20 May You Better Stop All That Running
After high school I wanted to stay active and fit so I began lifting weights more regularly and did some running. I always liked working out and lifting weights, but I started to realize I really enjoyed running and I was actually pretty good at it. I found running to be a way to get into my own little world and a time that I spent with the Lord by praying. The more I ran the more I enjoyed it; I especially enjoyed competing in races and being around other runners.
As I ran more I started having people tell me “you are going to regret all that running when you get older” or “running is bad on your knees and you are going to get arthritis.” This past week I met with a fellow runner who was told by her physician to stop running because it is bad for your knees. Well, I never like to oppose any physician’s order because we want to maintain a good relationship with them to help the patients in our community the best we can. However, I do have to whole-heartedly disagree with this order.
Running is not bad for your knees or hips but poor running mechanics are. Poor running mechanics can lead to all different kinds of injuries-this is why it is important to have a running coach, physical therapist, or someone who specializes in bio-mechanics to take a look at your running form. The compression force applied to your joints and muscles during running actually strengthen them, not to mention all the other health benefits of just being active. After hearing this I had to do some research and this I what I found on www.pubmed.com, which is the National Library of Medicine with research citations. On their website I did a simple search of long distance running and osteoarthritis and only read the first two that came up. This one was found in the American Journal of Sports Medicine: “Thus, our observations suggest that a lifetime of long distance running at mileage levels comparable to those of recreational runners today is not associated with premature osteoarthritis in the joints of the lower extremities.”(1) The other one stated: Human studies show an increase in radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis in endurance sports athletes, but no related increase in symptoms reported.
Although there is not currently enough data to give clear recommendations to long-distance runners, it appears that long-distance running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and hips for healthy people who have no other counter indications for this kind of physical activity. Long-distance running might even have a protective effect against joint
By Cory Lee, LPTA, RRCA-Running Coach, L-1 Crossfit Coachdegeneration.(2) I hope this helps other runners to know they can continue running if no true problems exist, but may need to be evaluated for proper form.
(1) Konradsen, L, Hansen, EM, Sondergaard, L. “Long Distance Running and Osteoarthrosis” American Journal of Sports Medicine. July-August 1990.
(2) Cymet, TC, Synkov, V “Does Long Distance Running Cause Osteoarthritis?” Journal of American Osteopathic Association 2006 June.