Saturday, July 2, 2016

More Miles Does Not Mean Bad News For Your Knees

Singapore Stan Chart Marathon picture by RunSociety from Flickr
You will know someone who has had to rest from running because of an injury. And you will probably know someone who has been told by the doctor to quit running or their knees will wear out. Hence, it's easy to understand why so many people believe that running is not good for their knees.

I've written before that running does not wear out your knees.

I also disagreed with the author who wrote in the Straits Times (on 240516) on the above topic and I pointed out that there is no sound evidence at all that glucosamine helps with cartilage regeneration.

Here's further proof from a recently published article that didn't set out to study runners. In fact the authors that investigated this "Osteoarthritis Initiative" study had hypothesised that "a history of leisure running may increase the risk for knee knee symptoms and ROA (radiographic evidence of arthritis) even at lower levels."

Runners were grouped into low, middle and high groups if they had done at least 250, 800 or 2000 running workouts in their lifetime. All 2637 subjects in the study had high quality x-rays of their knees done and other methods of assessing knee symptoms.

Only two to five percent of the subjects described themselves as competitive runners showing that the findings are potentially more applicable to the general population compared to other studies.

Eight years after the study, subjects (56 percent female, average age of 64) were given a physical activity questionnaire. 29.5 percent indicated that they had participated in some running at some point in their lives.

The results were the exact opposite to what the researchers expected. This "forced" them to conclude that "A history of leisure running is not associated with increased odds of prevalent knee pain, ROA, or SOA (symptoms of arthritis). In fact, for knee pain, there was a dose-dependent inverse association with runners."

This meant that the people who ran the most had the least knee pain. This was true across all age groups and for running at any stage in one's life. The subjects that were still running had less knee pain (21.1 percent) than those who had quit running (25.3 percent), who had less pan than those who had never ran (29.6 percent).

So, most recent medical research continues to "exonerate" running as a cause of knee osteoarthrits. You now have more "ammunition" to show the naysayers who tell you to stop running or your knees will wear out.


Lo GH, Driban JB et al (2016). History Of Running With Higher Risk Of Sympyomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Cross-sectional Study From The Osteoarthritis Initiative. Arthritis Care and Research. DOI: 10.1002/act.22939.

No comments:

Post a Comment