoskeletal disorders, aging, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, tendinopathies, arthritis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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