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The question of whether running causes knee osteoarthritis has been debated for some time, however as an Orthopedic Surgeon I rely on facts. Research has shown that running does not cause knee osteoarthritis and can actually prevent knee osteoarthritis and pain. When I reference running, I mean running in moderation and in the absence of pain or injury. I also encourage all of my patients to work with a coach/training group if they are concerned about how to progress mileage or train for a race.
Runners that have good strength and no previous knee injuries have been able to run for years. Research has shown that runners are able to run consistently in their 50’s and 60’s without risk of injury to their knees. Some studies actually have shown more knee osteoarthritis in non-runners when compared to long distance runners of similar ages. Additionally, this consistent aerobic activity decreases our BMI (body mass index) which is one of the biggest risk factors for knee osteoarthritis.
If you start to have knee pain, don’t consider yourself out of the training group. Our team of physicians, certified athletic trainers and physical therapists are here to keep you on road. We are committed to you reaching your goal of finishing the race. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our Sports Med Hotline or the Heathy Roster App.
Last week the Orthopedic ONE Team showed you a dynamic warm-up and static cool down to help prevent injuries. Two weeks ago, we discussed how the ALTER G Anti-Gravity Treadmill can help you to continue to train in the event that you begin to experience any issues. In the weeks to come, our staff will be sharing more ways for you to prevent injuries and stay healthy while achieving your running and fitness goals.
In summary, consider the statement that running causes knee osteoarthritis to be FICTION!!!
Thank you for allowing Orthopedic ONE be a part of your success!
Joel R. Politi, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Total Joint Reconstruction