There are many people who suffer from osteoarthritis, including those who have it in the knee. There has long been questions among people as to whether or not running would be beneficial or harmful for someone who has osteoarthritis in their knee. New research has taken on the question in an effort to set the record straight once and for all. The answer may surprise some of you!
According to the National Institutes of Health, osteoarthritis is is the most common form of arthritis. The knees are just one place that people can get it. Osteoarthritis causes so much pain for those who have it because it breaks down the cartilage in the joints. The cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of the bones and keeps them from rubbing together, and also absorbs shock. Once the cartilage is broken down from the osteoarthritis the bones will rub together, which is painful. There are several risk factors that can increase one's chances of having osteoarthritis, including injuring a joint, aging, and being overweight.
Many people who have osteoarthritis shy away from running, assuming it will do more damage or lead to a lot of pain. Research published in the May 2018 journal Clinical Rheumatology, focused on whether or not running would increase symptoms for those who have osteoarthritis. They conducted a study with 1,203 runners who were at least 50 years old and had osteoarthritis in at least one knee. They followed and evaluated the participants over a 96-month period. What they found was that the running was associated with improved knee pain, not worsening knee pain. Further, they recommend that people with knee osteoarthritis not be discouraged from running.
This is great news for those who have knee osteoarthritis and wonder if running will make it worse. It also offers a way for those with it to help reduce the knee pain from the condition. It also helps to put the question to rest of whether or not running is bad for your knees. While over training increases injury risks, self selected running does the body good!