Running and Knee Problems

All runners know the common responses from non-runners, “Oh, doesn’t running hurt your knees?” or “You are going to have knee problems later in life from all of that running.” The common wisdom is that the pounding that knees take over years of running will wear down cartilage and joints ultimately leading to a knee replacement surgeries. However, recent studies have cast serious doubt on this theory. According to a recent Time magazine article, running may actually do more to prevent knee problems than to cause them.

The common wisdom is that regular running or vigorous sport-playing during youth subjects the joints to so much wear and tear that it increases a person’s risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life…But over the past few years an emerging body of research has begun to show the opposite, especially when it comes to running.

Not only is there no connection between running and arthritis, the new studies say, but running — and perhaps regular, vigorous exercise generally — may even help protect people from joint problems later on.

My take on the issue is that running does not inherently cause knee problems, but it is important to run smart – don’t overtrain, don’t run when injured, and make sure to only run in good running shoes.

Self massage
Orthotics for Running